HILO, HI (GlossyNews) — When civil defense sirens roused Hawaiians from sleep on Saturday morning, the threat of a potentially destructive tsunami was on its way. In an impressive response, Hawaii’s scientists, government officials, first-responders and citizens showed exemplary calm under duress, which led to successful evacuation efforts.
Dr. Gilead Barnethy, a hurricane specialist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stationed in Hawaii, clarified this assessment with some critical points.
“First,” Dr. Barnethy said, “it’s important to remember that only the ‘threat’ of the tsunami was on its way, but not anything reasonable people would consider a tsunami. Second, any wave that breaks on shore is technically considered a ‘tidal wave.’ Third, surfers here often ride 20-foot waves recreationally. The ‘tsunami’ waves were about 17 feet smaller than that. However, now that the government and the press have determined three-foot high waves to be tsunamis, all future competitions at Waimea Bay will be forbidden. This change to the classification system will have a broad effect. We anticipate Australia and Singapore to ban their pro surfing competitions too, following in Hawaii’s footsteps…the imprints of which you can still see in the sand after the three-foot tsunami waves crash and recede.”
The tsunami was generated by Chile’s magnitude 8.8 earthquake the night before. The advances in science, information and technology afforded Hawaii the gift of time: a full 14 hours to activate emergency response plans before the arrival of the tsunami’s threat.
“Hawaii’s economy, like so many others, is struggling right now,” said the owner of a local market. “We knew that nothing was going to happen, but this kind of news makes tourists anxious. They fill their gas tanks, stock up on provisions, leave their personal belongings behind in the hotels and head for towns higher up, contributing to their local economies as well. I couldn’t be happier with the results. Everything was so well planned.”
But several media outlets, CNN chief among them, didn’t share the 50th state’s enthusiasm for its disaster preparedness initiatives, particularly the orderly calm that accompanied them. CNN President Jonathan Klein was said to have behaved abysmally. Employees tasked with the real-time reporting of the tsunami described Klein as progressing violently through all five stages of grief in a matter of minutes.
One correspondent said, “It began as you would assume. Denial. After 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, when the bay remained as majestic and tranquil as the day before, Klein glanced at the live update on the screen, threw his hands in the air and shouted, ‘I don’t fucking believe this.’ About 15 minutes later, as we changed the live update from ‘First waves of tsunami to strike by 1:00’ to ‘Tsunami expected to strike any time,’ Klein became enraged. He broke coffee mugs and punched an engineer in the chest. Then he urinated in his pants and said, ‘See that, everyone? That’s how I’m feeling about you right now.’ Bargaining began 10 minutes later. We heard Klein in his office praying. I guess you’d call it that. He said, ‘God, please wipe these hotels off the beach, and I’ll kill Jack Cafferty. I swear, I’ll chop his head off. You owe me, Lord. After all that birther shit with Dobbs. You owe me.'”
Witnesses claim that Klein then advanced to a deep depression and, finally, acceptance. An internal transcript of the actual reporting, with Klein’s documented commentary from the control room, provides a lucid picture of how CNN hemorrhaged millions of dollars prematurely covering an event that had not, and might never have, occurred. Detractors have coined CNN’s tactics as “deja news,” contributing to the network’s reputation as a laughing stock in the mainstream media. Executives at rival company Cablevision allegedly called Klein and said, “We feel just awful about what happened to you. Look, we’ll give you John Edward. You can stick him in random locations with a camera crew, and he can predict what will happen there.”
Mr. Klein refused to accept our request for an interview.
CNN Transcript – February 28, 2010
12:45PM PT – Anytime now. Scientists predict the first tsunami waves to strike in 15 minutes. They could be as high as 12 feet, about 8 feet at their smallest.
1:00PM PT – Still no activity in the bay. But stay tuned. The first waves…wait, there they are. A tremendous wall of water building on the horizon, it’s…sorry, folks. False alarm. Just some clouds in the distance that looked like a deadly tidal wave.
KLEIN: I don’t fucking believe this. We diverted all our crews to cover this. If someone doesn’t die, if property is not destroyed, we’re screwed, people! You can just pack it up. Fuck almighty! Is CBS hiring?
1:16PM PT – The bay still seems calm, but looks can be deceiving. Waves are about 14 inches high right now, but the water is beginning to recede, which indicates the beginning of tsunami activity.
KLEIN: Fourteen inches?! What the hell, you morons. Use the goddamn metric system like I told you to five minutes ago. Sounds more massive if it’s meters. There are porn stars with dicks bigger than those waves. Throw me a fucking bone, guys. What? Yes, and gals. Someone get HR the hell out of here.
1:38PM PT – Wave action is beginning in Hilo, Hawaii. Water is now rushing into the Wailoa River by Hilo Bay. The wave action is beginning. The waves are being called a “surge” as of now.
KLEIN: Come on, build steam, build steam. Please kill that cop down there. Suck him right into the sea. Damn it! What? Three feet? I’m going to my office to pray for a miracle. One of those nasty Old Testament, wrath of God type things, if you know what I’m saying. And change the crawl. I want it to read, “First waves to strike any moment.”
1:45 PM PT – The tsunami has begun on the eastern shores of Hawaii island.
KLEIN: Fuck it. Change the crawl. Say the first waves have hit. This is more embarrassing than the day we hired Rick Sanchez. And can one of you geniuses try and play up the fact that people strolling along the beach could get killed?! They’re walking their damn dogs and eating lunch, for Christ’s sake.
1:47 PM PT – Some crazy people are congregating by the Duke’s statue on Waikiki against the warnings of the local police. Side note: In 1960, a tsunami that started in Chile killed 60 people in Hilo.
1:51 PM PT – A whale is coming into Hilo Bay. People thought it was a reef beginning to show. False alarm.
KLEIN: I give up. Millions of dollars. You know what I was watching on NBC? The fucking Olympics. ‘Cause everyone gave up on this story an hour ago. I’m going to lose my job over this. Why even try anymore?
1:57 PM PT – It’s almost noon local time in Hawaii. Waikiki, Honolulu is empty. Reefs are now getting exposed and then covered. People are being reminded that a tsunami is like a series of gigantic flash floods.
2:06 PM PT – Wave oscillation is every 20 minutes in Hilo. Hilo Bay is emptying and refilling. The heights are coming in at one meter heights. Two cycles have come in. The water is changing color due to churned debris from the ocean floor.
We still expect wave action for the next two hours.
2:06 PM PT – Unconfirmed minor reports of damage in Ventura, California.
KLEIN: They’re unconfirmed because nothing happened. Just…just give it an hour. When they sound the All Clear, tell ’em we dodged a bullet or something. Then ask Sanchez is he’s up for a water-boarding demonstration.