God did indeed answer our prayers as Gustav turned out to be more of a bust than a tremendous gust. This is not to minimize those who suffered and continue to suffer in this storm. I am just thankful that the predictions of another Katrina-like hurricane did not happen. But it seems like we have only just begun- with Hanna, Ike and more to follow. I am sure that you saw at least some of the news coverage on Gustav. This is what this post addresses.
I never do get the deal where the weather reporters stand out in the gale force winds during a hurricane. Just what are they trying to prove? Is this how they have to get their “bona-fides” as a reporter? Is there some secret journalism medal of courage that is earned this way? Or could it fall under the catagory of sensationalism?
Hurricanes these days- for news and weather broadcasters- seem to be all about the hype. Now I certainly understand the need for raising the alarm, encouraging prepardness and evacuations for those in harm’s way. Living in the Florida panhandle, I am well acquainted with all of this. But- is it just me- or did the coverage of Gustav just go a tad bit overboard?
I am sure part of this had to do with the epic failures associated with Katrina, but even so, I think all of this hype with Gustav will hurt us in the long run.
Before Ivan, Katrina and Rita did a triple whammy along the Gulf Coast numerous people just (pardon the pun) blew hurricanes off. Evacuate? Are you kidding! And many of these folks paid with their lives. Now, as we saw with Gustav, people are getting out of Dodge.
But if the media keeps hyping up every storm that comes along to the point of hysteria and then these storms fizzle out (relatively speaking) like Gustav, I believe this sense of urgency will fizzle too.
“Hey look, there is Jim Cantore and Geraldo Rivera!!”
“So, they just want to find a wind gust to stand in.”
Hype will hurt us like the boy crying wolf.
C’mon networks- report the news, don’t try to manufacture it.
Check out John Dobb’s latest post. He is another hurricane veteran with similar thoughts to share.