Hyping Hurricane Irene: The Monday Morning Quarterback Edition

By Alex Weprin 

As predicted, news outlets have begun questioning whether they or their competitors spent too much time and effort hyping Hurricane Irene. While Irene has caused billions of dollars in damage and took at least 20 lives, New York City and the surrounding areas–which were the focus of much of the national coverage–were largely unharmed, save for some minor damage.

NBC’s “Today” ran a segment this morning asking whether Irene was overhyped by the media. To its credit, it did not exclude NBC from the segment, as some networks are prone to do when discussing matters of the media:

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CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” this evening will be dedicated to the hype question, if a preview on CNN is any indication.

The Washington Post‘s Eric Wemple talked to the Weather Channel about its coverage.

Capital New York’s Tom McGeveran argues that local cable staple NY1 provided better coverage than the national channels:

For my part, I came out of Irene feeling, for the first time, that a local television news outfit had been my only real essential source of information, beating out the Web and making an utter mockery of the ratings-grubbing hysterics at CNN, MSNBC and Fox (which studded its Irene coverage with a debate over atheism vs. Christianity and the correct point of view about disasters, and some arguments about global warming).