The liberal media lashed into Rush Limbaugh over a Tuesday monologue about hurricanes and the media. He lamented how even the weather has been corrupted and politicized by the media as a way to promote panic over “climate change.”
“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.”
The most prominent critic was NBC weatherman Al Roker -- a champion at climate change panic -- who drew headlines by harshly attacking Limbaugh on Twitter:
Neither of these tweets stand up to an actual reading of the Tuesday Limbaugh transcript. Read it. Nowhere did Limbaugh say Hurricane Irma was "fake" or "not a dangerous storm." He never told anyone to "ignore" the forecasts. No one should expect the liberals at PolitiFact/PunditFact to award Roker with a big "FALSE" on the "Truth-o-Meter." But he deserves one.
As for the "profit" part, Limbaugh also drew media ire for suggesting the local media and local advertisers profit from driving panic about an incoming storm: "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."
Limbaugh told listeners that you can't find any bottled water in his Palm Beach area, days before an accurate storm track. He talked about his experience of living in Florida since 1997 and he wasn't just talking about Irma, or Harvey, but about both the storm forecasts that are real, and those that turned out to be overhyped, because the hurricane track moved or the storm weakened.
But the media always take offense when someone says they profit from tragedy. Broadcasting before a hurricane or a snowstorm is a public service....and it naturally causes a big ratings increase. It naturally also causes a run on the stores for supplies. All of that is true. It's just....insensitive to suggest anyone consciously benefits from tragedy -- or the fear of tragedy. As the old Don Henley song "Dirty Laundry" implied, the media thrive daily on the worst news...because it's much more interesting than planes landing safely on time.
The Left certainly accused the major media of putting profit ahead of stopping the election of President Trump. Was that a bizarre conspiracy theory, that the media's dramatic and heavy coverage of Trump meant profit came ahead of public service?
On Wednesday's show, Limbaugh shot back at "Al Joker" and at Washington Post blogger Callum Borchers, who wrote under the fake-news headline “Rush Limbaugh’s Dangerous Suggestion that Hurricane Irma Is Fake News.”
Now, any of you listening to this program 24 hours ago, did I ever say the hurricane wasn’t there? Did I ever say it wasn’t a big storm? Did I ever call it fake news? I didn’t do any of that. I’m convinced Borchers didn’t even listen. He may have read a transcript out of context from a reporting site or whatever. All I did was tell you how the world works....
I did not say anything yesterday that was untrue. Nor did I tell people not to worry, nor did I tell people not to be concerned, nor did I say that the hurricane is fake news, and I didn’t say the Deep State is steering it. They did! The left had people saying that George W. Bush wanted Hurricane Katrina to ravage Louisiana to rid it of Democrats. They do these things. So that’s that.
Liberals who are outraged about charges of "fake news" really ought to be more careful about their facts than Roker and Borchers. When Limbaugh defenders shot back that Rush was right in his general critique, Roker tweeted back with an emotional appeal, which liberals often do when they're challenged on the facts: