The Other McCain

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Dianna Survived the Hurricane

Posted on | August 31, 2023 | Comments Off on Dianna Survived the Hurricane

Storm damage in Valdosta

Seeing coverage of Hurricane Idalia on Wednesday, I saw that once it came inland north of Tampa, its path was aimed directly at Valdosta, Georgia, where my friend and podcasting partner Dianna Deeley lives.

“Are you there? Are you underwater?” I said when she answered, but there was no gurgling sound and, despite the breathless hurricane hype on CNN, the damage around Valdosta was not a historical cataclysm. It was windy and rainy and the electricity went out for a while, but the local death toll seems to have been exactly onesomebody got killed when a tree fell on their car. This is a bad thing, but the way TV news was reporting Hurricane Idalia, you might have thought it was going to wipe half the state of Florida and parts of Georgia completely off the map.

Hurricane hype in the media is, of course, politically motivated: Climate change is to blame for this devastation, the audience is told, and because hurricanes generally hit in the Southeastern states — the most Republican part of the country — the TV anchors are almost gleeful at the thought of nature taking its revenge on those ignorant racist Bible-thumping “climate deniers” with their big gas-guzzling trucks.

It’s about the narrative, you see, and the fact that Hurricane Idalia hit Florida, ruled by Evil Right-Wing Gov. Ron DeSantis — well, of course, everybody at CNN wanted the storm to be world-historic in terms of its deadly impact. And alas, their hopes were disappointed:

Two men died on Wednesday morning as Hurricane Idalia struck Florida.
Florida Highway Patrol said both victims were killed in separate car crashes as the powerful storm brought torrential rain and strong wind gusts to Florida.
A 59-year-old Gainesville man was driving in “extremely rainy conditions” on State Road 20 around 6 a.m. when he struck a tree after veering into a ditch near Southeast 60th Terrace, FHP told ABC affiliate WCJR-TV, The Orlando Sentinel and Fox affiliate WOFL-TV.
A 40-year-old man was killed about 15 minutes later on St. Joe Road in Pasco County when he drove his Ford Ranger “too fast for conditions,” lost control and also struck a tree, the agency told WOFL-TV, NBC News and The Sentinel.

Two people — exactly two — killed in Florida. Not quite the kind of UNPRECEDENTED DEADLY DEVASTATION the media had been eagerly awaiting. Better luck next time, guys.



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