Irma is Very Real and Rush is Dangerously Wrong

Irma is Very Real and Rush is Dangerously Wrong

Irma is Very Real and Rush is Dangerously Wrong

I am from Southern California, and have lived through more than a few large fires and earthquakes. We were taught a few useful things about disaster preparedness: have at least 72 hours of food and water and small reserves of cash, have a contact out of state for family to call and most importantly, when called to evacuate you go. It is not political (not sure what Governor Moonbeam is doing); it is the difference between life and death. Irma the hurricane is very real. Irma is going to hit the East Coast of Florida for sure — possibly coastal Georgia and South Carolina as well. And evacuation orders are going out. If you are in the area, please get yourself, your loved ones (including pets) and your needed supplies ready to go and get out. One bright spot: Florida tolls are suspended on all toll roads.

Not missing an opportunity to be in the spotlight, Rush Limbaugh is making a natural disaster political (and putting lives at risk for ratings). The Washington Post Reports here:

“These storms, once they actually hit, are never as strong as they’re reported,” Limbaugh claimed on his syndicated radio show. He added that “the graphics have been created to make it look like the ocean’s having an exorcism, just getting rid of the devil here in the form of this hurricane, this bright red stuff.”

His theory continues (not to insult addicts, but is he using? This stuff is unreal, and frankly foolish as hell):

There is symbiotic relationship between retailers and local media, and it’s related to money. It revolves around money. You have major, major industries and businesses which prosper during times of crisis and panic, such as a hurricane, which could destroy or greatly damage people’s homes, and it could interrupt the flow of water and electricity. So what happens?

What? NOBODY wants Irma or any natural disaster ever. The supply chain is cut during and after said disaster for a long, long time. And profit is offset by days closed, perishable goods going bad, shortages, costs of repairs and rebuilding damaged or destroyed facilities.

Well, the TV stations begin reporting this and the panic begins to increase. And then people end up going to various stores to stock up on water and whatever they might need for home repairs and batteries and all this that they’re advised to get, and a vicious circle is created. You have these various retail outlets who spend a lot of advertising dollars with the local media.

It’s called boarding the windows up to try and keep the house intact. Funny, I don’t see you refusing advertising dollars, Rush.  And this is what a coworker used to call Penney Ante Bulls***.

The local media, in turn, reports in such a way as to create the panic way far out, which sends people into these stores to fill up with water and to fill up with batteries, and it becomes a never-ending repeated cycle. And the two coexist. So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales, and the TV companies benefit because they’re getting advertising dollars from the businesses that are seeing all this attention from customers.

Um, “power is out” means no ads on TV or radio. And here is what Irma has done.

#NotFakeNews

The phrase “are you stoned, or just stupid, Rush?” comes to mind. The local media does not want a natural disaster. Nobody wants that. I worked for an “evil” mainstream media company during and after the Cedar fires. We worked through the choking smoke and our awesome distribution chain got the paper out to the locals as best we could despite massive evacuations and closed roads. Why? Strangely, people wanted to know where the fires were, when it was safe to return home and other useful information to keep people out of danger. I agree with the Washington Post:

To state the obvious, these are potentially dangerous comments from Limbaugh, who is based in Palm Beach, Fla. He is encouraging listeners who might be in Irma’s path not to take seriously the official guidance disseminated through the media.

People may die because of Rush and pals. First responders deserve better, and so do his listeners. And guess who else is saying this catastrophically stupid stuff?

More broadly, Limbaugh’s bad advice reveals the metastasizing nature of “fake news” attacks on the press, which have been led by President Trump. How did we get from Trump’s claim that he has “never seen more dishonest media than, frankly, the political media” to the idea that weather reports are phony, too?

Alex Jones might have something to do with it. The Infowars founder — who has an “amazing” reputation, according to Trump — has for years promoted the notion that the U.S. government possesses the power to conjure and control weather events. Just last week, as Hurricane Harvey battered Texas, Jones devoted part of his show to questioning why the government didn’t “use the technologies to kill [the storm] out in the gulf.”

The words “consider the source” are important. Alex Jones is not a credible source.  This paranoid nonsense is not what is happening. Irma the Cat 4 or 5 Hurricane is what is happening. A real meteorologist Ryan Maue explained on twitter:

Irma the Cat 4 or 5 hurricane is very real and deadly, Mr. Limbaugh. I am guessing you will get out of Palm Beach quickly when warned to do so, despite the smack talk. Again, for anyone in the likely impact zone, GET OUT when an evacuation is called. Prep as best you can, gather your paperwork, pets, irreplaceable things and be ready to go. Listen to the local media and your local law enforcement. They do not want to call your family to identify your remains. Really, they don’t. The first responders will be the ones trying to get to you in truly hazardous conditions…or more likely, find your body after the wind and waves subside.

Irma is no joke. Please stay safe and stay away from crap like Infowars and Limbaugh’s blathering. Ideally, Mr. Limbaugh & Mr. Jones should sit out Irma in the Palm Beach studio. But that is not fair to the first responders.

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3 Comments
  • Scott says:

    Gail,
    No argument that Jones is a joke, but though i’m not a big fan of Limbaugh, I know that much of what he says is tongue in cheek, to wind up those that dislike him. In addition, he’s not wrong that the media in general will “never let a crisis go to waste” and the theme of “if it bleeds, it leads” is definitely in play here. Another point he was making, that one of your fellow posters pointed out just now is that the media and govt who are true believers in the idea of man made climate change use events like this to stir panic and advance their agenda.
    Like I said, I’m not a huge fan of his, but please listen / read the transcripts of his shows before buying into what the left screams about him.

  • Maryann says:

    I lived in So Cal in the late 80’s early 90’s so I also experienced a few earthquakes and fires. I’ve been listening to Rush a couple times a week since the 80’s and find him to be a level headed guy. I heard his show the day he discussed Irma and felt he was merely trying to alleviate some of the panic felt over this hurricane. I think he has a point about the panic the media instills in the general public . Rush talked about the panic over bottled water. He made a perfectly logical observation. We have tap water. Buy a container and fill it! Problem solved. The media does benefit from their 24/7 news coverage of various disasters. Rush also explained what the hurricane graphics meant and the basic structure of the hurricane. He’s no meteorologist but I found it comforting and this situation will be easier to deal with without additional panic. Furthermore the pictures you show are from a tiny island with simple house construction.

  • Miguel says:

    There is a certain amount of truth on what Rush said. I am gonna give you an example: I am sure you are sick of hearing “Hurricane Irma has sustained speeds of 175 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend 50 miles out form the center of the eye.”

    Both statements are right but they are picturing a much bigger issue than reality shows.
    Hurricane-force winds include all speeds from Cat 1 to Cat 5 in this case. We are talking from 75 mph to the 175 mph. And although the winds by the wall of the eye are that high, the speeds decrease as they move away from the center.
    The eye of Irma went 50 miles north of Puerto Rico and they were subjected to sustained Tropical Storm winds, not even a Cat 1. Was there damage? yes. Cat 5 damage? nope.

    I am in Miami right now, shutters up, all the prep I can do is done and just waiting for the Hurricane and I am praying for the eye to pass 15-20 miles away from me. That would mean Cat 1 or Cat 2 winds which my house has sustained before without issue. Wilma was a Cat 3 and we did have some roof damage.
    Direct hit with a Cat 4 or 5? I really do not want to find out. We have great building codes in Miam, but I don’t think 175 mph winds were ever considered.

    PS: Preparation for Category 1 hurricanes in Miami consist mostly of rum and roasted pig. 😉

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