This past weekend, the national media had a field day covering hurricane Barry. Not because Barry brought devastating flooding to New Orleans, but rather because fear sells.
TV personalities such as Al Roker, and established national papers like The Washington Post, stoked fear by showing images that were extremely out of context. Most national shows and papers showed the aftermath of Wednesday’s flash flooding as a pretext to this weekend’s potential flooding. This weekend’s rain did not compare to the quick but drawn out burst experienced on Wednesday.
If you are from New Orleans, you realize the difference between a flash flood and a longer event like a tropical storm. An example of someone NOT from New Orleans is representative in an article by The Washington Post with the title: “Anxiety grips New Orleans as residents flee the city, bracing for heavy rain and hurricane-force winds.” The headline photo featured two men wheeling suitcases down a French Quarter street with sandbags covering a doorway. AKA: the perfect photo for a very sensationalized headline.
The City of New Orleans, Nola.Com, Offbeat, and just about every NOLA resident who saw the post jumped into action, calling out the post for what it was: nonsense.
Your headline is not factual and there are multiple inaccuracies in this reporting. Follow authorized city accounts for up to date information on #Barry
— The City Of New Orleans (@CityOfNOLA) July 12, 2019
While the city responded about as perfect as one could, we have an even better response to share. The two men spotted in the photo were actually just arriving in New Orleans that day. They belong to an international bartending team, CAPS, who arrived early into the city to start work for this weekend’s Tales of the Cocktail.
Jonathan Smolensky, one of the men spotted in the photo, shared an updated photo with an even better headline: “Tranquility adorns New Orleans as CAPs descend upon the city, readying thousands of visitors for the best Tales of the Cocktail yet.”
Take a look at the full interaction below.
While we understand the notion that “fear sells,” it seems that The Washington Post went a little overboard with this one. It’s always good to see New Orleans respond in true NOLA fashion.
Featured image by Jonathan Smolensky.