Rush Limbaugh lives in Florida and thus is keeping a close eye on the path of Hurricane Irma. But on his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh floated a controversial theory: News coverage is inflating the storm's potential danger as part of a liberal media bias in regard to global warming. "There is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it," he said, per a transcript from his show. His main beef is that the hurricane is still days away from any possible landfall in Florida, and he's "leery" about any forecast so far out. Limbaugh accused the media and retailers of teaming up to create hype profitable for both industries, noting: "The media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales."
Limbaugh wasn't saying Irma isn't a threat, but he suggested a "built in" bias in news coverage is creating unnecessary alarm. "You don't need a hurricane to hit anywhere," he said. "All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it's mission accomplished, agenda advanced." Mediaite notes that one other prominent voice on the right seems to disagree that Irma coverage is left-wing hype. Matt Drudge has been keeping the hurricane front and center on the Drudge Report, even amid Tuesday's DACA news. At the Tampa Bay Times, Adam Smith writes that Limbaugh's monologue is "breathtakingly irresponsible" and could put lives at risk.