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Devastating hurricane puts self-inflicted political crises into perspective

A rough surf surrounds Boynton Beach inlet as Hurricane Irma hits in Boynton Beach, Fla. (Jim Rassol/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

According to The New York Times, the coverage of Hurricane Irma has re-started the debate over whether we really need to see TV reporters lashing themselves to hotel railings to prove they’re waterproof.

RELATED: Irma now a tropical storm

The Times quoted this tweet from a viewer: “Do TV reporters think we wouldn’t believe there’s a hurricane blowing unless they stood in the middle of it? #Irma”

Are you kidding me, whoever tweeted that? These days a reporter could recite the alphabet and people would think they’re just making it up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people who think this whole hurricane thing is a real-time special effects production from a Hollywood sound stage paid for by climate change propagandists.

Wait, I’m being told that sound stage is actually in China.

Well, wherever it is, yes, reporters do have to go out there, if for no other reason than because they’re reporters. And when you’re a reporter, that’s what you do.

Back when I was young and invulnerable, I jumped into a news car during a tornado in Atlanta. It was like driving through rain bullets. Headlights and wipers almost useless. I had to roll down the window to see anything. And what I saw were power lines sparking and exploding, I could smell gas leaks, and yes, I told myself this is a stupid thing to do. But it’s why you’re in the business – to witness things. It’s your instinct.

There is something important to communicate here: That we live among forces blissfully indifferent to our survival, and fully capable of wiping us – and our stuff – off the face of the earth.

Which, for me, helps put our self-inflicted political crises into perspective.

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