Hurricane Florence started out as a Category 4. By the time it reached North Carolina it had been downgraded to a Category 2, then a Category 1. It is now called Tropical Storm Florence. Florence has fizzled.
Throughout this past week, the Florence story received massive national “news” coverage, even though it was only a regional event. So naturally, all good “conspiracy theorists” ponder the anomaly of a regional event which fizzled but nonetheless received enormous national coverage.
My number 1 theory is P.R. (Public Relations) for newsfakers. Newsfakers are esteemed even less than congress critters these days, and that’s pretty low. How to boost public estimation of newsfakers? Answer: You put them right in the middle of Florence, heroically risking their lives just so you can receive the story. Many of the Florence “news” reports featured live ground-zero coverage, with a newsfaker wearing rain gear and being blown by fierce winds. And you thought they were gutless fakes! Well, think again, Mr. and Mrs. America.
Another theory, promoted by Rush Limbaugh and others, is the excessive Florence coverage has a “global warming” subtext. The “climate change” deniers, including especially President Trump, are partly responsible for hurricanes, is the hidden theme behind the overabundance of attention paid to a regional story.
Another of my theories for the Florence Fluenza this past week is an individualism versus collectivism subtext. “Evacuate!” cried the collectivist authorities. But some persons, individualists, ignored the collectivists and chose to shelter in place. To this, the collectivists responded, “Okay, but you are now no longer under the protection of the Almighty Collective.” In other words, the individualist shelter-in-place people were told, “If you call for help, we won’t be able to assist you.”
One last thing: What about the people who don’t have cars? How are they supposed to evacuate? Many live a hand-to-mouth existence and owning a car is beyond their means. They cannot afford to pack up a car, travel up into the mountains, and rent a motel room – especially since the avalanche of evacuees has decreased supply of motel rooms and jacked-up prices.