By guest writer, Jeffrey Tobkes

Once again the news media created a near hysterical atmosphere with their predictions of Dorian. I can’t tell you how many times here on Long Island during the winters that our weather experts inform the public of blizzards that are going to paralyze all of Nassau and Suffolk counties. Schools often shut down prior to the day of the storm to prepare us for the worst; happily we awaken in the morning to a light dusting of snow or nothing at all.

Meanwhile the newspapers and news stations have created such a frenzy that food stores are selling their merchandise off the shelves faster then they can restock, gas lines are again with us and stores like Home Depot are letting people enter only after others have left. You also have working parents who are now forced to stay home even though there is little or no snow because the schools have shut down and they will not leave their children unattended in their homes. These so-called forecasters actually come out of this debacle unscathed because everyone is so thankful that the blizzard missed us.

If you recall I mentioned to you prior to Dorian my skepticism of exactly how awful Dorian was going to be. The media created a situation that did not happen and probably was a long shot of occurring and instead created enormous amounts of fear in the minds of almost everyone in the locations that had been designated as hurricane hot spots. It is unfortunate that no one ever complains about their errors in judgment.

It reminds me of a lesson that I taught on “yellow journalisim” that occurred during the Spanish American War. A newspaper owner, Randolph Hearst, sent reporters and photographers down to Cuba to report and take pictures of the atrocities that the Spanish army was inflicting on the people of Cuba. They reported back to Hearst that they found nothing even resembling what he said was happening. Hearst wired back… “You send me the pictures and I will make the war.” And he did just that!

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