Santorum's Mighty Wind, Part 2
If you can't lick 'em, spoof 'em.
When last we checked in on AccuWeather, it had persuaded Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., who is ostensibly a proponent of the free market, to sponsor a bill that would give special protection to AccuWeather and a handful of other private weather services. The bill would achieve this by forcing the National Weather Service to withhold its forecasts from the general public. AccuWeather is located in Santorum's home state, and its employees have shoveled at least $7,000 in Santorum's general direction, according to Maeve Reston in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Santorum is such a hack that he was even willing to accuse the National Weather Service of botching its forecasts for Hurricane Katrina when in fact the NWS was strikingly prescient.
Now AccuWeather has apparently decided that if you can't lick 'em, hijack their Web traffic. If you entered "nationalweatherservice.org" into your computer, you might reasonably assume you'd be taken to the NWS site. But you would be wrong. It will actually take you to AccuWeather. The NWS (whose real URL, incidentally, is www.nws.noaa.gov) has complained about this sleazy deception in the past, and it's even gotten AccuWeather to apologize and desist. Apparently, though, you can't keep a good spoofer down.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.