Fox News and other right-wing media are smearing a coalition of 30 Hispanic Democrats who went to Puerto Rico over the weekend. The trip was fact-finding regarding hurricane relief, including discussing restrictive legislation that has hindered the island's recovery.
As Trump continues his forced lockout of the federal government, his minions at Fox News look for ways to smear his opponents.
A coalition of 30 Hispanic Democratic politicians led by Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-California, visited Puerto Rico to assess the damage and terrible response by the Trump administration.
Over the weekend, Puerto Rico welcomed more than 30 members of Congress — the largest congressional delegation to ever visit the island. The contingent of Democratic lawmakers set foot on Puerto Rican soil during a trying time for the U.S. territory, still grappling with a prolonged debt-crisis and recovering from two destructive storms."It is more devastating than many of us realized. I'm glad that we came," Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-California, told CBS News. "The reason why we came is to touch, feel and smell and understand with our hearts and our minds what the heck is going on in Puerto Rico."
But if you are a Fox News viewer, the "coverage" you saw told you that the Democrats were not trying to resolve the lockout or help Puerto Rico but instead enrich themselves with an all-expenses paid trip for a weekend at Bernie's, drinking margaritas at the beach and selling away our government to lobbyists.
On Saturday, Jeanine Pirro attacked Nancy Pelosi for going to Puerto Rico but then had to apologize to her because Pelosi did not attend.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Sunday admitted that she had been wrong to report that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had spent the weekend in Puerto Rico during the ongoing government shutdown.
But Fox and Friends led off their program with an exclusive report from Rob Schmitt about this adventure.
"You know, that's the optics of this. and that's why it doesn't look that good. I think Pelosi was invited, said she was coming, the shutdown happened, she canceled."
"30 plus democrats more than 30 down here with their entire families. It's more than 100 people. They are put up in this fancy hotel behind me. The buses are lined up right now take them to breakfast and out for the day."
Schmitt said, "This is a winter retreat by a Democratic political action committee. They are lobbying for more money and more attention for this island territory, in the United States that has been through the wringer the last number of years. Puerto Rico is debt-ridden and has been for a lot of years and then they had that hurricane in 2017, September. Maria, which just decimated this island."
How kind and thoughtful of Rob. The island was thoroughly decimated with over a reported 3000 people presumed dead. How dare they want to rebuild and regroup?
Schmitt continued, "There is a lot of anger here over this federal oversight program that was implemented to help this island live within its means and slash a lot of the welfare programs they have been spending way more than they bring in here on this island. and the local politicians also are trying to get more money from the federal government for disaster relief and they want more control of that money after the hurricane they want to be able to decide how it gets spent and not have that oversight."
This is a true disaster that Trump ran away from, but guess what is really important to Schmitt and Fox News?
Schmidt said, "But, of course, there is plenty of leisure time. Favorite photo of the day Bob Menendez - nice golden tan in January on the beach here in San Juan, very much enjoying himself. As I said, they got to bring the families down. It's a work/play trip. The optics of it aren't that good."
Then they highlighted Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Ronna McDaniel's divisive tweets, who used this event to attack the Democrats, even though Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are in DC ready to negotiate.
And McDaniel, the Chair of the Republican National Committee, actually believes trying to help Puerto Rico dig out from a calamitous natural disaster is not real work.
Fox News reporter Rob Schmitt continually attacked the optics of this trip but at the end of his report did admit that Dems, "are here to see what needs to be done in this territory that has really had a rough bout, especially since 2017 in that terrible hurricane. There are two sides to this story, of course."
Fox and Friends then launched into a series of attacks against this trip again, dismissing the current state of Puerto Rico and the suffering of its people all in service of a narcissistic buffoon.
And sites like the Washington Examiner, Breitbart and others followed suit.