Hurricane Irene has passed my hometown in Virginia and my home for the last 13 years in New York. Thankfully, Northern Virginia and Brooklyn escaped most of the flooding and high winds.
Now, I’m seeing all over Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ that people are actually complaining that the storm wasn’t as bad as the media made us all expect. I even posted a blurb from Jeff Jarvis about the media screwing this one up. But did they?
I see things like “the media is scaring us into evacuating” and amusing little pictures posted of the “damage” caused in some nerighborhoods like a lawnchair in the pool or an overturned trash can. That may seem funny, but then I see pictures of cars floating in several feet of water and trees that fell into houses. In at least one case, a fallen tree killed a young boy.
I get that it’s fun to rash the media, and to parody their sensationalist style, but please keep in mind that this storm caused REAL damage to REAL people. There are still millions without power or water, thousands homeless because of the flooding, and hundreds injured or missing.
I’m pretty sure the same people making the snarky posts would be the same ones who would blame the government and media for inaction if the eastern seaboard turned into post-Katrina New Orleans.