Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

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By an edhat reader

Not long after the storms began last week, some small and big time news publications were running with a wildly inaccurate story about the local area.

"14 Dead in Montecito," titles stated. It was really 14 people died throughout the state and Montecito was entirely evacuated, but no one died here thankfully.

I assumed local media would pick up the story but everyone was pretty busy during the storms. I asked around and others said they had read it too, one even said a local official had been contacted to give statments on the multiple casualties in Montecito.

The reporting ranged from the dredgery of TMZ all the way to MSNBC, allegedly. The stories have since been corrected or taken down but below is an audio clip from TMZ's "reporting."

Thought others would find is interesting.

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First District Jan 21, 2023 12:17 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

Lots of positives about the debris basin in the Randall Road area, but I'd be interested to learn about areas in Montecito where people have had problems. The reporting I've seen makes it seem as if all is totally fine in this area, but I've heard from people who are in dire straits. Remember: Every one in Montecito is not a zillionaire.

a-1674066217 Jan 18, 2023 10:23 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

We should note that the attention paid to Montecito is out of proportion altogether. It is only because "celebrities" live there. This community is rich and can care for its needs without charity or government subsidy but both are disproportionately evident. It would be nice if the people of that community donated some of the largess to the less fortunate nearby (maybe the local farm workers). PS I was a resident of Montecito for decades so this suggestion is founded in experience.

a-1674209945 Jan 20, 2023 02:19 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

Celebrity is not the only reason. The destruction and the deaths of 23 are the main reason for the attention. I have some experience too, living here for six decades.

a-1674061716 Jan 18, 2023 09:08 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

This is why it's incredibly important to have outlets like edhat and other local organizations who do their best to report accurate information as it becomes available. Support local!

patrick Jan 18, 2023 08:51 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

I just googled "14 Dead in Montecito" and found some articles that were about "14 dead in California, evacuations in Montecito" etc. I suspect the erroneous headline might have been related to some algorithm that creates the headline based upon story content. Ironically, the top hit was this Edhat story.

a-1674075366 Jan 18, 2023 12:56 PM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

Google can reindex headline errors pretty quickly. Doubt a corrected story from over a week ago would pop up in any search engine now.

jak Jan 18, 2023 04:17 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

Personally, I am currently living outside of California at the moment and have lived outside the USA in the past. Believe you me that this story has made it into local small town radio news in the Deep South, in the northern Midwest, Australia, New Zealand, other pacific islands, and probably other places as well. People who know that I used to live in the area have been asking me about people I have lost. Thankfully there are none.

To quote Charles Spurgeon, ‘A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.’

Luvaduck Jan 18, 2023 07:28 AM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

I think people in places such as the Midwest and Deep South really, really want to believe anything bad about California, to their way of thinking, "Land of the fruits, nuts and flakes". They'd hate to think that the miseries they live with are often due to the leaders they elect and way their disease-enhancing choices such as inadequate exercise and poor diet. It's a classic example of making yourself feel better by putting someone else down.

Ddrellim Jan 17, 2023 07:00 PM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

Figures going for the big scare big bucks story doom sells more than gloom It’s nuts just had a family member in Montana calling to see if we were ok boy it’s scattered news a week late and still trying to profit Nuts just nuts

bjgreen Jan 17, 2023 06:07 PM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

The same thing happened way back when after the big rainstorm in January 1914.
“Tidal Wave Kills 10,000 in California!” Several European papers reported that everywhere from San Jose to Los Angeles was underwater and 10,000 people had been swept away by a tidal wave.

patrick Jan 17, 2023 04:56 PM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

In all the time I spent looking at news online in the past week, I never encountered that headline or a similar story.

a-1674075274 Jan 18, 2023 12:54 PM
Incorrect News Reports on Local Storms

I had relatives from the East Coast call because they also read a news report saying 14 Dead in Montecito. Google can reindex pretty quickly these days so a corrected story from last week won't pop up on search engines now.

Ask Mayor Randy Rowse, he was apparently fielding calls from major news networks asking about the deaths.

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