What if the Weather Channel covered hurricanes the way that CNN covers political campaigns?
STEVE SOLOMON: Claims of serious destruction from Florida's east coast continue to come in to our Weather Channel Storm Center, as Hurricane Frances is reported to be slowly approaching land. Cynthia?
CYNTHIA MACKLEVOY: Steve, I have with me Jonathon Tigers from the National Hurricane Center in Washington and Simon Garthome from the Florida Emergency Preparedness Agency in Tallahassee. Mr Tigers, what can you tell us at this hour?
JONATHON TIGERS: Well, Cynthia, Hurricane Frances is moving toward the west-northwest at nearly 8 miles per hour. The western portion of the eyewall has already moved well inland over portions of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties, and a continued west-northwestwward motion is expected to move the entire eye of the hurricane inland by sunrise Sunday. However, we are urging the residents in the eye of Frances to remain safe inside wherever they have found shelter, since the easterm half of the eye is accompanied by hurricane force winds which can be very dangerous. We expect that it may take 1 to 3 hours...
SIMON GARTHOME: Cynthia, can I interrupt here to say that we in the Emergency Preparedness Agency are concerned about these wild accusations being thrown about by the radical meteorologists of the National Hurricane Center. We are keeping a close watch on this storm with our own very objective and professional team of weather guys and gals, and while we certainly think it's always a good idea to come in out of the rain, we really can't see what the advantage is of scaring the public with these hurricane horror stories.
MACKLEVOY: Mr. Tigers?
TIGERS: Uh... well, I'm not sure what Mr. Garthome is referring to, we, uh... you can clearly see the extent of the storm on the radar display behind me, and...
MACKLEVOY: But isn't it true, Mr. Tigers, that concerns have been raised that these reports, which are after all coming from a government agency, are simply the usual output of bureaucrats intent on doing everything possible to save their jobs, which are under the knife due to the administration's cut backs? Don't you believe that the public has a right to know that your so-called "Hurricane Reports" might well be misleading?
TIGERS: Gee.. I wasn't prepar... I thought I would read these flood warnings and wind advisories, and ... you see we're pretty much focused on this storm and I haven't heard....
GARTHOME: Cynthia, if I may, it's clear that Mr. Tigers and his people are not really able to tell us with 100% percent certainty what the weather will be on even a normal, regular day. We've all seen the reports in the newspapers, many times based almost entirely on the so-called "reports" from Mr. Tigers' agency, which say "Sunny and warm today" and we go outside and we get rained on. I mean, that's happened to everyone, it's an everyday occurence in this country. So if they can't predict the normal...
TIGERS: Well, look...
GARTHOME: May I finish please sir? I didn't interrupt you?
MACKLEVOY: Go ahead, Mr. Garthome.
GARTHOME: If they can't predict the normal, everyday American weather, why the heck should we believe that they can know with the accuracy and precision they claim they have where a so-called storm like Frances really is? Sure, we see pictures from somewhere which they say are coming from Florida, but we don't know where those pictures are originating from, what studio in Hollywood, using what sophisticated technologies.
MACKLEVOY: Mr. Tigers? These claims are out there, don't you think they should be addressed?
TIGERS: Well, look, I think it's important that the people of Florida know about this. I mean, maximum sustained winds for this storm remain near 105 miles per hour with higher gusts, and little change in its strength is expected, and that's going to cause...
GARTHOME: These are wreckless and dangerous claims that could cause panic among the people of Florida if they are believed. Now I don't want to be too harsh here, but it seems to me that someone who is undermining the peace and security of a significant portion of the American people is someone who needs to be looked at seriously by the Homeland Security people. We're no longer innocents here, willing to let ourselves be attacked from abroad or undermined from within. This is the post-9/11 world and we rely on the conviction and firm resolve of our President to keep us protected from people like Mr. Tigers.
TIGERS: Now, look, I'm, I'm only trying to...
MACKLEVOY: I'm sorry, we're out of time at the moment, we'll have to leave it right there. Thank you gentlemen. Steve, there you have it, there may be a hurricane out there, somewhere, but it's just not possible to know with any certainty where it is, or even if it's a real hurricane, or simply a figment of the bureacratic imagination.
SOLOMON: Thank you, Cynthia, fascinating stuff. When we come back, more controversy about this storm, as Pat Buchanan, Ralph Reed, Ann Coulter and Walter Mondale talk about God's vengence and its role in the weather. Stay tuned to the Weather Channel, where we report, and you decide.
Addenda: To paraphrase the editor of a major metropolitan newspaper:
"We don't judge people's credibility, we just print what they tell us."
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.