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Irene Coverage: Too Much, or Just Right?

Posted by Dale Buss on August 30, 2011 12:00 PM

The great hurricane of last weekend has left a mess in its wake. We're not talking about Irene -- this is all about the media coverage of the storm as Irene pulled a veni, vidi, vici act that was unparalleled in the annals of weather examination. And the mess it left? An unresolvable controversy over whether the hurricane coverage was all too much, or whether you never can have enough.

George Will dubbed it "synthetic hysteria," and Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast made no bones. "Someone has to say it: cable news was utterly swept away by the notion that Irene would turn out to be Armageddon," Kurtz concluded. The Washington Post's former media critic wrote that "the tsunami of hype on this story was relentless, a Category 5 performance that was driven in large measure by ratings" because TV producers were afraid to switch away from 24x7 coverage of Irene. "Does anyone seriously believe the hurricane would have drawn the same level of coverage if it had been bearing down on, say, Ft. Lauderdale?" Continue reading...

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