Only 'GMA' Notes End of 'Weak' Hurricane Season

Nine years without a major Atlantic hurricane hitting land noted by Washington Post, but two networks silent.

The Atlantic hurricane season has ended on Nov. 30, and once again it went out with a whimper. That was good news for coastal residents in the U.S., since the “weak” 2014 hurricane season continued the nine year “drought” of major hurricanes making landfall.

But the broadcast networks practically ignored the "good news."

Hurricane forecasters predicted the season would be weak and the number of storms was in line with forecasts. Only two hurricanes reached major status of category three or higher.

CBS and NBC said nothing about this good news on its morning or evening programs. ABC only mentioned it on "Good Morning America" as it breezed through part of the story on Dec.1. In that 36-second segment, meteorologist Rob Marciano shared the "good news" about the Atlantic season, without mentioning the landfall drought that Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang called “unprecedented.”

“Only one tropical cyclone made landfall in the U.S. in 2014 — Hurricane Arthur, which came ashore in North Carolina in early July. 2014 continues an incredible lull in major hurricane landfalls in the U.S.,” Capital Weather Gang said on Dec. 1.

“The good news is it was a very weak hurricane season for the Atlantic. Eight named storms. Six hurricanes. Only one making landfall. Two major hurricanes. This was the forecast, below average,” Marciano said before moving on to worse news regarding the Pacific. “On the flip side of things, in the Pacific. The Eastern Pacific we had 20 named storms, 14 hurricanes and nine major hurricanes. That’s the most active we’ve seen since 1992. So certainly a flip flop there.”

The news media have often tried to claim hurricanes will become more frequent and extreme because of climate change. Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” connected Hurricane Katrina to global warming, and NBC weatherman Al Roker and others pointed to Superstorm Sandy as proof of climate change. Marciano was critical of Gore’s film in 2007 and explained on CNN that “global warming does not conclusively cause stronger hurricanes like we’ve seen.”

The most balanced the networks could muster about Sandy was a CBS “Evening News” report that said “whether climate change is to blame for it [Sandy] is the subject of debate.”

— Julia A. Seymour is Assistant Managing Editor for MRC Business at the Media Research Center. Follow Julia A. Seymour on Twitter.