The Big Blow turned out to be the Big Zero. Not for Bahamians, of course, whose islands were pummeled by Hurricane Dorian, but for the United States, it sure didn't live up to the hype. Not even close. Yes, the Carolinas got a lot of rain, and some relatively minor damage. To them I send regrets. But let’s face it: Hurricane Dorian gave new meaning to the term “anti-climax.” As hype goes, though, Dorian actually seems like a pretty good metaphor for our frenetic age and the Leftist mindset in particular, which unfortunately drives much of our public discourse.
To listen to the prognosticators on reliably Leftist cable channels, in the lead-up to the hurricane’s arrival, you would have thought the Finger of God was about to descend on the southeastern United States as the hurricane approached the coast. It was wall-to-wall coverage 24/7. Which way would it track? Would it barrel into West Palm Beach? Jacksonville? The Outer Banks of North Carolina? Would it cut across the Florida peninsula and impact Louisiana and Mississippi? How many thousands would die? Oh, the humanity!
Yes, it was a very powerful storm, and it’s good that people now have fair warning of such things, thanks to satellite technology and instantaneous global communications. They can evacuate coastal areas well in advance of major hurricanes now. I don’t diminish the devastation that such a hurricane can cause. But the notion that a powerful hurricane hitting the southeast United States during “hurricane season, ” traveling up through “hurricane alley,” is somehow unexpected or novel is ludicrous.
Doing an online search using the terms “Hurricane Dorian unprecedented” returned over 8.5 million hits. Many of the articles focused on the Bahamas, which saw much damage. But again, topography and nature’s long-established weather patterns over thousands, if not millions, of years, pretty much will tell you that if you erect a structure on an island in that location, there’s a good chance that it won’t be standing a few years from now as a result of a confluence of weather factors that occur the same time every year producing very predictable hurricanes.
Perhaps the zenith of the hysteria arrived after President Trump issued a tweet on September 1 in which he included Alabama among the states that could be affected by the storm’s impact. Based on leftist media reaction, you would have thought Trump had said something so idiotic, so inane, that every school child would have laughed herself silly. You know, something like suggesting that cow flatulence is causing the planet’s atmosphere to change irredeemably and that we should all stop eating hamburgers to solve the problem.
Never mind that liberal cable outlet CNN’s own meteorologist, the estimable Derek Van Dam, only days earlier had also suggested that Alabama could suffer from Hurricane Dorian. Or that the Alabama National Guard had mobilized in preparation for Dorian potentially affecting that state. No, President Trump is just stupid, they said, and when he defended himself against the liberal pile-on by using a chart three days later in which someone (apparently not the president) added with a Sharpie marker a depiction of how Alabama could also be affected, the discussion reached a nadir of stupidity when the clever media wags dubbed the controversy “Sharpiegate.” Attaching “-gate” to every liberal-conjured political scandal is the intellectual equivalent of beginning every street chant with “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Is there anyone on the Left with an ounce of originality?
And just as that confluence of climatic factors produces these predictable hurricanes, we now have a confluence of factors in our culture that seems to produce news hurricanes with such dizzying speed and frequency that one can be forgiven for wanting a shelter from the media.
Culturally we have probably hit a peak for news frenzy, largely due to the Internet, social media, a combative Republican president, and a mainstream media that has abandoned all pretense of objectivity. President Trump is the first president in my lifetime who is taking the fight to the leftist media, largely by bypassing their filter and speaking directly to the American people through his ingenious use of Twitter. The media has never suffered such body blows before from a Republican, and it is truly driving them insane.
And I am not speaking metaphorically now. I actually believe that many of the most prominent liberal politicians, pundits and journalists are becoming detached from reality and unstable due to the presence of Donald Trump on the national scene and his never-ending rhetorical shots at them. They no longer have the ability, in some cases, to differentiate their suspicions from evidence-based reality, or to recognize what should be obvious to all reasonable people based upon the facts readily available to all.
The most glaring example of this is the failure by many to see the by-now-obvious effort by the Obama administration’s top echelon of national security officials to weaponize the laws and technologies of the federal government to take out Republican presidential candidate, and then President, Donald trump, by creating an entirely mythical “collusion” narrative between President Trump and the Russian government. There are actually prominent Democrats who still believe this collusion occurred.
Congressman Adam Schiff is probably the most well-known of the wild-eyed lunatics who would repeat the Trump-Russia collusion hoax absent any evidence. Breitbart helpfully compiled this chronological listing of 14 instances in which Mr. Schiff continued to peddle his fantasy of Trump-Russia collusion, long after it was obvious to all sentient Americans that the whole thing was a frame-up by the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Will America ever get a respite from the news hurricanes? Whether they involve Sharpie markers, vagina hats, the firing of treasonous FBI directors, or ceaseless predictions of impending “recession” while we enjoy one of the strongest economies in decades, they all seem to have a common theme: There is much sound and fury, but inevitably the storm du jour seems to break up and dissipate into the ether, with little lasting impact.
I suspect that as long as Donald Trump is president, we will have a news hurricane per week and that Americans will grow inured to them. Maybe the shelter we all need involves simply turning off the television, the Internet and our social media accounts.
William F. Marshall has been an intelligence analyst and investigator in the government, private, and non-profit sectors for more than 30 years. He is a senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc. and a contributor to Townhall, American Thinker, and The Federalist. (The views expressed are the author’s alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.)