Tsunami Activity in California
Dr. Gilead Barnethy, a hurricane specialist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 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 people along the Orange County coasts would consider a tsunami. Second, any wave that breaks on shore is technically considered a ‘tidal wave.’ Third, surfers here often ride six-foot waves recreationally. The tsunami waves were about 75 percent smaller than that. However, now that the government and the press have determined waves of two to three feet in height to be tsunamis, all future competitions at local beaches will be forbidden. This change to the classification system will have a broad effect. We anticipate Australia, Hawaii, and Singapore to ban their pro surfing competitions too, following in California’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 Japan’s magnitude 8.9 earthquake the night before. The advances in science, information, and technology afforded California the gift of time: over eight hours to activate emergency response plans and scramble reporters before the arrival of the tsunami’s threat.
“SoCal’s economy, like so many others, is struggling right now,” said the owner of a local tobacco shop and medical marijuana dispensary that also sells used CDs and bottled water. “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 take off for inland towns, 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 Golden State’s enthusiasm for its disaster preparedness initiatives, particularly the orderly calm that accompanied them. CNN President Ken Jautz, afraid of repeating a similar mistake made during the 2010 Hawaiian “tsunami” by his predecessor, Jonathan Klein, was said to have behaved abysmally. Employees tasked with the real-time reporting of the tsunami described Jautz as progressing violently through all five stages of grief in a matter of minutes.
According to one correspondent:
It began as you would assume. Denial. After 8:15 a.m. Pacific time, when the OC bays remained as majestic and tranquil as the day before, Jautz glanced at the live update on the screen, threw his hands in the air, and shouted, “I don’t f***ing believe this.”
About 15 minutes later, as we changed the live update from “First waves of tsunami to strike by 8:30 a.m.” to “Tsunami expected to strike any time,” Jautz 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 Jautz 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 Jautz then advanced to a deep depression and, finally, acceptance. An internal transcript of the actual reporting, with Jautz’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 Jautz 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. Jautz refused to accept our request for an interview.
CNN Transcript - March 11, 2011
8:15AM 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.
8:30AM PT - Still no activity. 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 deadly tidal waves.
JAUTZ: I don’t frigging 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. F**k almighty! Is CBS hiring?
8:47AM PT - Newport harbor 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.
JAUTZ: 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 in meters. There are porn stars with junk bigger than those waves. Throw me a frigging bone, guys. What? Yes, and gals. Someone get HR the hell out of here.
9:02AM PT - Wave action is beginning along the Southern California coast, from Malibu to Long Beach to Bolsa Chica. Water is now rushing into the bays. The wave action is beginning. The waves are being called a “surge” as of now.
JAUTZ: 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.”
9:11AM PT - The tsunami has begun on the northern shores, just at the junction of Orange and Los Angeles Counties. The Seal Beach pier may now be in danger. Police are urging diners to evacuate the Ruby Tuesday restaurant there.
JAUTZ: Damn 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. There’s...oh, Jesus...there’s a guy and his kid wake boarding.
9:32AM PT - A rare pod of sperm whales was spotted off the coast. Fascinating, but false alarm.
JAUTZ: I give up. Millions of dollars. You know what I was watching on NBC? Live coverage from Japan about the nuclear reactors melting down. ‘Cause everyone gave up on this story an hour ago. I’m going to lose my job over this, just like Klein. Why even try anymore?
9:44AM PT - Unconfirmed minor reports of damage in Crescent City, California.
JAUTZ: They’re unconfirmed because nothing happened outside of some slight property damage. Just...just give it an hour. When they sound the All Clear, tell ‘em we dodged a bullet or something. Then ask Sanchez if he’s up for a demonstration of what drowning in a tsunami would be like. Then run that Charlie Sheen interview. Also, post a fall-out map to show how California will wither and die after the radioactive particles drift over from Japan.