Tropical storm force winds now hitting southwest Florida. It's all downhill from here.
Hurricane Wilma is now a Category 3 storm.
Big tornadic activity around Cape Canaveral. Big storm surge expected around the southern tip of Florida proper.
Why the fascination with hurricanes, the most predictable of all natural disasters? Our kidhood in southern California exposed us to the wonder of earthquakes, including an especially memorable one-minute quake that woke up on Feb. 9, 1971. We've seen and covered our share of tornadoes in Missouri.
A hurricane, however, has always seemed like the ideal natural disaster. You've got time to deploy, time to get ready. You can ride out the fury and emerge on the other side with good stories.
Or so we always thought, until Katrina hit New Orleans. Now we're not so cocksure.
MSNBC, by the way, has Omarosa talking about ethics. Nothing more needs to be said.
Wilma is moving at 15 mph across the Gulf. Could wind up being twice that -- about 30 mph -- when it hits Florida, meaning the storm's eye could be in the Atlantic Ocean by noon Monday. Downside: Wilma might not lose a lot of punch over Florida.
Right now the storm looks like it's going a bit south of earlier models. The Keys look especially vulnerable, just south of where Wilma will roar.
An earlier blurb on the storm known as Alpha drew comment from Mr, Curbstone Critic, John Stone, who wondered if Wilma will meet up with Alpha in the Atlantic and destroy Washington, D.C., "as gawd's revenge for electing this miserably corrupt government." Stone shouldn't peddle such nonsense; he knows the Bush Administration has complete control over the secret Weather Machine Device, the only WMD that Bush & Co. can actually locate.
Steve Lyons, the hurricane expert at The Weather Channel, scares us. We cannot squelch this primordial fear. There is something about Lyons' pointing finger, his large head, his obviously big brain. And we don't like his tie. We must change channels.
Anderson Cooper is actually hosting a "special edition of Larry King Live," the obvious inference being that King cannot be awakened from his doctor-mandated coma. Please, God, do not let Anderson Cooper gain any more power at CNN, lest he become his network's Judith Miller.
Damned commercials. Time to hit the World Series; all tied in the fourth inning, 2-2. We're rooting for the Sox because Houston hails from Texas.
8:11 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005
Unwilling to devote wall-to-wall time to a thoughtful story -- might we suggest the imminent climax to the Traitorgate scandal? -- the cable networks are nevertheless determined to show their testicular might by deploying all-hands to cover Hurricane Wilma.
The storm is flying through the Gulf, headed for southern Florida. Current models call for it to make landall in Florida as a Category 3.
The Sunday night canned shows have been scuttled for live coverage of the storm. How can a girl resist such a cloying advance? Well, it's pretty easy when the suitors are so repugnant.
MSNBC offers us the unpleasant Joe Scarborough, who at least brings Florida knowledge to the desk (and he is better than Tucker Carlson, the biggest waste of space on cable). We shall continue our boycott of MSNBC -- and now we're certain of it. A flip back to Channel 209 showed the net is running a canned program on gossip and ethics. Pah.
CNN has Anderson Cooper, the little man with an inexplicable talent for making his bosses think he's boffo. We suspect he dyes his hair silver to give him that "mature" presence.
Fox gives us Greta VanSusteren, cute in her ball cap and otherwise absolutely worthless. Former CNN stud Bill Hemmer is flacking for Fox in Naples. Dammit. He ain't Chris Wallace, but his defection to Fox tastes just as bitter. In Fort Myers Beach, Fla., is Fox's Jeff Goldblatt, winner of the "my name sounds like a raspberry" award.
The Weather Channel is, sadly, just the Weather Channel -- boring and cheesy. We don't expect Jim Cantore (live in Key Largo) to excel at WMD coverage. But the weather experts should own the weather story, no?