Not trying to be a scold but, from a media angle, this was kind of pathetic to watch unfold last night.
The National Transportation Safety Board hadn’t even arrived at the scene of Tuesday evening’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia — where at least six are now presumed dead — before things got political.
No one knows yet the cause of the accident — speed, engineer negligence, infrastructure issues, etc. — but some prominent voices sure had something political to say within minutes of the news, all from the comforts of their homes.
Donald Trump took the cake with his opportunistic attempt to tout his infrastructure record. After all, if Trump were president, we would never see Amtrak crashes:
In a rare show of dignity, however, Trump deleted that message.
In much milder manner, there was also Politico editor Blake Hounshell, who almost immediately tied the derailment to today’s congressional markup session slated to include GOP-supported budget cuts to Amtrak funding:
Amtrak crash comes on the eve of … markup session to cut Amtrak budget http://t.co/aWta0t8tx1
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) May 13, 2015
And there was former George W. Bush speechwriter and current Atlantic columnist David Frum, who went the opposite way by using the still-fresh accident to mock the 2009 federal stimulus program:
Awful that America’s railway lines are in such bad shape. If only the country had committed $800 billion to a massive stimulus program
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 13, 2015
Perhaps when your life is a partisan political hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]