Just in case you hadn’t already noticed, the town of Flint, Michigan, is enduring a major water crisis at the moment. Uproxx covered the story in October, but it wasn’t until national news organizations began reporting on the matter in the past few weeks that local, state and federal authorities began pursuing it in earnest. (Hell, even Cher’s donation of water bottles brought attention to the story.) Now Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is apologizing for his administration’s failures, and CNN’s Jake Tapper is apologizing to the people of Michigan for neglecting to adequately cover the news and hold Snyder and others accountable for their inaction.
During Tuesday evening’s State of the State address, Snyder said he was “sorry” and that he would “fix it.”
“You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me. Most of all, you deserve to know the truth.”
Snyder has since proposed emergency funding to address the Flint water crisis immediately, and the Legislature approved $28 million for the endeavor on Wednesday. However, as U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) told CNN, “There’s no way to justify any of this. Every single decision was made by the governor and this state government… The state government has the legal and moral responsibility.” Since the state currently maintains a $500 million budget surplus, Stabenow adds, more money should be used to help the people of Flint.
However, it was what happened toward the end of Tapper’s interview with newly-elected Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on Wednesday’s The Lead that garnered the most attention. After giving Weaver the floor for most of the five-minute segment, the CNN reporter took a moment to offer his and his show’s assistance.
“Madame Mayor, stay in touch with us. Let us know what’s going on. Stay in touch with my staff, and when you’re not getting the response you need from Gov. Snyder or from President Obama, you let us know. You come on TV and we will shame them. I’m sorry that it took us so long to get on this story.
Even Flint’s own native son, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, recognized Tapper’s apology and commended him for it on Twitter.
Turns out it’s easier for Tapper to apologize for this than to say “burn this b*tch down” on live TV.