Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Probably insensitive and inappropriate, but I don't care...

It occurs to me that if someone wanted to take over the U.S. government in a coup, they would do well to wait for the next time a hurricane is headed for the east coast. (And if there's some big celebrity news as well - a death, someone winding up in rehab, some outrageous comment - all the better).

Yes, I know Irene was a big threat. Yes, it's tragic that people died, and it's unfortunate that some people are flooded out of their homes. But did they really need 24/7 coverage of it? I suppose this is the result of Katrina. I admit, I was kind of scared at the thought of what Irene might do...but now I wonder how much of that was the result of Weather Channel (and others) hyperbole.

(I will note that we have experienced something like 60 days straight of temperatures over 100 here. And we haven't had appreciable rain since May or thereabouts. And people have died here from the heat. But that's a less spectacular story, or perhaps people are bored with it now)

That's what I HATE about the news feel like you're being lied to. That things that don't affect you (see: celebrity news) directly are super-hyped. And things that are potentially important (impacts of things like taxes, health care law, some new regulations coming down the pike) are swept under the rug.

1 comment:

Sheila O'Malley said...

Storms are more dramatic for the media because you have warning, you have a couple of days where it approaches - unlike with earthquakes or tornadoes. So there is an anticipatory factor that makes a better story. The media coverage was ridiculous, yes, and I stayed away from anything designed to freak me out. You know, there are lot of choices out there. You don't HAVE to watch CNN (whose coverage was the worst, in my opinion). Here's a really intersting piece about NY1, the local New York news station and their coverage - which was indispensable for those of us who were here:

I am glad we prepared. It was like a dress rehearsal. Besides - there are vast swathes of New Jersey still flooded, still without power - My mother in Rhode Island still doesn't have power - many people have no running water, STILL, and there are no generators left in the state. Not to mention the flash flooding disaster in the Catskills area as well as Vermont. This has been a huge disaster. I myself had a flood in my kitchen. Could have been worse - which is why I'm glad I prepared for it. Then again, I come from an area where hurricanes are always on the march - or the threat thereof - so it's never good to be cavalier.