Tracking the ‘Scary’ Bay Bridge Meme
Did you hear the big news? The esteemed folks at Travel & Leisure magazine named Maryland's Bay Bridge one of the most scary in all the world! It's No. 9 on the list!
Both WBAL-TV and The Baltimore Sun mentioned the scary bridge on Tuesday. (While Lori's A.M. Buzz linked to the WBAL story today, the Post's breaking news blog linked to the WBAL story on early Wednesday evening. City Desk also mentioned the scary bridge news in yesterday's edition of The Needle.)
TBD linked to the Travel & Leisure slideshow at 7:48 a.m. today, pictured at left.
Just about everyone is writing, linking or talking about that scary bridge to and from the Eastern Shore!
Obviously, the origins of scary bridge meme are in the page-view generating slideshow from Travel & Leisure, but it appears that the scary bridge news is actually sort of stale to warrant such full-court press by local news sources. According to a Google News search, it appears that the first local mention of the scary No. 9 ranking came on Oct. 4 from WBOC-TV, "Delmarva's News Leader," with an updated story on Oct. 5. (There are now seven pages of comments, including some gems: "Anyone willingly calling themselves a Democrat is scarier than the Bay Bridge." "Christine O'Donnell is scarier.")
Over at ABC2 News in Baltimore, it appears that when it mentioned the scary bridge stat, the station had came across the Travel & Leisure slideshow independently. So writes traffic reporter Kim Brown:
While surfing travelandleisure.com, sipping Earl Gray tea with my pinky finger up, I happened upon a list of the world's scariest bridges and lookey there! Maryland's own William Preston Lane Memorial Bridge (better known as the Bay Bridge) ranks 9th scariest.
The CBS affiliate in Baltimore, WJZ-TV, investigated the bridge fears, too, reminding viewers of some of the scary accidents on the bridge. Thankfully, WJZ reminds viewers that the Travel & Leisure scary bridge rankings are not scientific and does not constitute "an engineering study and draws no conclusions about the structural soundness of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge." Phew!