Friday, September 03, 2010

Media + Hurricanes = Stupid

stupd_media_n_hurricanesReading the coverage of Hurricane Earl this week has reinforced my long-held opinion that major media outlets devolve into barely literate baboons at the mere mention of the word “hurricane”.

Earl has been tracking well east of the N. Carolina shore for days now. It would have taken a significant deviation from projected course for the storm to do anything other than drop some rain and kick up some surf on the Outer Banks. Of course, deviations from the models happen all the time, and its always worth keeping an eye on what was, at one time, a Category 3 storm. But I had problems with the story being above the fold for four days.

Today, after Earl stuck to project course and (amazingly) dropped some rain and kicked up some surf on the Outer Banks (and, to be fair, caused some minor wind damage to power lines and flimsy structures like gas-station overhead), we see the predictable “we dodged a bullet” stories in the press.

We also, predictably, get pictures of every tiny bit of damage the legion of photographers in the area can dig up. The one that made me snort coffee thru my nose this morning was the photo above, of a guy paddling a kayak thru about 4 inches of water. The SUV splashing by with no apparent effort, right next to him, and the grass on the curb which is not under water, gives you an idea of how hard the photographer had to work to set this shot up. I can nearly guarantee Ed Earl (or whatever the kayakers name is) stared incredulously at the photog and said something like, “You want me to do what? There isn’t enough water there to float my kid’s tub toys!”

Stupid media. Stupid readers, some of whom, I guarantee, put their hands to their mouths and whispered , “Those poor people. The government needs to help them!”

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