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Saturday, February 16, 2019

As millions evacuate the west coast of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, which has already been responsible for 113 deaths across the Caribbean, the curator of the most widely read conservative website, Matt Drudge, irresponsibly peddled a conspiracy theory that federal officials have exaggerated the danger posed by Hurricane Matthew “to make exaggerated point on climate.”

On October 6, Drudge claimed “the deplorables” were wondering if the government was lying about the intensity of the deadly hurricane and also questioned the legitimacy of the National Hurricane Center’s data:

[Twitter, 10/6/16]


[Twitter, 10/6/16]

Drudge also used his website, one of the most widely read sites on the Internet, DrudgeReport.com, to put Florida residents in danger and push the conspiracy theory with a banner titled “STORM FIZZLE? MATTHEW LOOKS RAGGED!,” alongside links titled “IT’S A 4?” and “RESIDENTS NOT TAKING SERIOUSLY…”.

In direct contrast to Drudge, Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott warned those in the hurricane’s path that “this storm will kill you,” while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) described the storm as “dangerous.” Fox News host Shepard Smith warned Floridians that if they did not evacuate “you and everyone you know is dead,” and that “you can’t survive it,” while The National Weather Service for Melbourne, Florida warned residents that the storm was “LIFE-THREATENING,” and “more impacting than Hurricane David and 2004 hurricanes!”:

5 am | Matthew LIFE-THREATENING as it moves up the EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA coast. More impacting than Hurricane David & 2004 hurricanes!

Drudge joined Rush Limbaugh in peddling baseless conspiracy theories about the hurricane, placing their audience in danger. Earlier, Limbaugh downplayed the storm by ranting about “politics in the forecasting of hurricanes because there are votes,” and previously claimed the National Hurricane Center is “playing games” with “hurricane forecasting” to convince viewers of climate change.

UPDATE: Conspiracy theorist and Trump ally Alex Jones retweeted Matt Drudge, expressing support and agreement with his dangerous hurricane conspiracy while adding the white supremacist “altright” hashtag:

 

IMAGE: A man walks among trees damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

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61 responses to “Hurricane Matt: Right-Wing Website Trolled Storm Warning, Pushing ‘Conspiracy’”

  1. The base and irresponsible nature of the Right Wing continues to remind us of the dangers of an anti-intellect mentality. Not content with confining themselves to promoting ignorance of human affairs, they’re content with putting lives at risk to promote their anti-science stance with this obsession with wanting to turn the earth into an oven. Drudge and Rush should set up a base of operation on the Florida coast and defy the elements to prove their claim.

    Given that Science and Religion are in harmony, conservatives by projecting ignorance of science also project a profound ignorance of Religion and show utter disdain for cultivating spiritual values.

    For those enamored with being ignorant, a politically conservative ideology is your cup of tea.

    • Dan S says:

      Instead of making America great again this election is simply making America stupid again. As in racist, bigoted, uncaring & not tolerant of those that don’t agree with them. I’d like to think this hatred would go away after Secretary Clinton is President Clinton but I can just see Trumpie contesting the election state by state creating a constitutional crisis.

      • This whole electoral season is one for the history books. On one level it serves as an accurate barometer, along with several other events, of how distorted America’s society has become. And on another level, to show how “toxic” the social atmosphere has become, we have Donald serving unwittingly as the proverbial “Canary in the Mine”.
        And yes, it would be out of character for Trump NOT to contest the outcome in November, and thus throw America into more chaos.

      • Jon says:

        Unfortunately hatred for and intolerance of those who are different in any way will never end as long as religious leaders of various religions including Christianity and political leaders continue to exploit differences to solidify their base. They do not preach acceptance of others or treating others as we want them to treat us. Truth does not matter. They mislead, distort facts and lie in their quest for power and prestige. They use pseudo-science to bolster their false claims. The best we can hope for is that those who are intelligent enough to know they are lying hateful bigots outnumber and stand up to them and the sheep who flock to them.

    • dbtheonly says:

      Nicely put, but the fact that Matthew did miss Florida and the predictions of doom and disaster were avoided this time, will only play to the Drudge story.

      Drudge et. al. have no stake, no responsibility, for what they publish. They suffer no consequences for their actions.

      I don’t see the down side for them continuing in this vein.

  2. Daniel Jones says:

    If anyone dies from following Drudge and Jones’ malicious tales as advice, those two uncaring guano heads need to be charged with those deaths and prosecuted to the full extent of federal law!

    • CrankyToo says:

      Sweet dreams are made of these….

    • The lucky one says:

      Maybe, but then it may just be the Darwin effect. For anyone who would listen to Drudge or Limbaugh when making a decision regarding their personal safety it’s probably better that their genes are out of the pool.

  3. CrankyToo says:

    Drudge and Limbaugh are two of the biggest turds in the cesspool of deplorables.

    • Dan S says:

      Your being much too kind. I can certainly say what I really think of them but I wouldn’t want to run the risk of getting banned ????

      • CrankyToo says:

        Damn, Bro! In all my years, no one’s ever accused me of being too kind. You must be crankier than I am (if that’s even possible).

  4. FireBaron says:

    I move that we require Matt Drudge to relocate himself into the immediate path of Hurricane Matthew. Who will second?

  5. latebloomingrandma says:

    How can America be “exceptional” with loud stupid mouthpieces such as these? We are down a rabbit hole that even Lewis Carroll couldn’t envision.

    • RED says:

      How can America call itself the “Land of the Free” while locking up more people than any other nation on Earth in history? It’s disgusting!

      • Mama Bear says:

        what the hell does that have to do with weather forecasting?

        • Oddworld says:

          I give RED credit, some people will push a message wherever and whenever they can no matter how inappropriate. LOL.

          • Mama Bear says:

            I just wish I knew what the hell he’s referring to.

          • Oddworld says:

            Maybe he was confused about what story he was commenting on.

          • Independent1 says:

            I think RED is talking about the fact that there are more people in prisons in America than in almost all the rest of the countries in the world combined (of course the majority of them black).

          • Mama Bear says:

            got it. question – is marijuana smoking, selling illegal all over the world or just in the US? Aren’t’ a great many in prison on drug charges? I say if people want drugs let them have it. Tax it. Bring it in the daylight.

          • Independent1 says:

            The only reservations I have with legalizing pot is that people high on pot, like drinkers, get into more fatal auto accidents.

            See this from The Washington Times:

            Roughly 10 percent of Washington state drivers involved in fatal car crashes between 2010 and 2014 tested positive for recent marijuana use, with the percentage of drivers who had used pot within hours of a crash doubling between 2013 and 2014, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

            Although the uptick in fatal crashes comes after Washington citizens voted in 2012 to legalize marijuana — and as other states are expected to consider similar measures — a second AAA study discourages lawmakers from adopting
            “arbitrary legal limits” on marijuana use because of a lack of adequate methods to determine impairment by the drug.

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/10/marijuana-related-fatal-car-accidents-surge-washin/

          • Mama Bear says:

            true….but then it will need the kind of watching that drinking and driving does. Empty the prisons, tax the drugs and move on.

        • Dan S says:

          That’s a head scratcher as to how RED got off topic. However Mr. Trump is the master at changing subjects on the fly

  6. Thomas Dorman says:

    Yes, Hurricane Matthew does show that Trump’s statement that global warming is a hoax is absurd. But leave it to the Far Right to deny reality. No world leader believes global warming is a hoax. Not a single one. Trump is standing naked all by himself advocating an absurd position. All meteorologists have reported that ocean water temperatures are higher than normal this Hurricane Season. This is obviously true, the Summer has been hot as was the Spring, so any fool can plainly see that Ocean Water Temperatures must be above normal. The recent severe flooding and Hurricane Sandy four years ago, were also manifestations of global warning. The waters of the North Atlantic have warmed, and the cold water of the North Atlantic is not there anymore. So the Northeast has lost its protection against hurricanes. Hurricanes are severe sub-tropical storms spurred on by the high ocean temperatures at this time of year. There is no secret in this; everybody has known this for a long time. Any fool can plainly see that ocean water temperatures world wide are rising; this is simply a scientific fact, but the Far Right does not believe in facts. Trump must think the electorate in the United States is stupid. Any fool can plainly see that global warming is real. It is not coming, it is already here and it is likely to get worse.

    • Independent1 says:

      I’m not sure that the Far Right politicians anyway don’t believe in facts; I think what’s really unfortunate or sad, is that most Far Right politicians will put money above even their own safety or the long-term livability on this earth of their descendants. I think a lot of what’s driving many Far Right politicians to refuse to except the concept of global warming, is monies these politicians have been getting from fossil fuel companies (big oil and coal producers), who know that if our government actually started to do something about global warming, it would have to stop subsidizing more oil and coal exploration which would in the long run cost them money; and maybe our government would also have to stop the tax breaks fossil fuel companies get related to costs they incur in producing oil, gas and maybe even coal.

      Which is one big reason that in GOP-governed states, there are usually big hurdles put up for residents of those states to install solar or wind as alternative energy sources for their homes. Because the fossil fuel companies lobby to make it harder for people to do that, because they don’t want to lose the billions of dollars these companies make in profits supplying oil and coal to many electric power plants across the country.

      So a lot of it on the side of the Far Right, boils down to intended ignorance; a refusal to believe in science because believing in global warming, could cost them money they make under the table from the donations they get from lobbyists and maybe directly from the fossil fuel companies.

  7. LCR78 says:

    Limbaugh is a druggie and it obviously affected his brain. Now, he and Drudge are expert meteorologists. Since Trump, Drudge, and Limbaugh never ever leave their air-conditioned fantasy world, they wouldn’t know climate change it it bite them in the butt. What’s their explanation for the disappearing glaciers in the US, Canada, and Europe? What’s their explanation for the disappearing polar ice caps? What’s their explanation for the huge increase in CO2 in the atmosphere? What’s their explanation for no freezing nights in my garden, when less than 20 years ago, there were at least 60 nights every winter that hit 32 degrees? These 2 never let a fact get in their way.

  8. Jon says:

    Drudge and Limbaugh’s followers are going to continue to decrease if they keep encouraging them to risk their lives for no legitimate reason other than their own entertainment. They will kill all of them eventually. Sick.

  9. Thomas Martin says:

    Matt Drudge: Quit pretending you are a junior weatherman. You don’t even qualify as a troll and on top of it your are stupider than stupid, stupid.

  10. Mama Bear says:

    Ignorance is not a virtue. Knowledge is not a vice. Science is not a liberal conspiracy.

  11. itsfun says:

    Our government has lied to us so much, you can’t blame people for believing the government is just crying wolf. I have seen a hurricane up close once, and I can tell anyone you don’t want to be anywhere near one. I would have been out of there so fast its not funny, but some are bullheaded and won’t leave no matter what.

    • Oddworld says:

      Actually you can blame people for believing it is a false alarm. It’s one thing to want to stay because you have nowhere to go or want to brave the storm as many do but it’s quite another to simply dismiss the danger based on a fallacy that it’s a government conspiracy.

      • itsfun says:

        You have heard the saying: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Maybe some thought that.

        • Oddworld says:

          You’re probably right. At any rate I hear the worst is over. Last report I heard was a downgrade to F2, still dangerous but the storm surges are more of a threat than the actual storm now.

          • itsfun says:

            I hope the worst is over; The possible flooding may be the worst thing to happen. The destruction of property from a flood is just devastating to a family. Have a good one.

          • Oddworld says:

            Thanks, you too.

    • Christopher Fowler says:

      I’ve been through every hurricane that hit South Florida from Andrew, in 92 til just 2 years ago when I was finally able to escape that GOP run cesspool of a state and you are right. There are no safe hurricanes.

      These science denying scientifically illiterate conspiracy theorists will reach for anything to promote their idiotic ideas and the worst, most insidious ones are in the reich wing, because they are not just batshit crazy, but batshit crazy and promoting an evil agenda.

      • itsfun says:

        I doubt if the Republicans developed the hurricane or told anyone to not get the heck out of the way. I doubt if any politician or party is to blame for the hurricane.

  12. Joan says:

    As if the National Weather Service gives even a passing thought to partisan politics in forecasting a storm. These Luddites do not seem to understand what science is and more importantly is not! As a former long term resident of Florida – I doubt even the rabid right rubes and crackers in the state buy this nonsense. Most of us have depended on the weather forecast, models and tips produced by these hard working public servents. May a storm surge, accurately forecasted by the NWS, wash away both Rush’s and Drudge’s ocean side estates, without injury to lives, naturally!

  13. Orionsangel says:

    Everything is a conspiracy to these racist rubes. It’s amazing to watch white conservatives losing their minds now that they’re the minorities in America.

  14. The lucky one says:

    Damn right Drudge. Someone tell the over 1000 people killed by Matthew to stop playing dead.

  15. Orionsangel says:

    Yes, pollution is a hoax. That smoke you see in China and the gas mask everyone is wearing. Yep, special effects. That smoke in the air is normal and not man made. We don’t effect anything. Why? Because MONEY! Oil brings me MONEY! Who cares what we do to the environment. MONEY!

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