The Shameful Storm-Denial Game

florence hurricane pier

Waves created by Hurricane Florence are seen along Cherry Grove Fishing Pier on September 14, 2018 in North Myrtle Beach, United States. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- It’s a lucky thing that our political discourse is not conducted under oath.

If it was, we’d need many, many more jail cells to hold all the perjurers.

There is plenty of self-serving spin and outright lying coming out of the mouths of our politicians, and that is nothing new. It is our job in the media to call them on it when we hear it and it is your job as a voter to keep your nonsense detector on high alert, especially during campaign season.

But there are certain things that we all are obligated to never spin or lie about. And one of them is public safety, especially when there’s a mortal threat from a weather event.

Watching interviews with people along the Carolina coast in the runup to Hurricane Florence’s arrival who are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order and getting ready to ride it out, I am struck by the number who don’t offer a really good reason for doing so – too poor, too old and frail, don’t want to abandon pets, things like that which are at least understandable.

Instead, I hear a frightening number of folks who clearly just don’t believe it’s going to be as bad as the authorities claim.

Some of them may have refused to evacuate and ridden out other storms before; others may just be generically stubborn.

But some have surely absorbed years worth of never-trust-the-government rhetoric, amplified most recently by right-wing talk-show hosts claiming hurricane warnings are just a left-wing media plot to promote climate change policies and boost supermarket revenues.

I’ve never seen a meteorologist, reporter or government official who would play those kinds of games with a life-threatening situation like this.

It’s the nay-sayers who are playing a game--and it couldn’t be more shameful and dangerous.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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