Hurricane Irma v. Hurricane Blowhard

Published: September 8, 2017

By Jim Lichtman
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“…I’ve gotta be very careful here because I am not a meteorologist… not the National Hurricane Center… not a climatologist or meteorologist. All I do is analyze the data that they publish. …when it comes to a hurricane bearing down on South Florida, I’m the go-to guy.” – Rush Limbaugh, Sept. 5, 2017

Courtesy Dan Piraro, first published: March 17,

I’ve gotta be very careful here, because I don’t want to ruffle the feathers of Mr. Limbaugh’s considerable listening base (26+ million per week, according to

However, I have a duty to my base (1,700+ viewers in the month of May, according to Google Analytics). And my base expects me to report the ethical facts without fear or favor!

On Tuesday (Sept. 5), the Grand Puba of Prevarication, his eminence, Rush Limbaugh, shared his “analysis” of the “Hurricane Irma Panic.”

“You know,” his bigness continues, “if I were the Big Oil guys I’d be so jealous of the Big Water guys. The Big Water guys don’t have to drill for it. …They just plug into some lake or some tap and fill up some water, put a label on it…”

“No community in America,” FEMA administrator Brock Long said, “is prepared to be hit by a category 4 or 5 hurricane. Our staffing levels are coming up. We have over 700 people right now pre-positioned to support our partners.”

“FEMA maintains large stores of food, bottled water, medical supplies, cots and blankets, pre-packed and strategically placed at locations throughout the United States and its territories,” The New York Daily News reports (Sept. 7).

“The reason that I am leery of forecasts this far out,” Limbaugh tells his flock from the confines of his South Florida bunker, “is because I see how the system works. …much of our public information system, including from the government, from the Drive-By Media, has been corrupted. …There haven’t been more hurricanes and no more dangerous than any others in previous years.”

Republican Governor Rick Scott warned that Hurricane Irma is “bigger, faster and stronger” than Hurricane Andrew which devastated Florida 25 years ago. “Do not ignore evacuation orders.”

Limbaugh: All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.

Gov. Scott: This storm is massive, and the storm surges predicted will go on for miles.

Limbaugh: Here comes a hurricane, local media goes on the air, “Big hurricane coming, oh, my God! Make sure you got batteries. Make sure you got water. It could be the worst ever. Have you seen the size of this baby? It’s already a Cat 5. Oh, my God, oh, my God, it’s bigger than the island of Haiti.”

Gov. Scott: With Hurricane Irma now a category 5 storm, we must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event. We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst.

Limbaugh: How does this work? The models for computer hurricanes come from meteorology departments all over the world. …There’s whole bunch of people.

Richard Henning, NOAA Flight Director: It really is impossible to over-hype this storm. We haven’t seen a storm like Irma. It is extremely dangerous with a path which is projected to go through the Bahamas and Florida.

Those Bastards! How can they even think about challenging a man who does his job “with half my brain tied behind my back”? 

Limbaugh: So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales, and the TV companies benefit because they’re getting advertising dollars from the businesses that are seeing all this attention from customers.

Gov. Scott: This is a life-threatening storm, and protecting life is absolutely our first priority.

Limbaugh: Have you seen the graphics of these hurricanes as depicted on TV or on the internet? They’re these giant, flaming red, “Oh, my God, Mabel, look, it’s bigger than the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t have a prayer, Mabel. Even if it strikes 300 miles away, we are dead!”

“I have now activated 100 FL National Guard members to assist with #HurricaneIrma preparedness.” — Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 5, 2017 tweet

“I’ve also directed all 7,000 guard members to report for duty this Friday and am ready to activate all needed for preparedness actions.” — Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 5, 2017 tweet

And the track-record of “America’s Truth Detector; All-Knowing,” blah, blah, blah, “Maha Rushie,” according to Politifact: of 38 statements checked, 5 percent are “Mostly True”; 13 percent, “Half True”; 55 percent are “Mostly False,” or “False”; 26 percent are “Pants-on-Fire”; and ZERO are flat-out “True.”

For the latest, and accurate updates regarding Hurricane Irma, check the FEMA website.

Memo to Limbaugh Listeners in Florida: you can believe a variety of responsible officials and experts, or you can believe one irresponsible blowhard. It’s your choice.

UPDATE: On Thursday’s broadcast (Sept. 7), Limbaugh announced the following:

“May as well announce this. I’m not gonna get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow. That will be in the hands of Mark Steyn tomorrow. But we’ll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown. So we’ll be back on Monday. It’s just that tomorrow is going to be problematic.”

In Limbaugh-ese, I guess it means El Rusbo is evacuating South Florida.


  1. Thanks for using my cartoon to help make this point, Jim. The United States is truly an upside-down world now and people like Limbaugh are assisting natural selection in ways their followers don’t even understand, or believe in, for that matter.

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