Rita: “‘Boy Who Cries Wolf’ Syndrome”

By Brian 

The Houston Chronicle wonders: Is there a danger that “wall-to-wall national reporting will over-alarm people” about the hurricane?

“I think we suffered a little bit in New Orleans from the ‘boy who cries wolf’ syndrome,” said ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff, who is reporting from Galveston.

“In the media, you report so many times ‘You’ve got to get out; It’s a dangerous storm,’ and ‘You’ve got to leave.’ And then so many times we come back to find people on their front porch who say, ‘See, it’s not so bad. You guys overplayed it.’

“Then we have … Katrina, which was, to a large degree, underplayed. I think we have to transmit what officials and the Weather Service are telling us. If this is a Category 5 hurricane headed for land, we tell people that.”