Sunday, August 28, 2011

There Ought to be a Law

The coverage in Washington of the hurricane-that-wasn’t has been absolutely bizarre. It is good to see that this city does not just panic with an inch of snow. We panic with any weather above a flurry or a misting. Folks in parts of North Carolina and other coastal areas have had legitimate concerns (including New York), but the D.C. coverage was comically ridiculous. I watched one story of how Irene had began “its trail of misery and destruction” toward Washington. General Sherman’s March To the Sea had less dire reviews.


For days, I have been checking the various weather sites only to find predictions of two inches of rain and strong winds on Saturday night (with clearing on Sunday). I would then turn on the television or go on the Internet and find live, round-the-clock, breathless coverage of the “misery” and “destruction” coming to Washington.


Everything closed despite the fact that only two inches of rain and some strong winds were predicted.


In addition to ratings, the hysteria did produce record sales at stores as people prepared for the apocalypse with bodies stacked like firewood in the streets.


The rest of the coverage is largely “things that did not happen” stories. My favorite this morning on Channel 4 (NBC) was how in Alexandria the harbor man thought that people who tied up their boats for high tide might have to come back and tie the boats for lower tide. The reporter then went to show how the water has not risen and how high water could have been a problem in causing flooding — if there was high water.


The overkill coverage will only make it more difficult for media and the government to get people to believe them next time when there is a serious threat, in my view.

  Jonathan Turley

The media who cry wolf.

They do no one a service.

They are worse than unhelpful in these situations. They panic people. There ought to be a law.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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