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Why is the Media Silent about Louisiana Flooding?

  • Veronica Neffinger

    Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the…

  • 2016 Aug 19

The people of Louisiana have been suffering from historic flooding over the last week, but news sources and political leaders seem to be paying little attention.

One reader wrote an email to The American Conservative, questioning why major news sources and political leaders weren’t addressing the devastation going on in the state.

"Dear CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, Good Morning America, the Today Show and whatever other news organizations professing to employ people who refer to themselves as Journalists,” the disgruntled writer begins. “FYI There is a flood in Louisiana.” confirms the reader’s complaint. “Louisiana” wasn’t one of the top trending stories on Google Trends. In fact, it was far down the list, sharing a spot beside President Obama’s vacation plans.

It is also noteworthy that, though experts are calling the Louisiana floods the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy, Obama has not yet visited the state, and is, as Google Trends says, on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

The two presidential candidates, up until Friday morning at least, have also been relatively silent on the disaster. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both tweeted once about the flooding.

This morning, Trump’s campaign did announce that he will be visiting the state, along with running mate Mike Pence.

“When one state hurts, we all hurt – and we must all work together to lift each other up,” Trump said, speaking of Louisiana in a campaign speech in North Carolina Thursday evening.

Thirteen people have died due to the flooding and 40,000 homes have been destroyed. Another 30,000 people had to be rescued. More rain is forecast for this weekend.

Some have speculated that the flooding is not receiving the coverage it deserves because the nation is weary of bad news. Others point out that news sources have their hands full with an upcoming presidential election and the Olympic Games.

Although the flooding may not be front-page news on some sites, Red Cross spokesperson Craig Cooper says that for relief organizations, it is most definitely the top news story:

"This isn’t making the front pages," he said. "It’s not making the landing page on websites. From the Red Cross’ perspective, the Louisiana floods are page one."

The Red Cross, along with other organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, have been heavily engaged in relief efforts in Louisiana.


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Publication date: August 19, 2016