You Don’t Need A Weatherman To Demonstrate The Obvious
The guy is standing on the beach, back to the driving rain, hoodie and trousers flapping crazily, shouting into a microphone, like Ahab standing in the bow of the Pequod screaming at the fates.
They cut to a woman reporter at another location wearing the obligatory hoodie and speaking more reservedly into a microphone, slightly sheltered on the boardwalk above the seawall but sill being pelted by stinging rain and buffeted by the cyclonic wind.
And so it goes, hour after hour, on every cable news outlet, in every storm, the weather critters offer their graphic demonstrations of wind or rain, if it’s snowing they’ll seize a handful and hold it up for the camera as if it was an alien substance found in a meteorite.
In a flood they don waders and plunge in to their thighs to prove beyond doubt that the water is really stacking up out there. A good flood or snowstorm in a city calls for boat rentals to truly show that the water is deep enough to… row a boat or ski rentals to demonstrate… ad nauseum.
If you watch for awhile or you’ll notice that from channel to channel they all perform the same schtick, the dialog is numbingly similar and I’m sure that there are specialized courses of study for weather critters, Severe Weather Coverage 101, or Advanced Weather Drama 201, Theory of Disaster Props and Costumes and so on.
Meanwhile the camera cuts back and forth between our hardy hero braving the elements and the anchor person seated cozily at the anchor desk, with a sheaf of anchor papers and a mouthful of stupid anchor questions to fill another five minutes between Enzyte or Geico commercials.
Is there anyone left on this planet who doesn’t understand that a little bit of wind will blow your hat off, a big wind will blow your tree down and enough rain floats boats.
Here’s another one, a reporter in his fifties, old enough to know better and looking uncomfortable enough that I’m sure he is being forced into this nonsense by some teenaged director with an Emmy in his dreams.
Up and down the Atlantic coast today there are dozens of these poor bastards standing exposed in 8o knot winds while more sophisticated locals point and laugh from bar stools in warm dry saloons. “Look at that moron” is an often heard phrase when weather journalists inflict communities on the edge of disaster with their predictable antics.
One day the fates will send a wind powered two-by-four as if shot from a cannon and drive it like a stake through the heart of one of these folks and put all the tenured professors of theatrical weather reporting and their method acting meteorologists out of business.
I just heard a lady reporter explain why they are out there “we’re here she said, to give people some perspective on just how bad and dangerous this weather can be so that people can see and won’t have to come out and find out themselves.” Protecting idiots from their own idiocy?
People who surf or attempt to fly kites during hurricanes, or kayak during flash floods often meet with predictable results and we would probably be better off as a species if we left them to their Darwinian ends.
My Grandfather told me once in a moment of frustration that I didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.
He didn’t have to tell me twice.