Will Rips Irene Hype: Journalism 'Shouldn’t Contribute to the Manufacture of Synthetic Hysteria'

With Irene downgraded to a tropical storm, it is clear that this weather event has become another example of America's media hyping every potential crisis into a full-blown calamity before the fact.

Observing such was George Will on ABC's "This Week" Sunday who told his fellow panelists, "Whatever else you want to say about journalism, it shouldn’t subtract from the nation’s understanding and it certainly shouldn’t contribute to the manufacture of synthetic hysteria that is so much a part of modern life" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JAKE TAPPER, HOST: George, you think we’re making too big a deal of all this.

GEORGE WILL: I have a home on South Carolina’s Atlantic Coast. I know that the Atlantic Ocean generates hurricanes, and they can be dangerous and unpredictable. That said, this too must be said: Florence Nightingale said, “Whatever else you can say about hospitals, they shouldn’t make their patients sicker.” And whatever else you want to say about journalism, it shouldn’t subtract from the nation’s understanding and it certainly shouldn’t contribute to the manufacture of synthetic hysteria that is so much a part of modern life. And I think we may have done so with regard to this tropical storm as it now seems to be.

When you think about the unnecessary panic and fear ginned up by the media over what indeed turned into a tropical storm before it hit Manhattan, one has to wonder how much time and money was wasted in preparing for the hyped worst case scenario that fortunately never transpired.

Reminds you of 2009's predicted swine flu pandemic.

But maybe far more importantly, this event shows us how our current computer models can't accurately predict either the size, strength, or precise location of a hurricane within hours of it making landfall.

Yet we're supposed to radically change our entire economy over what computer models are forecasting regarding the impact carbon dioxide theoretically will have on the climate decades out.

We've just witnessed how media hype and hysteria concerning weather misleads the nation on events happening in days if not hours.

Shouldn't we be extraordinarily dubious about any calamity these same folks predict well into the future?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.