Now that the hurricane is over and most people who had hunkered down with the rest of the Eastern Seaboard suffered little more than lawns littered with ripped down leaves, a few sticks and a puddle or two, how should we feel?
Relieved? Grateful? Duped?
Despite the incessant, hysterical reporting (which got great ratings to be sure), it was no more than a bad storm for most. Wet streets in New York City. Power outages for plenty, apparently. A big tree blocking a street in just about every neighborhood.
But there were many more people affected by storm effects of our own making: Closing the trains for the weekend, shutting down the airports, buying a lot of plywood and bottled water that weren’t needed.
And the reporting was of a crazed nature: Standing out in the rain and yelling back to anchors in the studio and conveying only that, yes, it was rainy and windy (and they could have gone live 24/7 for any rain storm and produced the same kind of pictures, given the motivation to hype). Nobody I saw ever said: Actually, there’s not much going on. Mostly they said: It’s much worse than it looks and it’s going to get much much worse (and keep watching!).
Once more, let’s repeat we’re glad it turned out the way it did; that most everybody got through it just fine. But we’re a little embarrassed at having swallowed all the hype.