What he said was factual, but — as in the case of much of what is factual — it created a firestorm, or a hurricane, if you prefer, of grief. On Tuesday, as the forecast tracks of Hurricane Irma predicted a bludgeoning by the storm of southern Florida by the end of the weekend, Rush Limbaugh made a few observations about the nature of local TV news and its commercialization and sensationalism, not to mention politicization, and how those trends play out with a hurricane on its way.
Limbaugh noted that bottled water is more or less completely sold out of every store in the greater Miami area thanks to a non-stop diet of near-hysterical media coverage of Irma, and noted that tap water is a perfectly good alternative to bottled water — it’ll even go into the empty plastic bottles everyone throws away! — in a pinch. He also noted that the creation of panic among the citizenry satisfies a chunk of the media business model, to wit…
Now, in the official meteorological circles, you have an abundance of people who believe that man-made climate change is real. And they believe that Algore is correct when he has written — and he couldn’t be more wrong — that climate change is creating more hurricanes and stronger hurricanes. And, of course, when Harvey hit, it was the first hurricane that had hit in 12 years. There haven’t been more hurricanes and no more dangerous than any others in previous years.
But it doesn’t matter because the bias is built in. So there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere. All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.
Now, how do you do this? Well, any number of ways. Let’s take south Florida television, for example. 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?
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.
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.
Nothing about this is made-up, in fact it’s all quite commonsense. But it’s an indictment of the corruption of the modern mainstream media, and the checkbook journalism so infecting local TV news, and therefore it can’t be abided.
So Limbaugh was attacked. How was he attacked? How do you think? Obviously, Rush Limbaugh, who lives and works in southern Florida, doesn’t care about hurricanes and thinks Irma is Fake News.
Which isn’t what he said at all. To the contrary, what Limbaugh effectively said is that creating a panic makes for less orderly hurricane preparations.
This isn’t a particularly partisan opinion, by the way — it’s the same line of thinking Houston’s Democrat mayor Sylvester Turner was guided by when he cautioned the people of his city not to attempt a mass evacuation as Hurricane Harvey bore down on Houston a week earlier. Turner knew that a scramble onto Houston’s roadways would make for a potential disaster as snarled traffic blocked egress, a threat which had been proven in advance of Hurricane Rita’s near-miss of the city in 2005. Then, the roads were clogged for 24 hours, cars ran out of gas, and some 100 died in the heat and stress of a failed evacuation. Turner knew a repeat of the Rita debacle with a storm arriving to drop some 20 trillion gallons of rain on the proceedings could lead to roadside drownings by the hundreds, and he cautioned against it.
That likely saved lives, though the death toll in Houston will surely mount as more and more houses are examined now that the waters have receded. Sometimes it’s better to keep people sane rather than “woke” to the dangers, although sanity doesn’t get ratings.
While we’re on the subject of sanity, or the lack thereof, did you see Cecile Richards’ reaction to the Trump Administration’s decision on DACA? That was a hoot coming from the head of America’s largest abortion provider. “Here at Planned Parenthood, we firmly believe that every person has the right to live, work, and raise a family freely and without the threat of deportation or separation,” she said.
The right to live, huh? That, or maybe the right to have one’s body parts sold off at a profit. Either way…
Here’s your Feel-Good News Story of the week…
On Wednesday, 47 leaders of conservative nonprofits sent an open letter to the media warning against using the notorious “hate map” put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The leaders denounced any news organization that would cite the SPLC’s list of “extremists” and “hate groups” as if it carried moral authority. “The SPLC is an attack dog of the political left” and should be treated as such, the leaders wrote.
“To associate public interest law firms and think tanks with neo-Nazis and the KKK is unconscionable, and represents the height of irresponsible journalism,” the leaders declared. “All reputable news organizations should immediately stop using the SPLC’s descriptions of individuals and organizations based on its obvious political prejudices.”
Among those signing that letter were some relatively heavy hitters like Brent Bozell, Tony Perkins, Frank Gaffney, Brigitte Gabriel and Edwin Meese.
We can’t say that this will turn the tide against the SPLC, but every little bit helps. The proof in SPLC’s pudding is the fact that they have zero political influence in Alabama, where they’re based, and that’s not because Alabama is racist — the Democrats in Alabama don’t listen to SPLC. They raise all of their money from outside the state and outside the South, for that matter, and their “hate map” is driven by fundraising rather than anything else. If that’s not enough of a tell for you, then feel free to note their refusal to name Antifa as a hate group.
And speaking of SPLC’s funds, how come so many of those dollars are parked offshore? Maybe the IRS ought to be paying as much attention to these people as it did to the Tea Party.
Has anyone else come to the conclusion we are out of time with respect to North Korea? I hope I’m wrong, and I’ve written in the past that “winning” a war with North Korea in the best possible circumstances is still so unpalatable as to justify a degree of reticence bordering on cowardice with respect to military action there. But if the Kim regime in Pyongyang is marrying intercontinental ballistic missiles with hydrogen bombs small enough to use as warheads, it’s no longer a matter of discussion with the Japanese and South Koreans over how best to protect their security as an ally — it now becomes a matter of American survival
Kim Jong Un cannot be allowed to take out an American city, or even to take down the electrical grid along the West Coast with a high-altitude EMP strike. That isn’t a threat we can ignore.
But we can’t just willy-nilly decapitate the regime, either. Somehow the Chinese must be made to understand they can either choose a productive trading relationship with the U.S. and our allies, or maintaining the Kim regime as an unstable cat’s-paw. That’s the only way to resolve this crisis without ending up with millions of dead, and at this point there is little reason to believe China will suddenly play a constructive role.
Finally, there is Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, who says he got apprehended by police in Las Vegas after the Floyd Mayweather-Connor MacGregor fight because he was black.
And also because he was in a club where there was a shooting, the police were called about an active shooter, Bennett was seen crouching behind a gaming machine as the police were attempting to identify the shooter and Bennett took off on a dead run after being seen by the police, exited the club, and jumped over a wall before he was apprehended.
But mostly because Bennett, who by the way refuses to stand for the National Anthem before Seahawks games, was black. Certainly.