Posted by Ian
It’s happened again.
The country has had another brush with apocalypse – or so you’d think, reading most of today’s papers. The same was true of the rolling news channels yesterday, where TV companies competed with each other to see who could get most worked up over a bit of inclement weather.
Cut to a reporter deliberately standing close enough to the sea to get splashed. Sure enough, they get splashed. BREAKING NEWS! LARGE WAVE CRASHES ONTO BEACH IN SOUTH OF ENGLAND! Cut to footage of a tree lying in someone’s garden. BREAKING NEWS! TREE BLOWS OVER THANKS TO… Thanks to what? Let me guess, it couldn’t possibly be strong winds, could it? The kind of thing that always blows over trees? The kind of thing that has blown over trees for time immemorial?
To its credit, BBC News 24 at least made a point of reading out a selection of emails and text messages from viewers in the north of England and Scotland for whom it was the most glorious of sunny days. ‘We get this kind of weather all the time,’ said somebody else on the North Sea coast, ‘but it never gets reported.’ Of course it doesn’t, because it’s not happening on the English media’s doorstep.
Meanwhile here’s a fantastic thread picking apart the faux-panic and hysteria-for-the-sake-of-it mentality that infects too much of the press whenever a spot of wind and rain comes our way. I especially like –
This umbrella lies abandoned, a victim, perhaps say some scientists, of climate change:
This taxi rank is normally bustling with cars, eagerly awaiting their next fare. But today it lies empty, the taxis all blown away by the wind: