Florida Secretary of Agriculture Charles Bronson said some of the blame for runs on gasoline in the wake of Hurricane were due to rumors spread on the internet.
Bronson said the gas shortages were due to “public panic” that he blamed in large part on unnamed bloggers fueling the frenzy last Friday.
“A lot of it … was people who actually believed a blog, when they see what’s coming out over the blogs and it just got worse and worse as the day went on,” said Bronson. “Even though all three of us were indicating … there’s no shortage of fuel,” he continued, “it didn’t make a difference.”
So bloggers were able to incite the public into a petrol panic while three of Florida’s four statewide elected officials could do nothing to stop them? Yipes.
I have a three word simple reply for Charles Bronson, before I get on to a longer reply.
What a crock.
I say that for several reasons. Remember I’m a Florida blogger myself, but this is the first time I have discussed anything to do with Hurricane Ike.
The television media reaches millions of more people than bloggers in Florida and else where. There was wall to wall coverage of Ike, before and after the storm. I watched a little of it, and one frequent topic of conversation was what the storm’s effect would be on oil supplies and gas. The picture the networks painted was a doomsday scenario almost, just like it was with other aspects of Hurricane Ike. One report had someone saying those who stayed behind faced certain death.
Did bloggers mimic the mainstream media’s doomsday reports and overall Hurricane Ike coverage? I’m certain some did, but how many of them reach the numbers of even low rated MSNBC? Does Wizbang even have those kind of numbers?
Come on Charles, name the bloggers who caused the panic. You certainly came out fast enough with the names of oil suppliers accused of gouging. The bloggers responsible should be outed too and I’ll be waiting for your announcement.
One last thing, the title of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune blog post is ‘Are bloggers more powerful than Crist and the Cabinet?’ Some bloggers, a small handful, have the ability to persuade others. Most throw red meat instead to people holding similar opinions. None have the power to affect millions like Governor Charlie Crist or other statewide officials have when making policy.
So only an uninformed idiot would think the answer to the blog title’s question is yes.
Update- Corrected post to say Secretary of Agriculture, than Secretary of State Charles Bronson.