Irene: A National Embarrassment
August 29, 2011
RUSH: Greetings to you, music lovers, thrill-seekers, conversationalists all across the fruited plain, El Rushbo back at it, in the saddle, ready for broadcast excellence, a full week of it here. (interruption) Why wouldn't it be a full week? What, are you thinking an earthquake or something is gonna happen? Was there a hurricane? That was a hurricane? Really? They called it a hurricane. I gotta be very, very careful about this because Vermont is flooded. For you people that haven't heard of it, Vermont is a state, and there's a city there called Montpelier, and it's underwater, and Brattleboro is underwater. This is more of a flooding and power outage storm than it was a windstorm.
Politics is part of everything. The weather's been politicized; the climate's been politicized; hurricane track forecasts have been politicized. I was over in Hawaii, and they said, "Okay, Hurricane Irene," and start the first tracks, and I looked at it because if it's gonna target my house I gotta leave Hawaii early and come home and get the family out. So I'm looking at it and, lo and behold, on the first day or two of the track, dead hit Palm Beach. I said, "Okay, we're out of the woods. Ain't gonna happen." I know damn well it's not gonna happen. They're gonna move that track, they're gonna be moving it east. I'm looking at hurricane models and they've got the track on the far left side of the model guidance, they've gotta have this track over land, over populated areas to get people to pay attention to it. After Hurricane Katrina, everybody is just on politically correct alert, fearful.
The funniest thing -- there are so many funny things -- television networks went out and actually got Ray Nagin as a preparedness expert to advise other communities in the path of Hurricane Irene what to do to get ready. What's he gonna tell 'em? "Leave your school buses parked so that they get flooded?" There was damage from this thing, but it was not nearly as bad as they said. Some guy did something interesting and I decided to check it myself. He's a doubter, and he's watching the reports of 75 to 85 to a hundred-mile-an-hour winds in Virginia and North Carolina. So he went to the Weather Underground site, and he went to a bunch of cities and towns that were where the hurricane was, and the highest wind speed he could find was 33-miles-an-hour, while they're reporting 75 to 85 to 95-mile-an-hour winds.
So I said, "I'm gonna check myself." I went to Weather Underground and I went to places like New Bern, North Carolina, and Goldsboro, North Carolina, Virginia Beach, and, lo and behold, the guy was right. I found a town where the wind was eight miles an hour while they were reporting hurricane winds of in excess of 80 miles an hour. The Grim Reaper, Geraldo, you saw this Saturday night, out in a little mist in the streets of New York City, abandon this mayor telling everybody to get out of town. Folks, I tell you, it was a storm, but, my gosh, the overreaction, the politics. The New York Times is trying to say that this violent hurricane is indeed indicative of global warming. It was a tropical storm when it left New York. I have friends in Connecticut. They were bull's-eye in the path and they're out there waiting for the winds and they're waiting for the winds and there weren't any winds and they finally went out and they staged some pictures of barely holding on to lampposts and so forth.
There wasn't any wind. It was a rainstorm and there was a lot of flooding and there were deaths associated with it, but the hype, folks, I'll tell you what this was. It was a lesson, if you pay any attention to this, the hype, the desire for chaos, I mean literally, the media desire for chaos was a great learning tool, this was a great illustration of how all of the rest of the media in news, in sports, has templates and narratives and exaggerates beyond reality, creating fear so as to create interest. Anderson Cooper, I think we got sound bites somewhere, I got so many sound bites, no way I can keep track of what's where here, but there's a sound bite we have of Anderson Cooper in a light rain being told by Jacqui Jeras, the weather babe at CNN, that he is in the worst of the hurricane and he's like, "Really? I mean it's barely raining here." "Yeah, well, Anderson, you're in the worst of it there," and he can't believe it.
Folks, it was a national embarrassment, the hype over this hurricane. I'm gonna tell you something else. Obama comes off a vacation to lead his nation through the response to Hurricane Irene, to draw contrast with Bush and Katrina, part of the reelection effort. Speaking of Obama, he and Michelle, there's something up, folks. I don't like commenting on this kind of stuff, but they went to Martha's Vineyard, same day, four hours apart on different airplanes, on their vacation. There are stories throughout the media about Michelle spending money like there's no tomorrow. Ten million on one vacation. But she leaves four hours early -- now, it's fine if they're paying, but they're not. The optics here as they now say about Michelle (My Belle) are not the best.
But this hype over Hurricane Irene is a national embarrassment. The media, the government are out there peddling fear when facts and calm would make for much better investments and would result in much more credibility for these people reporting this stuff. I'm gonna tell you something, Hurricane Obama -- whatever Irene's gonna cost us, it pales in comparison to the hurricane of the Obama administration. The Obama administration's hurricane has cost us far more, and Byron York, while I was gone, great story, fabulous story on the source of all this deficit spending under Obama, the $4 trillion of new spending. Everybody's focused on entitlements and he correctly points out, it's not entitlements that have busted the budget here. Entitlements are known, the spending and entitlements are known. What's been added to the entitlements is where we're in trouble. The purposeful spending, the stimulus, the Porkulus, the TARP, all of these things above and beyond the entitlements.
Now, one of the tricks is to distract people from that and get them focused on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, as the source of the problem -- and they're problems that have to be dealt with, but they are not the culprit here; Obama is. And all the focus on, "He's not serious about entitlement reform," well, that's simply a way to distract people away from what Obama has actually done. This is just another media frenzy without any results, just like the Obama presidency. Look at it this way: Obama's economy has millions of people out of work, millions more living paycheck to paycheck, millions are getting deeper in debt as every month passes. So all it takes is an unexpected expense (say, for example, a heavy rain) to sink the family ship.
Oh, and, by the way, there's a story that has the Drive-Bys all excited: "Consumer spending way up!" Yeah. It's called back to school? Happens every year? Uh, nothing new here. There's not a trend. Celinda Lake, pollster extraordinaire, Democrat Party: 10% chance the Democrats will ask Obama to step down, do an LBJ. A 10% chance. Celinda Lake, she's part of the Battleground poll team with Ed Goeas, very respected. Gallup poll: Obama at 38%; 63% disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy -- and make no mistake, that remains the story. By the way, Politico, Jonathan Martin, story: "Is Rick Perry Dumb?"
This is a recycle. It's the same thing they tried against Ronaldus Magnus back in 1979, 1980: "Is Ronald Reagan Dumb?" It's amazing. Nothing new. Media cycles, media templates, media narratives are being repeated, recycled. Here it is, French News Agency: "Obama Takes Charge at Hurricane Command Center -- US president Barack [Hussein Obama! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!] on Saturday personally led his government's response to Hurricane Irene, marshaling top officials and visiting a disaster command center as the storm roared ashore. Obama returned home one night early on Friday from his island vacation and appeared keen to be visibly in charge as the response to Hurricane Irene unfolded."
So the fix is in, the campaign's underway.
RUSH: The guy that was tracking wind speeds in hurricane locations intrigued me, and I went and checked it myself. The media and the National Hurricane Center were reporting 75- to 95-mile-an-hour sustained winds. Not gusts, sustained winds. Do you know what the sustained winds in Central Park were? Sixteen miles an hour. They were 16 to 18 miles an hour. Now, that's... Folks, that is a huge, huge gap. Now, you in this audience -- because of me being host -- know how the media lies. You know how politicized everything is to push the leftist agenda. You know how the media extorts. But I'm gonna tell you something about the hysterical reporting on Irene.
They couldn't wait for this storm! Obama... I'll guarantee you this. I'll guarantee you Obama was hoping this is gonna be a disaster, as another excuse for his failing economy. I mean, if he's out there blaming tsunamis -- if he's blaming earthquakes, and whatever other natural disasters there are -- this one was made to order. But it just didn't measure up. Now, you know how they lie and distort, but I'll tell you the hysterical reporting on this hurricane has exposed the media to many people who might not have really noticed it before. For instance, our old buddy Shep Smith at Fox News was gloating that all the people who said that Irene would hit New York City as a tropical storm, you were wrong.
He was just waiting for it -- and you know, Shep's been through natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina and so forth. He claimed the winds were 75 miles an hour, which made it a hurricane. But again I checked NOAA; I checked Weather Underground. The wind speeds were 16 to 18 miles an hour. This was another media frenzy without results, just like the Obama presidency. The real category five here is Obama, when you boil it all down. One of my favorite quotes from the weekend came from Shepard Smith on Sunday morning. He said, "Just as expected, the rainfall totals are lower than expected." Just like the employment numbers are always "lower than expected." Not one thing that was forecast about this turned out to be accurate, except they get the track right. They got the track right, but the intensity and everything else was totally, totally blown. You know, it's a national embarrassment, folks. It really is.
RUSH: Here's that Anderson Cooper bite from Sunday morning on CNN Sunday, during coverage of Hurricane Irene. The meteorologist is Jacqui Jeras, and she talking to Anderson Cooper 29 host, Anderson Cooper.
JERAS: I think, overall, we're gonna be experiencing the worst of those conditions now.
COOPER: All right. So, uh, I mean the -- the good news is that it's... I mean, it's an annoying rain but it's not... It's not even a sideways rain. It's not a rain that hurts, uh, as you -- as you're standing in it.
RUSH: So she tells Anderson Cooper that he's standing in the worst of the hurricane and he can't believe it. It's not even a hard rain. So he had to cover for it somehow. So you had Governor Christie in New Jersey telling people, "Get the hell off the beach!" You had reporters out in the middle of the street warning everybody it was Armageddon, while pizza delivery guys are on bicycles behind 'em; and people walking down the streets, people in their cars. Casinos in New Jersey were closed for the first time more than 35 years, it turns out for no reason whatsoever. All this hype, all this panic, all this helplessness.
We're gonna die!
I'll tell you, folks, it's an embarrassment to me. The whole thing was an embarrassment, and at the same time I was laughing about the whole thing.
RUSH: We're gonna start in Ocean Town, New Jersey. Eli, great to have you on the program, sir. You are a up first today. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Great to speak to you Rush. Just a quick point. I think it's actually a quite incredible point. This whole storm thing, I think it proves one point, and that is: You repeat saying something enough times, everyone believes you. You can say the same thing over and over and over, and then we look outside it's hardly raining, and they're like, "Oh, my God, it's a hurricane! It's a hurricane," and there was nothing even there the whole time.
RUSH: Yeah, I wonder how many people did believe it.
CALLER: Well, I don't know. With all those people talking, and you see what's going on with Obama, how he becomes president? It's the same thing. They say the same things over and over. "It's this guy's full, that guy's fault," and then that's it. You become president.
RUSH: Yeah, I know, but that's what I said at the top of the program: The disparity between the truth of what this hurricane was and the forecast and the prediction was so great, that even people who pay scant attention are talking about this now. This is a huge discussion item. "What hurricane? How can they say this? Seventy-five, 80-mile-an-hour winds? There weren't any. Maybe at flight level three-oh, who knows?" You know what? You know how they even started excusing this? I know this is true, but I had never heard this as part of official hurricane center warnings. As the storm Irene approached New York, they started hedging their bets. "Well, you know, on the street level the winds may not be bad, but you get up 30 stories? Now we're talking. The stronger winds in this storm are at the higher altitudes: 30 stories, like 300 feet or 350 feet. The winds might be 20, 30% stronger up there." Of course there won't be anybody up there to know because they've all been evacuated or what have you. I think, by the same token, the exaggeration and the large gap between truth, reality, and fiction is such that a lot of people will now start asking the same questions about general news reporting.
RUSH: So we're supposed to believe all these weather people about global warming, when they are willing to lie to us about something as obvious as a hurricane. Folks, it was right out there for everybody to see. I mean this hurricane was not what we were told it was. They continued to tell us something that wasn't true. We could all see it. I mean I find myself watching the coverage and laughing. I'm watching Fox, they got their in-studio anchors, and they're throwing it to John Roberts, who's standing on the beach in North Carolina in the middle of a hurricane, and there isn't any wind. His hair is not even mussed and there's a few sprinkles. And yet the commentary is about how disastrous it is.
I'll tell you where it was disastrous. Inland. It was not a coastal storm. It was an inland storm. You go inland in North Carolina, farms were destroyed and flooded. Ditto parts of Virginia. This was a flooding, and there's still a lot of people without power. You go to Vermont, underwater. It was not a coastal destructive hurricane storm. This was a rainstorm. But ever since Hurricane Katrina and the success they had in politicizing that, every subsequent hurricane has been looked upon as a political opportunity by people in the media, and I don't care if they're weather people, if they're sports people, or if their news people, they're liberals. If they're journalists, they're liberals. They politicize everything.