Enough With the Weather B.S.!

This past Saturday evening, I received a call from a good friend who was in Minneapolis preparing for a tradeshow that was due to begin the following day. “Is it supposed to snow tomorrow?” he asked.
The weather report had just ended, and for once I hadn’t changed the channel beforehand. We were on the borderline between receiving 1 – 2 and 2 – 4 inches. Yet our local TV weather practitioner scare tactics had already affected my friend’s business. “Two of my customers just called to cancel because of the weather”, he said with disgust.
When I finally dragged myself out of bed the next day just before noon, the weather situation had already concluded. Although cities south of our fine city did receive up to six inches, Sioux Falls received less than three inches. With absolutely no wind and relatively mild temperatures, there was no reason for anybody to avoid traveling.
In fact, the major streets were already clear of snow. When the plows finally did make my side street that evening, there was hardly anything at the end of my driveway to shovel. So, of course, I didn’t.
Not that this non-storm didn’t stop our local stations from doing multiple stories on the snowfall. Once again we got tips on how to maneuver around snowplows (give them plenty of room), reminders from the Highway Patrol to slow down, and the inevitable effect the weather had on shovel and snow blower sales. I’m just shocked that we weren’t reminded once again on the proper way to shovel.
I know I’m being a “repeater” here, but what is the point of these silly non-stories? Is there anybody who watches any of these “helpful hint” stories and come away with something they didn’t already know? Seriously, is there any person who doesn’t already know that you should drive more cautiously when there’s snow on the ground?
I’ve never revealed this before but a few months ago I started writing a short satirical play about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in a television news department. I never got beyond the planning stages, but one scene that I had outlined involved a meeting where all of the reporters pitched ideas. The news director had this giant “playbook” to guide their responses to any situation. The outcome to any pitch? Safety tips and economic impact stories. I’m starting to believe that’s exactly how it works.
I’m not asking for any dramatic change in how our stations do their business. All I’m asking is a couple of simple changes. One is to please, please, please quit overstating weather situations. Not all precipitation, rain or snow, is a storm, and is not a reason to head to the grocery store to stock up for an extended hibernation.
My other plea is to use a little bit of imagination for not only weather but any type of story. Besides the already-mentioned safety tips and economic impact stories, please get rid of neighborhood reactions and public relations “infomercials”. Start doing some actual news reporting, as it’s embarrassing that bloggers and other amateur methods of reporting news are scooping you people. Oh, and quit publicizing your awful website. If information is truly important for us to hear or read, then it shouldn’t be buried on the internet. The internet, after all, is only good for porn…or so I’ve heard.


Anonymous said…
It's hard for some to accept that we don't have real "winter" anymore. The pretend station is hyping a pretend winter so they don't have to upset the tender minded with reality, such as all that stuff Al Gore's been talking about.
Anonymous said…
My advice to your friend is to check out the National Weather Service website.

No hype, no hair (Trobec's), and no horror.
Anonymous said…
someday you'll be stranded in a blizzard and freeze to death, and then you'll wish you would've listened to kelo!
I'm not a television watcher. When it comes to the weather, I turn one nearby station on when I wake up at 5:30 am, look down in the corner and see that the temperature is. That is the extent of my viewing, most of the time.
(btw, I'm not getting Paul music when I come on here. I did however get an error report... did I do something wrong?)
Anonymous said…
"someday you'll be stranded in a blizzard and freeze to death, and then you'll wish you would've listened to kelo!"

I'm glad my life doesn't revolve around Shawn Cable!

I don't think Scotty could freeze to death, there is so much shit in his jeep, he could probably live in that thing for a couple of months.

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