Mud-Raking: News Stations Tout Mudslides That Never Come
Judging by local television news operations, yesterday's rains comprised a state of emergency. For three days all local news stations led with this story: The first rainstorm of the season could cause disastrous mudslides in the foothills below fire-ravaged sections of the Angeles National Forest. Morning, noon, dinnertime and nighttime news hammered the story as reporters on the scene noted the preparations: Sand bags, k-rails, and closed-off streets.
The bad-news onslaught was so over-the-top that even Conan O'Brien had to make fun of the wolf-cry in nightly skits on "The Tonight Show" in which a faux news correspondent sets a measuring stick on the damp ground outside to display the (imperceptible) depth of the flooding (laughs all around).
We understand the draw of a high-speed pursuit or the death of a celebrity like Michael Jackson, but the weather hype doesn't seem to justify the audience potential. Even if there were mudslides, God forbid, they would affect, what, less than one percent of the residents of Los Angeles County? All the while murders are happening, the Metropolitan Water District is trying to give 20-plus percent raises to its employees, and David Nahai is walking away as chief of the Department of Water and Power with a three-month consulting deal worth more than most cops make.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.
- Labor Day DUI Crackdown Continues This Weekend
Sat., Sep. 5, 12:30pm
Sat., Sep. 5, 8:00pm
Sun., Sep. 6, 12:35pm
Sun., Sep. 6, 1:00pm
- Netflix Is Coming to Hollywood
- County Officials Inspected Kardashian Boat Before Fireworks, Coast Guard Says