Take a memo for me, if you will.
Dear Philadelphia Daily News…
Thanks so much for being the only newspaper on the East Coast today to expose the ongoing Hurricane Irene story for what it really was: Nothing but overblown hype.
You could get a real sense of all this today by simply taking a spin around the daily archive at the Newseum.
Your lead photo todayÂ by staffer David Maialetti — of two college girls hanging out on the beach after Irene — was pretty decent.
Mostly because the girls were cute. Nothing says “loud, irreverent and fun” like college kids, I suppose.
But it was the language in the headline that really got my attention. “Overblown.” “More hype than hurricane.”
I think you guys are really on to something.
Because look at the pain in the face of this woman in Denville, N.J.
She’s clearly a victim of hype. So much so that she had to be rescued Sunday, along with her husband and her little dog, Stubby.
It’s clear that the hurricane was nothing but hype. But the media created so much hype that residents all along the Atlantic Seaboard found their very lives in danger.
Still, you have to admire that incredible photo by the Star-Ledger‘s Jerry McCrea. If he doesn’t win some kind of award for that shot, I’ll eat my own overhyped blog post.
And the design of that page was pretty decent, too, you have to admit. Even if the story is nothing but hype.
BERGEN COUNTY RECORD
Here’s another hype victim who had to be rescued Sunday. This one was in New Milford, N.J.
You can see it in her face: The strain of being imperiled by a rapidly-rising, rapidly-moving wall of hype. The relief at being carried across the hype by a cool-as-ice fireman.
That picture, by the way, is “special to the Record” by Jeremy Bales.
I’m happy the girl found safety. But I’m disappointed the media threatened her in the first place.
Hey, Philadelphia Daily News — Here’s another photo of Denville, where these roommates picked their way through the hype to check the damage to their apartment.
The one neck-deep in hype doesn’t seem to bothered by it all. Perhaps she’s recognized the media onslaught for what it was and has come to accept it. But the one in the kayak, though, seems weary. And terrified.
The photo was by Daily Record staffer Bob Karp.
And yes, Daily News — despite all this being overblown, this was yet another newspaper that picked out a damned good photo, ran it huge and then got the hell out of its way.
So the Daily Record may have hyped a non-story. But at least it did it well.
BURLINGTON FREE PRESS
I’m hearing the hype hit particularly hard Sunday in Vermont, Daily News. Here are two young ladies in Brattleboro, Vt., watching hype swallow their entire town.
The photo is by Chris Bertleson of the Brattleboro Reformer. The Burlington Free Press ran the photo huge, across six columns today.
Overblown? I’m sure, Daily News. But an awesome way to play an awesome picture.
And the huge, awesome photos of residents surrounded by hype and overblown media saturation just kept on coming. Here’s a man in the old part of Greenwich, Conn., overwhelmed by the hype in front of his home.
That picture was by staffer Bob Luckey.
New York, N.Y.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, the hype in the Big Apple was so thick that the Daily News had to bump sports off of its usual back page to make room for a huge, wraparound picture of the hype in the streets.
Geez, New York will be cleaning up hype debris for weeks after this.
In aptly-named Waterbury, Republican-American photographer Michael Kabelka shot a car being pulled out of the waist-deep hype.
And this photo of a car stuck in the overblown hype in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was shot by Journal staffer Spencer Ainsley.
The Journal even ran a little graphic on page one measuring the amount of hype the city received. Can you believe that stuff, Daily News?
And it wasn’t just liquid hype you can see on today’s front pages. In the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you can see massive damage caused to the area’s only thoroughfare, N.C. Hwy. 12, caused by all the media hype.
Just look at this awesome picture of the damage, shot by Chuck Liddy of the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer.
Feel free to click on that picture, Daily News — or any of today’s images, for that matter — for a larger view.
My former colleague Chuck has done some wonderful work this week, shooting the hype in the Outer Banks. I’d say he’s earned superstar status… but anyone who’s worked with him over the past two decades would tell you he had earned superstar status long ago.
Here’s a couple of Associated Press aerial photos that will help you see the extent of the damage to N.C. 12, Daily News.
That one was simply credited to the agency while this one is attributed to the AP’s Steve Helber.
It might be just overblown hype that caused all this damage, Daily News. But it’s going to take a lot of time and money to get it repaired.
Here is a look at the three papers that ran those photos huge today on their front pages. Again, Daily News, click for a larger look.
NEWS & OBSERVER
NEWS & RECORD
And in addition to hydraulic-type damage, Daily News, all that hot air being blown about by the media caused damage of its own.
Check out this poor guy in Milford, Conn., standing in what’s left of his home.
That picture is by the Courant‘s Bettina Hansen. Despite his losing nearly everything, the man says he’s grateful no one got hurt.
I’d say he misses the point. If not for the onslaught of inappropriate media attention, none of this damage might have happened in the first place.
Wouldn’t you agree, Daily News?
Likewise, take a gander at this home that’s been knocked completely askew in Fairfield, Conn.
It’s an awesome photo by Post staffer Cathy Zuraw. But still, it’s sad to see familes displaced by so much overblown media hype.
In Hanover County, Va., this house lost a portion of its roof.
The worst part about this shocking photo by Times-Dispatch staffer Mark Gormus: You can see it was a child’s room that took the brunt of the blow from the hype.
Does this worry you, Daily News? It worries me.
The lead art here, Daily News, is of a family in Lewes, Del., who lost their house to tornadic winds embedded in the overblown hype as it swept through their area late Saturday and early Sunday.
Yet another awesome photo. This one is by News Journal staffer Chat Pederson.
CAPE COD TIMES
And Cape Cod Times staffer Steve Heaslip shot this man in Barnstable, Mass., who had just finished renovations to his historic old home on Friday.
But then overblown hype pushed over a tree Sunday, crushing the man’s roof.
Things like this just make me hate all the hype surrounding this non-event, Daily News. You and I are most definitely in agreement.
It wasn’t just trees that were blown over by the overblown part of this non-story, Daily News. Power lines went down as well.
Katherine Frey of the Washington Post took that unusual picture of workers straightening out the mess, creating a nearly wonderfully abstract piece of art.
So at least something good came out of the nonevent, Daily News!
NEW YORK TIMES
New York, N.Y.
The New York Times seemed to agree with your assessment as well, Philadelphia Daily News. I mean, had this been a big story, the Times would probablyÂ have run a big photo out front.
But it didn’t. Instead, the Times ran three large photos out front today, taking up nearly a third-of-a-page of total real estate.
It can’t possibly be a big story without a big photo, right? Proof that Hurricane Irene didn’t merit all the hype!
Those pictures, by the way are by (top to bottom): Staffer Librado Romero, staffer James Estrin and Peter Pereira of the Associated Press.
And, Daily News, you know how the Virginian-Pilot likes to contribute to overblown hype by running huge photos. But where’s the huge photo today?
That’s right. The Pilot ran three large photos instead of one, suggesting that this story was so large and so widespread that it couldn’t be covered with just one shot.
The pictures are by (top to bottom): Staffer Steve Earley, staffer Amanda Lucier and staffer Preston Gannaway.
So clearly, Daily News, this whole Hurricane Irene thing was nothing but overblown hype. A non-event. I think you nailed it.
Thanks so much for putting into proper perspective all that pain and suffering I thought I had seen on the front pages I thought had been so wonderfully presented today.
You da man, Philadelphia Daily News. It’s nice to see you know when to be “loud, irreverant and fun” and when to dive into serious commentary regarding overhyped media debacles.
Oh, and P.S.: Just in case you don’t understand sarcasm, Daily News: You’re a bunch of douchebags.
Previous blog posts about Hurricane Irene…
- Wednesday: Like the Virginian-Pilot saysâ€¦ Our next big worry: Hurricane Irene
- Thursday: The latest on Hurricane Irene
- Friday: Our Hurricane Irene plan: Get the hell out of Dodge
- Friday: An ode to Hurricane Irene from the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer
- Saturday: The day’s notable Hurricane Irene front pages
- Saturday: A golden moment in the Weather Channel’s live broadcast from Virginia Beach.
- Sunday: Up the East Coast with Hurricane Irene front pages.
- Sunday: The Apple family’s 75-hour-long “evacuation” is over