HURRICANE DORIAN: How the media failed their audience by hyping the superstorm

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Media Manipulation of Hurricane Dorian

 — Testing Public Emergency Response —

by Renee Parsons

As Hurricane Dorian approached the Bahamas, the mainstream media scared the hell out of thousands of Floridians as they trembled with the forecast of a calamitous weather scenario about to ravage the entire east coast.  Intimidated by the power of the storm and their own lack of hurricane smarts, their trepidation was understandable since the MSM can take credit for assorted faulty disasters like WMD’s in Iraq, Russian collusion influencing the 2016 election and the complexity of 911 was accomplished by unemployed Saudi Arabian wanna-be pilots armed with box cutters.

In other words, since only 6% of the American public have confidence in the MSM to provide objective factual reporting, can we realistically expect the media to report on whether an extreme weather disturbance is geo-engineered  by pulsing microwave transmissions or a true phenomena of Mother Nature and how would the public know the difference?   

Before the next potential weather cataclysm is upon us, it would behoove citizens to do their own due diligence to determine for themselves if a hurricane’s path is a real threat, the result of media hoopla or one meant to frighten the public into fear and submission.   

With their storm shutters firmly screwed on, thousands of Florida’s east coast residents lived in a cave for the first few days of September before they realized that Hurricane Dorian’s category 5 storm was not going to materialize as the Weather Channel and MSM meteorologists predicted.  Dorian’s assault on the Bahamas notwithstanding, the Greatest Hurricane Ever was down graded to a category 3 and then to a tropical storm avoiding landfall along the Florida coast.    

As it turned out, there was no need to suffer through the ad nauseam media hubris and bluster as stressed out residents could have tuned into the National Hurricane Center (NHC) maps or the Hurricane.Terrapin.com (HT) storm track plot.  Both sites provided accurate detailed information  clarifying some of the MSM’s problematic predictions and demonstrated that Dorian’s ‘Eye’; that is the Eye wall, potentially the most damaging part of any hurricane, was never directly threatening the Florida coast.   Barring a last-minute shift in direction, the Eye wall was not going to make landfall and instead would take its treacherous low pressure area out to sea.   The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale identifies an ‘absolute devastation” event as “in the path of the Eye of a landfall Category 5”.   In the case of Dorian, Category 5 was not traveling the same path as the Eye as the NHC and HT clearly demonstrated.    

However, little, if any, of that crucial information was conveyed to millions of anxious Floridians who were left with the belief that an ominous Category 5 was imminently about to destroy their homes along with the entire coastline.  It is true that hurricanes, like the weather and climate in general, may be notoriously unpredictable, always shifting and changing but both of the aforementioned websites offered alternative factual basis for the storm’s evolution into a less threatening tropical storm.

Nor was any mainstream  explanation offered that as Category 5 is identified as one band of weather, it naturally follows that there will be a downgrade to Cat 4 and so on down the line as both NHC and NT provided estimates of how and when those downgrades were expected to occur.

When the storm stalled, just after passing through the Bahamas, the media continued to report on the stall as “dangerous” while weather professionals confirmed that Dorian’s stall was indicative of an imminent northward shift which is exactly what happened; thus changing the entire forecast for the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.  None of that made it into the mainstream news until it was embarrassingly obvious that Dorian was not cooperating in fulfilling its earlier pessimistic predictions.

In the future, would-be meteorologists might be interested in tracking a storm’s direction by monitoring its longitude and latitude comparing Dorian in the Bahamas to those potentially threatened communities.  For instance, if Dorian had stayed on a westward track after the Bahamas, it would have come in at the Jupiter Inlet but it stalled out in preparation for its northward shift, just as the HT’s track plot had always predicted.   

Here are two examples of ‘fake news’ broadcast on live tv by the mainstream media hyperventilating on a storm’s local impacts:

* In 2011 NBC’s Matt Lauer was interviewing a reporter about Hurricane Irene’s ‘severe flooding’ along the Passaic River in NJ as she was paddling a canoe when two men wearing waders nonchalantly ambled through the interview scene with the alleged flooded river barely up to their ankles.   

* In 2018 during Hurricane Florence, the Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel was allegedly braving   furious winds and struggling to stay upright as he proclaimed “this is about as nasty as it’s been when two men in bermuda shorts casually strolled into view behind Seidel. 

If the mainstream media will deceive the American public on weather forecasting, why should they be trusted to truthfully report on issues of greater magnitude?   

So how did the establishment media get the forecast so consistently askew when they had access to the same information that any inquisitive Floridian had access to?  You already know the answer:  a bevy of television personalities (aka meteorologists) were scripted to present a version of extreme weather events in order to enhance audience ratings and thereby assure an increase in advertising revenue. as well as exhibit how easily an emergency can be used to control the population. 

It is not a stretch that long time Floridians who have experienced multiple hurricane threats over the years may exhibit  PTSD symptoms with an irrational anxiety or an overwhelming sense of panic as living through a real robust hurricane is not a normal life experience – all of which makes it easier to negatively influence those vulnerable citizens.   

It is interesting to note that the Weather Channel television network (formerly owned by Bain Capitol, Comcast et al) was sold recently to Entertainment Studios which focuses on lifestyle programming such as pets, recipes and cars rather than science.  That sale says something about the commitment to provide scientifically authenticated weather forecasts.   Inexplicably the Weather Channel’s digital assets, its app and website, were not included in the Entertainment Studios $300 million purchase as they were acquired by IBM in 2016.  Separate corporate ownership using the same Weather Channel name leaves open the question as how each entity serves the greater public good as they compete for headlines, ratings and advertising revenue. 

In case you had not noticed, there is a concerted effort to dominate an unsuspecting and unquestioning American public with a very specific reality that requires a consistent unanimity of thought.  That reality is necessary to continue the wars and global military dominance,  to create severe economic disturbance and disparities; a reality that relies on disinformation and hypocrisy while stirring citizens into a frenzied level of confusion, worry and anxiety about the future.  A distracted population living on the edge is more easily stage managed to accept a further loss of civil liberties than a politically informed, diligent population of infinite consciousness.   

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31

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