Biased News Drudge Style

To my favor, I don’t check Drudge as often as I once did. At one point his website was just right leaning. Now it’s somewhere off in Crazytown!

Today there’s a perfect example. By changing one word he has totally changed the meaning of a linked story concerning power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy!

If someone took Drudge’s headline at face value they were led astray by what can only be a purposeful attempt to mislead.

The story had to do with Con Ed’s (New York City’s power supplier) estimate of power restoration in the city.

Here is a screengrab from the Drudgereport‘s home page:

Here’s the page reached from Drudge’s link.

This is absolutely, positively despicable!

The Pre-Snow Waiting Game

Until this dry air is saturated evaporation will pull the temperature down. That’s a confirming sign we will see that powdery/fluffy snow I expect.

pre snow skew-t.png“I love this weather,” Helaine yelled as I ambled downstairs. Not really. She loves snow like Sully loves geese! Helaine was pre-frustrating, the new family fun game being played at the Fox house this weekend.

We are now in anguish mode. My last forecast has been made. People have already used (or not used) my forecast to make their plans. Now it has to come true or I become the goat!

Speaking of forecast, there’s an article (more like an interview with me) on the front page of today’s New Haven Register. It was written before I upped my totals. The facts are good, but the forecast now looks underdone.

CTCapitolReport, a Drudgereport lookalike, has also quoted me prominently on their homepage. In stark non-proportional Courier type, “Geoff Fox: Storms seldom live up to these massive forecasts.”

I did say that, but here’s the full quote:

Storms seldom live up to these massive forecasts. There are so many things that can change and nearly each of them will mean less snow. Still, 8-15″ on the shore (which is what I’ll say) seems reasonable right now. I’ll go for 5-10″ for most inland sections.

Was the ‘pull’ a little out-of-context? Yeah, I think so.

There’s nothing I can do to change the weather. However, I will still try and will it to conform. It’s like the uncontrollable way I move my legs during NFL football or Helaine steps on the imaginary brake while I’m driving.

My friend Farrell just sent a text from Palm Springs:

“Is the forecast living up to your expectations?

A little early for that. It certainly hasn’t disappointed down south. You actual mileage may vary.

So, what can I tell you now? I’m impressed by how dry the atmosphere is.

I’m looking at a skew-t plot from this morning. Skew-t displays temperature and dew point vertically through the atmosphere. As dry as it was at ground level it was crazily dry up to around 4-5,000 feet.

Until this dry air is saturated evaporation will pull the temperature down. That’s a confirming sign we will see the powdery/fluffy snow forecast.

The most obvious confirmation of the skew-t’s data are the echoes showing overhead on the radar. My friend Bob at FSU in Tallahassee said:

“Indeed this is the longest period of virga i can recall.”

The 12Z GFS model is in reasonable agreement with last night’s run. If I was forecasting now I’d probably leave my numbers intact. I guess that’s as good as it can be for me right now.

I’ll check back later as the snow flies.

What Is Journalism II

There is no correction and no explanation. Is this journalism? Maybe, but I really don’t know.

In light of the last entry, is Matt Drudge and the Drudgereport journalism? At 4:21 PM EDT Drudge had the boldfaced headline: “COLIN POWELL ‘TO ENDORSE OBAMA’.” The story was attributed to Bill Kristol, said on Fox News and posted on Within the body of the story was Powell’s denial that it was true.

By 6:32 PM it was a small link buried halfway down the lefthand column! There is no explanation of how this went from BIG to TINY.

This is not the first time Drudge has performed the disappearing story act.

Is this journalism? Maybe, but I really don’t know.

Blogger’s note: I rewrote and revised this story at 1:05 AM 8/14/08. Originally I didn’t see the moved link on the updated Drudge. That doesn’t change the fact the story fell greatly in prominence in a few hours and, as I said, Drudge’s headline text was denied by Powell.

Drudge, You’re So Silly

Big headline on the top of the Drudgereport tonight.


OMG! Better prepare. Cold drinks. Shorts. Double check the air conditioner.

Hurricane Season Bust

Back in March, AccuWeather loudly proclaimed their predictions for the upcoming hurricane season. I was not amused and said so here. My worry was, if they were right they’d scream it from the rooftops. If they were wrong no one would remember.

Being held responsible for your predictions is a good thing and encourages you to be very careful in what you predict.

Today in the Drudgereport, Matt Drudge remembered. Must be a slow news day. I’m not complaining.

Drudge’s headline is actually a link to a story at TBO in Tampa. These are the people in the crowded theater who heard someone yell “Fire!”

This is not to say AccuWeather or Dr. Gray of Colorado State (whose forecast was also way off) aren’t fine forecasters. What it does say is, forecasts need to be presented in context. Forecasters have to admit that not every forecast has the same degree of certainty.

People also have to realize, the number of storms isn’t the most important factor in hurricane destruction. Hurricane Andrew came in a very slow season. It was the “A” storm – in late August. The season begins June 1.

Bottom line: When it comes to the health and safety of people, hyperbole is a bad thing.