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Blame the bloggers Chapter 1,384

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.


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Comments (7)

I am in South Florida and I... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

I am in South Florida and I'll say bluntly that local media told the public to fill thier tanks and get cash from the bank. It's normal hurricane protocol. Just because the hurricane didn't hit here doesn't mean people shouldn't have prepared.

Don't MESS with Charles Bro... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Don't MESS with Charles Bronson unless you have a "death wish"...lol
Sorry Bill.........couldn't help it.

Um...Browning is Secretary ... (Below threshold)

Um...Browning is Secretary of State.

Bronson is agriculture commissioner.

Glad to help - call me any time :)

I have a simpler two word r... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

I have a simpler two word response: "BS"

Ask him if he can explain the same phenomenon happening here as well. I haven't seen lines like that since '73 and we aren't anywhere near the coast or stormtrack.

The "Anti-Gouging" laws are... (Below threshold)
Scottie Author Profile Page:

The "Anti-Gouging" laws are the real culprit here. By preventing prices from reflecting the reality that supply has changed dramatically, the resulting suppressed prices caused the limited supply to be bought up in short order at the artifically low price mandated by the state. Another case of a feel good law with good intentions exascerbating the very problem it purports to solve. A politician trying to shift the blame for this nonsense elsewhere is laughable.

I live in western NC, and w... (Below threshold)
Buddy:

I live in western NC, and we are experiencing a bit of a 'shortage' but in reality there's enough fuel to go around if people will quit being stupid. I don't know if 'bloggers' caused it, but the rumor mill about 'gas running out' was certainly a causal factor in the current gas price issue.

Stupid people filling up every available can, jug, and tank they have at their disposal caused a run on gas last Wednesday and Thursday that essentially dried up supply at many of the smaller chains.

This was largely caused by some of the larger gas companies: By Wednesday morning last week, they had largely bought up all the southeast supply and had it sitting on tankers. By Thursday morning last week, independent gas stations could no longer purchase gas (it simply was not available as the pipeline was down)

This combination of things caused an artificial appearance of a shortage which ended up being a factual shortage at many small mom & pop stations, when in actuality there was plenty of fuel around: the larger chains just had bought it all up at the lower price so they could sell when the prices went up.

Just as I have noticed ever... (Below threshold)

Just as I have noticed every time a hurricane approaches, the "shortage", "price hikes", etc flow off the pages of the daily disappointment as well as across the TV. For this storm I fault all the media as I sat in Tampa and watched even FOXNews as they cited raging prices, etc. I went out and filled my little car just as a precaution and bought gas for $3.57 that day.

It has since risen, but will soon subside again...until the next hurricane approaches and the media begin their feeding frenzy on gas prices.




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