The spoiled mayonaise that congealed into the human form known as Rush Limbaugh said this week that the media was making up how bad Hurricane Irma was so they can push a narrative. Today, he announced he wouldn’t be doing his show from his Florida home. He’s getting out of Dodge. Some of his listeners – they call themselves dittoheads – might die in Dodge.
This comes a week after the President of the United States denigrated journalists in front of the Coast Guard in Houston by saying they didn’t have the courage of those service men to fly into harms way.
That he saw footage of those heroic actions shot by photojournalists seemed to have escaped our president’s addled mind. That the stories of this service men were often told by journalists who rode along with them seemed to escape his addled mind. That journalists had been riding boats and wading through a muck that is infested with God knows what.
Plenty of people have plenty of problems with journalists. Fine. But here’s the deal, very few people are heading into that storm. You have first responders. You have other emergency personnel, such as dispatchers. And you have journalists.
The journalists will go into harms way to tell you what happened. If you think that’s goofy or unnecessary, turn off The Weather Channel, don’t read the wire reports. They’re they’re because you read and watch.
But here’s the deal, they’ll save lives.
They’re reporting will save lives, and some of them themselves will do it. They’ll help people by offering them rides, rescuing them from flooded homes. They’ll tell them where to go and where not to go.
You want to know the crazy part? They don’t really go away, either. In the coming years it will be journalists who uncover the predators who prey on the vulnerable during their time of need.
Consider Buzzfeed. You know, the sight with all the lists. Well, ten years after Hurricane Katrina, Buzzfeed dug into the situation in Louisiana. It’s reporters looked at the problems in the criminal justice system that continued after the storm, at how a historic beach haven for African Americans was affected and more.
Five, 10 years from now, there will be stories like this from Harvey and Irma.
So yes, journalism has problems, real and imagined. But in times like these, be very thankful for those people rushing into the storm.