The eye of Hurricane Sandy hasn't hit land yet but state-run news outlets in countries at odds with the U.S. are brimming with apocalyptic coverage of the swirling weather system. Government news outlets in countries like Russia, Iran and Venezuela rarely hide their schadenfreude at American misfortunes, but some events shift this propensity into overdrive. Today, Sandy is God's gift to Uncle Sam's least favorite news outlets:
For our comrades over in Russia, Hurricane Sandy has reached Super Bowl-like coverage. Today, the Kremlin-backed outlet RT is dedicating its homepage to "FRANKENSTORM" reportage:
On the left column, readers have the option of two dedicated hurricane landing pages: "FRANKENSTORM LIVE UPDATES," for a steadfastly-updated live-blog on the latest flooding and boardwalk disasters, and the similarly-titled "FRANKENSTORM LIVE," which is live-streaming video coverage of mighty waves nearing the coast. Meanwhile, the homepage's lead story is a photo essay titled "Ghost City" revealing the empty streets and subways of New York City. Hey, non-East Coast Americans, if you're annoyed by excessive Sandy coverage, imagine how RT readers in Novosibirsk feel.
Switching gears to Iran, Sandy has been an editorial goldmine for state-run Press TV since Sunday morning. Besides pausing to highlight a poll showing "anti-black" racial animus in the U.S. on the rise, Press TV has pretty much been all Sandy all the the time. Here's a chronology of recent posts:
Keep up the good work, guys.
Traveling to the Southern Hemisphere, our friends over in Venezuela are taking a strong interest in Sandy as well. The state-funded outlet Agencia Venezolana de Noticias is playing up Sandy in its international section emphasizing the evacuee stats:
Outside of its regular coverage, the site's Twitter feed is spotlighting Telesur's Caracas correspondent Rolando Segura, who's broadcasting an endless stream of ominous Hurricane Sandy tweets.
The award for noticeably restrained coverage goes to China, whose many state-owned outlets have been covering the storm but it in a more subdued, news-first fashion. (See: Shanghai Daily's coverage, The Global Times' and China Daily.) The one country that's really missing out is North Korea, whose belligerent KCNA News service loves shaming the "aggressor" hegemon but has no Sandy coverage today. Still, the omission is not totally unexpected given the website's very slow reaction to news (Pyongyang readers: Look for hurricane coverage next week).