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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
MRC's Double Standard on Officials On Vacation During Disasters
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock was upset that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was criticized for being on vacation in Florida when a major blizzard hit his state. Whitlock huffed: Both CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today covered the anger in the New York/New Jersey region over the blizzard and the problems with the recovery. Neither of them, however, mentioned Christie."

But Whitlock's employer, the Media Research Center, has no problem attacking a government official for doing that very thing -- that is, of course, as long as the ofifcial in question is not a conservative. An April 1 article by Penny Starr carries the headline "FEMA Administrator Visits Sunny Orlando as Rhode Island Deals With Worst Flooding in 200 Years." Starr writes:

On Wednesday, one day after President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for flood-stricken Rhode Island authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts” for the state, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in sunny Orlando, Fla., giving a speech.


Meanwhile, the National Weather Service predicted a sunny day Thursday with a high temperature of 82 degrees in Orlando, Fla., where FEMA Director Fugate was known to be on Wednesday.

Starr did not explain why Fugate needed to be in Rhode Island or what would possibly be gained by him doing so -- or why, for that matter, it was necessary to twice describe the weather in Orlando.

What's the difference between Fugate and Christie? We don't see any. Whitlock and Starr, however, apparently do: Christie is a conservative, while Fugate is presumed not to be.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 AM EST

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