After claiming Irma was a liberal hoax, Rush Limbaugh quietly evacuates Florida

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has been trying to downplay Category 4 Hurricane Irma as empty media hype in promotion of a liberal agenda — but now even he is evacuating his South Florida base.

“These storms, once they actually hit, are never as strong as they’re reported,” Limbaugh had said on his syndicated radio show. He added that “the graphics have been created to make it look like the ocean’s having an exorcism, just getting rid of the devil here in the form of this hurricane, this bright red stuff.”

He detailed a theory for why the media was allegedly trumping up data about one of the strongest hurricanes ever on record as a scare tactic for financial gain:

There is symbiotic relationship between retailers and local media, and it’s related to money. It revolves around money. You have major, major industries and businesses which prosper during times of crisis and panic, such as a hurricane, which could destroy or greatly damage people’s homes, and it could interrupt the flow of water and electricity. So what happens?
Well, the TV stations begin reporting this and the panic begins to increase. And then people end up going to various stores to stock up on water and whatever they might need for home repairs and batteries and all this that they’re advised to get, and a vicious circle is created. You have these various retail outlets who spend a lot of advertising dollars with the local media.
The local media, in turn, reports in such a way as to create the panic way far out, which sends people into these stores to fill up with water and to fill up with batteries, and it becomes a never-ending repeated cycle. And the two coexist. So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales, and the TV companies benefit because they’re getting advertising dollars from the businesses that are seeing all this attention from customers.

Then, during his Thursday show, Limbaugh said he would not be on-air for several days.

“May as well… announce this. I’m not going to get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow,” Limbaugh said Thursday. “We’ll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown.”

He went on to say that it was “legally impossible” to do the show from his South Florida location, and appeared to be preparing to leave without necessarily admitting to it or backing off of his claims.

Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean this week, leaving entire island communities completely leveled as it barrels towards Florida. The storm is expected to make landfall this weekend, bringing sustained winds around 175mph and dangerous storm surge that could bring water levels as much as 20 feet higher than usual. Florida has issued mandatory evacuation orders and states of emergency have been issued in the nearby states of Georgia and South Carolina.

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