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False Alarms

The RNC changed it’s itinerary for what was supposed to be a category 5 Hurricane that was supposed to finish off what Katrina started three years ago. I wrote then that the way the anticipation of Katrina was displayed on the 24 hour channels made me think that they wanted it to be devastating. Katrina hit land as a category 3 (sorry Al Gore but it was not a 5) caused the Mississippi to swell which then toppled the levees in New Orleans which were never maintained by the city officials that were supposed to inspect it. We know how the story progressed from there as the city itself degenerated into a Hobbesian state of nature (it also gave me a great example to use when I taught Hobbes).

Anyway Gustav was not Katrina. Much to the disappointment of the News coverage which seems to relish in disaster and human misery. Media focii always seems to be on the negative giving some people the impression that the world is much more cruel than it really is. I understand, to a limited extent, why this is: you get more ratings/sales out of the extraordinary than you do the ordinary. Sometimes showcasing failure leads to change, in this instance the sensationalistic coverage of what was potentially Katrina II: Gustav boogaloo, probably led to the government reacting in a much more appropriate manner than they did last go around.

Still, the legions of reporters, camera men, and sattelite trucks sent to New Orleans means that the press expected something to happen. Or else why would they spend the money? It’s good that nothing happened since the city has yet to recover from the last disaster.

In the end the press got its just dessert. Finally it was a victim of its own hype, perhaps it is too much to hope for, but maybe this will calm them down for awhile. The downside: we get to hear whining from the Republicans about how no one has paid attention to their convention. I guess all the soft balling from the press these last couple of years gets them a karmic response.

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