Weathermen are Sinister

I’m not talking about The Weathermen, although bombing public places is also sinister. I’m talking about the men and women who predict the weather and then talk about it on television. I’m talking about exhibitionist meteorologists.

These people are way too excited about carnage-inducing destructive weather patterns. During the heat wave, you could tell that from their air-conditioned studios it was the best week of the year to date. They got top billing on all the advertisements leading up to the news that night. Then they got to pop in throughout the broadcast dribbling out bits of weather information with a wink and a grin and the infamous, “Is this heat wave EVER going to end? I’ll tell you coming up later in the broadcast.” (As though maybe it wouldn’t ever end and if you didn’t watch, then surely it wouldn’t.)

And if a heat wave is good for business, the windstorm 2 years ago was probably the single best thing to ever happen to Seattle weather people. Sadly, most of their viewers were without cable or power so they had to take to the radio, offering up their cheerful gloom and doom without the inconvenience of makeup or wardrobe or having to stand outside wherever the weather was most severe, pointing to cars, ACTUALLY IN THE PROCESS OF BEING SMASHED BY TREES, while trying to look like they felt bad about the occupants.

When the big much-anticipated earthquake hits the Northwest and their weather reports are picked up by the national news organizations, I think their heads will explode.

I don’t blame them. It’s their job. They have the blood of newsmen running through their veins and we all know how the news industry works. The greater the destruction, carnage or pain, the greater your audience, the higher your ratings and the more money you make.

Even as a not news person, I’ve sure gotten a lot of mileage telling stories of the Big Freeze or the Catastrophic Wind Storm or the Flood of Oh-Six. Stories of peril and narrow escapes are the stuff of good drama. I think we all enjoy being the news anchors of destruction from time to time, which is possibly what makes this sketch so funny to me. Then again, maybe it’s just the eyebrows.

I love how it doesn’t matter on local news if they have any information to share. It WILL NOT STOP THEM FROM TALKING. They say things like, “We have a situation here and what we do know is that an incident has occurred,” and gesturing over to the meteoric inferno of emergency vehicle lights, “The police action appears to have occurred over in that region there where you see those lights.”

On Friday night in Seattle all the network stations were hi-jacked by news people anxious to share the details, of which there were none, with the citizens of the Puget Sound area. Two men had been shooting guns and running across a major freeway. By the time I caught up with the Breaking News, both suspects were in custody and the reporters were at that awkward place where they start interviewing every person within a 3-mile radius about the event and asking them what they think might have happened, even if they were unaware of the incident until the cameras and lights clamped on their faces.

Which direction did the men come from? How tall were they? What were their names? If you can’t release their names, then just tell us what their mothers would say if they wanted to call them in to dinner. Were they shooting at the nearby college? You don’t know? If you had to guess, would you venture to say that they had been shooting at the nearby colleges? (Shooting by colleges is much more tragic than, say, random drunken shooting in the woods.)

I kept waiting for them to get back to the regularly scheduled programming but eventually decided to play a little Dr. Mario with Dan before bed. It’s fun. Nobody gets hurt and it causes my little giant baby oven to contract. All good things. None of them news-worthy. I guess that’s why I need a blog.

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