A hurricane of words
Here’s a perfect example of the hype that has filled the known universe for the last couple of days. It’s the lead paragraph of a Reuters article posted at 8:21 this evening and treated as the main story (“Storm Night”) at Drudge:
(Reuters) - Hurricane Irene charged up the U.S. East Coast on Saturday toward New York, shutting down the city, and millions of Americans sought shelter from a huge storm that halted transport and caused massive power blackouts.“Shutting down the city?” “Halting transport”? No, Irene hasn’t shut down the city or halted transport. Irene won’t even be in the city for another 11 hours. It was Mayor Bloomberg who shut down the city and halted transport, in anticipation of what Irene might do but no one knows if she will do.
Ninety percent of the coverage has been of this nature—hyped up verbiage about human fears, speculations, and preparations for a disaster that might happen, presented as though it were information about a disaster that is happening.
Where is the disaster? I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen TV reporters standing for hour after hour on rainy and windy beaches with higher than average surf, speaking in category 4 gusts of words that never convey any specific, concrete information about the storm and the catastrophe it is supposedly wreaking.