Twelve years ago on Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall and went on to devastate New Orleans. This anniversary comes as President Donald Trump is faced with destruction in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey. So, naturally, people are tweeting about President Barack Obama’s response to Katrina and comparing it to Trump’s response to Harvey.
There’s just one, um, kind of major issue with that comparison. You see, Katrina happened in 2005. Obama became President of the United States in 2009. So, well, you see, President Barack Obama’s response to Hurricane Katrina literally does not exist because Obama was not president during Katrina. Are we clear on that?
Apparently a whole bunch of Trump supporters (or at least Obama haters) are really, really not clear on that. Throughout Tuesday, tweets have been showing up claiming that Obama’s response to Katrina was terrible and that Trump’s doing a better job than Obama did with Katrina. Tweets are also claiming that Obama was golfing during Hurricane Katrina.
Again, let’s clarify: Obama was not president when Hurricane Katrina hit. That hurricane’s response was bungled by the administration of Republican President George W. Bush. I mean, at the very least, don’t you all remember Kanye West’s whole “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” iconic moment? That was about Hurricane Katrina and then-President Bush.
Some folks (who may, in fact, be bots, and not living folks), clearly don’t remember that well enough:
There are many people responding to correct the record on tweets that have since been deleted, and lots of people saying their tweets about Obama and Katrina were satirical.
And, again, there are lots of these dumb tweets coming from what appear to be bots. But, as April Reign points out, bots have influence. Obama haters looking for more reasons to hate Obama will see those bots’ tweets, not know they’re bots, and think the information is real.
That’s Fake News, my friends.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to repeat the Real News: Barack Obama was not president when Hurricane Katrina hit. Therefore, it is impossible to compare President Obama’s response to Katrina to President Trump’s response to Harvey.
Meanwhile, this whole Fake News idea that Obama screwed up with Hurricane Katrina isn’t actually a new thing. In fact, a 2013 poll showed that a third of Louisiana Republicans blamed Obama for the government’s failed response to Katrina.
So one more time, say it with me now: Obama was not president when Hurricane Katrina hit.
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