Posts Tagged ‘media alarmism’

Media touts Camping’s Rapture garbage again — and again it shall not come to pass

October 16, 2011

Harold Camping is at it again. (Or is he? –  it seems to be the media just highlighting a statement on his website and recycling his May 23rd interview rather than any thing more recent). After his predicted May 21st Rapture failed to appear (after his previous failed prediction for a September 6th 1994 Rapture), the 90 year-old is  now predicting the great day will be next week on Friday October 21st.

Christian Post: Harold Camping has predicted that the rapture will take place on Oct. 21, following his May 21 prediction failed to come to pass. He explained this by saying May 21 was just the spiritual rapture, and the physical rapture would soon follow in October. … When describing the rapture prior to May 21, Camping spoke about a great earthquake “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” He then said that those “who survive this terrible earthquake will exist in a world of horror and chaos beyond description. Each day people will die until Oct. 21, 2011, when God will completely destroy this earth and its surviving inhabitants.”

I suppose the Christian Post improves its circulation numbers by publishing this rubbish in addition to their usual nonsense.

But I note that the Family Radio websites themselves are just carrying a few lines which read:

But that universal judgment will not be physically seen until the last day of the five month judgment period, on October 21, 2011. ….. Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, ….. 

Nevertheless, somebody must be making lots of money from this garbage. Camping is probably senile and apparently he suffered a stroke after the 21st May prediction (which was no debacle considering the amount of interest and money that was raised). But he is surely surrounded by those who are now intent on capitalising on the “Rapture brand” for whatever it is worth even if returns must be diminishing. The money for his Family Radio organisation comes primarily from milking the gullible and the suicidal and the weak-minded.

Newsvine: Amidst all of these predictions, Harold Camping has been profiting quite resoundingly.  The 2009 IRS filings from Family Radio, his radio network, indicated that it had over $104 million in assets.  And those profits aren’t all going toward Christian causes, like helping the needy or setting up missions.  Around $34 million of those assets are tied up in investments.  Harold Camping and Family Radio are profiting from these phony predictions, making money through their efforts to drum up fear.

Apparently in May, Camping and his followers spent a lot of money – though the numbers don’t quite add up:

The Guardian: Camping and his followers spent more than $100m worldwide on billboards and posters, financed by the sale and swap of radio stations. Advertising popped up across America and the globe from Iraq to Lebanon to Israel to Jordan, the Philippines to Vietnam, where thousands of the Hmong ethnic hill tribe gathered together on the Thai border in anticipation of the event. The campaign was backed up by Camping’s radio show. …. There has been a mini-boom in firms and individuals offering to look after the pets of those who believed they were about to be raptured. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, set up by New Hampshire atheist Bart Centre, has about 250 clients who paid $135 (£83) for insurance policies that guarantee Centre and others will care for their animals when they ascend. Others paid out to sign up with websites that would send out farewell letters to friends and relations left behind.

But it all makes a lot of sense if one removes religion from the equation.

This is all just entertainment and the making of money from a serial radio show which is coming to the end of its natural life. It has been running since 1992 and no matter what one may say – it has had a very good run. The producer’s task is now to milk the “rapture” show until it is deserted by its listeners and has to be taken off the air. And if a few disturbed people give away all their belongings or kill off their animals or even commit suicide; so be it – it only strengthens the “brand”.

“The Irene show” bombs – media disappointment high

August 29, 2011

The much-hyped Hurricane Irene fizzled to a tropical storm and failed to deliver the massive devastation that the media was hoping for.

The wall-to-wall coverage of the expected destruction has now left the media desperately trying to show that apocalypse was only narrowly averted. But they cannot hide their terrible disappointment. Politicians are implying that “crying wolf” was not only the right thing to do but might actually have dampened the storm. Millions lost electricity as areas were shut down as a precaution against flooded sub-stations.  But the 20 – 30 foot storm surges expected only managed to reach some 2 or 3 feet.

But water and gas and batteries and candles all sold very well.

The muted headlines on the day after cannot hide the disappointment –

Telegraph – Perfect Storm of Hype: US politicians, the media and the Hurricane Irene apocalypse that never was 

New York Times – ‘Some Hurricane,’ New Yorkers Grumble as Danger Passes

Boston Globe – Tired Irene slaps N.E.

Washington Post – Hurricane Irene was not the powerhouse most expected 

According to my son – “Well it was windy and quite wet”. Oh well!

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