The Swine Flu Hurricane

Howard Kurtz is pissed that Hurricane Irene didn’t live up to its trailer:

Someone has to say it: cable news was utterly swept away by the notion that Irene would turn out to be Armageddon. National news organizations morphed into local eyewitness-news operations, going wall to wall for days with dire warnings about what would turn out to be a Category 1 hurricane, the lowest possible ranking. “Cable news is scaring the crap out of me, and I WORK in cable news,” Bloomberg correspondent Lizzie O’Leary tweeted.

Yes, well, a violent storm forecasted to visit one in five Americans certainly isn’t something to get excited about.

Chaos Theory, we learned over the weekend, was pioneered by Edward Norton Lorenz, a mathematician — and meteorologist. It was inspired by the weather. We also learned that hurricane forecasting accuracy has doubled over the past twenty years, at least regarding the path — and Irene traveled where it was expected.

Even the conditions for stronger winds prevailed as it was downgraded — the eye didn’t form as tight as it could have. The East Coast beat the odds, but the odds were very much in play.

So we’re not going to second-guess the forecasts, the coverage of the forecasts, or the consequences of the forecasts. In so many words, we don’t know shit.

And neither does Howard Kurtz.

A Hurricane of Hype [Daily Beast]

Wow, MSM. It sounds good to me.

I guess I’m a disaster half ruined kind of guy. I’d rather get an pleasant surprise than have something meet my unpleasant expectation.

Lots of folks use that as an excuse to throw caution to the 200 mph winds and pretend bad things won’t happen.

I am watching CBN and Pat Robertson this morning. Prayer is getting much of the credit for the hurricane category downgrade. The modern Sodom (despite equal marriage rights for teh geyz) was spared by God.

I’ve taken to listening to a German news station, to improve my vocab. It was there that I heard and mostly understood a story about NOAA potentially getting 30% of its budget cut because Republicans are faffing about like idiots, particularly in the face of this hurricane “debacle.” The reporter didn’t actually laugh, but you could feel the superior grin hiding below the surface.

Still no power or water. Liquor stores are open though unable to process charges. I heard of a woman traded her youngest child for the last case of cabernet. I’m huddled in a garage.

@Benedick: You get out of there at the first sign of cannibal anarchy.

@texrednface: Great googly-moogly. Why are you watching CBN? Are you being held hostage in some evangelical auto repair shop waiting room? Just say the word and we’ll conjure up a distraction so you can sneak out.

@Benedick: Oh, the humanity!

@FlyingChainSaw: But if it’s just regular anarchy, steal everything you can get your hands on.

@FlyingChainSaw: Too many vegetarians. Though if the humus supply gives out all bets are off.

I’m in the local B&N. It’s like the fall of Saigon with muzak.

Power company has announced that it will be late Sunday before power is back. Blaming the poor condition of the roads for the length of time. However, word in the PO is that we will be restored today. The village west of us was flooded and is a big med of mud. Going further west still, floods in the village we used to live in was on TV I’m told.

@Benedick: Sorry for your lost paradise. If any of the networks had half a brain, they’d rush a crew and a handful of aging hippies up there and stage a Return to Woodstock benefit. Just think of how much fun it would be recreating the mudslide scenes.

And we’re back!!!11!

Woodstock was pretty much unscathed apart from trees down and no power. Central Hudson customers (us) are back on up there and the crews have been fanning out from the main road. The festival didn’t actually happen here. It was 60 miles south in Bethel. Given the fact that you can’t change the color of your front door without first getting permission I doubt the village would go for a sequel. Hippies be damned.

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