Published By: 1World Online
It happens again and again – anxious, newscasters sounding the alarm bell at the slightest hint of a snowstorm. Mediocre snowfall amounts are quickly hyped as full-blown, blizzards, and 24-hour news coverage scares us into thinking that the ‘storm of the century’ is knocking at our door.
And then, not much happens. Poof! Comparably, a few, measly flakes fall from the sky, and the mass hysteria quickly flounders.
We’re all left scratching out heads. Where did all the snow go?
Not that we are complaining, of course. After all, who is disappointed when only 2-inches of snow falls instead of a foot or more? Maybe the kids are upset; a 2-hour school delay is a serious, bummer when kids are expecting the entire day off.
It’s like throwing a dog a bone, but then when the dog chases it, the bone falls into a deep hole in the ground. Thanks for getting me all excited over nothing, the dog whines.
It happened again this past week in NYC with the Nor’easter ‘Juno’ that smacked into parts of the Northeast. Although many areas like Long Island, Boston and Connecticut took a massive pounding, NYC got only 8-inches after they were warned to brace for a potential, ‘life-threatening’ storm.
The grocery stores shelves went bare, schools and airports were shut down, and subway and buses taken out of service. Even Chinese takeout, delivery men on bicycles were told to stay off roads or face a $300 fine.
NYC went into an unprecedented, 8-hour, mandatory shutdown that closed it off from the rest of the world. The ‘city that never sleeps’ became the city that was taking a very long nap.
What NYC got instead was nothing close to the forecast of one to two-feet of snow. It didn’t even qualify in the top ten of its total, snowfall history – eight to ten inches of the deadly, white stuff in most areas.
So why all the pandemonium? Why was the city thrown into a chaotic, conundrum filled with anxiety and fear?
Blame the news media, lots of people are saying. When you have CNN’s, award-winning, journalist, Brianna Keilar reporting from Columbus Circle telling viewers to scurry on home, people take the warning seriously.
And then, of course, there was CNN’s, Don Lemon cruising the streets of 5th Avenue in the network’s new ‘Blizzard-Mobile,” hunting for that monster, snowstorm. (Actually, it was an SUV that most of us refer to as a ‘car.’)
Perplexed Don never found the storm, because it simply wasn’t there. Maybe next time Don should be sent out to ‘Hurricane Alley’ where the real storm chasers go to rundown extreme weather.
Everyone agrees that it is better to be cautious, right? But is it necessary to hype up a storm to the extent that has everyone thinking that Armageddon is around the corner?
Meteorologists, with all their modern-day, storm-tracking computer models confuse us enough.
Do we really need the news networks working a Winter snowstorm like it’s the beginning of the Apocalypse?
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.