Hurricane Sandy Brings Out Fake Photos and Big Government

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:04 EDT
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The sun is coming out over Brooklyn! Yes, we survived Hurricane Sandy in one piece, though are thinking about others who weren’t so lucky. I’m sort of obsessed with the proliferation of fake photos that get around social networks during times like these, and was happy to see the Atlantic do a round-up of what’s real and what’s fake. I want to get in the head of someone who decides to pass off a fake photo as if it were a real one. What motivates someone to take a screenshot from some Hollywood blockbuster, impose a news station’s logo on it, and then try to pass it off as if it really happened?

It’s an eternal mystery, especially since some of the real pictures are so fascinating:

Politically, it’s hard to really suss out what impact this hurricane will have on the election, if it has one at all. Voters sometimes punish incumbents for the weather (yes, really), but a lot of the time, it’s more about the reaction of government officials than anything else. But so far, the government response seems pretty solid, and this could end up working as a reminder to the public that when conservatives blather about the supposed evils of “big government”, the people whose jobs they want to cut out are the rescue workers and government employees who do things like get the bridges clean and the subway running.

Worth noting that Romney called federal disaster relief “immoral” in an effort to out-wingnut the other wingnuts in the Republican primaries.

I particularly love how he implied that the “private sector” should handle disaster relief. Uh, they already do. When a tree crushes someone’s car, their insurance pays for it. If your building collapses and your bed gets soaked in the rain, you probably have to replace that yourself, if you don’t have renter’s insurance. Private citizens were physically holding their roofs onto their homes last night! The notion that federal help means that other forms of help somehow go away is asinine. But the reality is that bad weather events are one of the reasons we have a government. It’s bananas that Republicans have gotten to the point of believing there’s something wrong and immoral about people pulling together and, through the government, putting their civilization back on track after a disaster. This kind of thinking basically resists even the very idea of civilization itself.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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