The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Really, News Crews ... Hour to Hour, Non-stop Coverage of SNOW???

We had snow yesterday. It snowed hard for hours. The office closed early. The drive home took twice as long as usual in the snow. The roads were slippery. Some people drove much too fast, others a nearly deadly slow pace. No surprise ... until I got home.

All the local news stations provided continuous coverage of this "weather event." At first, some of it was informative ... like predictions of when the snow might stop and how much we might expect to get and what schools were closed. But they just wouldn't stop. Turn off the TV, walk away for a while, come back, sure enough still talking about the weather. News guys and gals, come on now. Get a grip. It's weather. It happens every day of the year in some form or other. It doesn't require non-stop coverage. Yes, some people are hurt and others die in bad weather. Remind us to be careful. Remind us to check in on the elderly neighbors and shovel their walks and drives for them. Then just stop it and get out of the way, PLEASE!

After a while it reached the level of the comically annoying. One local weather guru intoned, "In a few minutes we'll go check our future weather computer." Future weather? How far in the future? Oh well, I never found out. I lost interest long before the future weather computer ... or the future weather ... got there.

I find the "reporter on the street corner during weather" the most ridiculous thing about weather reporting. Yesterday, reporter after reporter, men and women, in different towns, at different intersections, all wracking their brains to come up with some new and unusual way of responding to the inane question from the guy or gal in the toasty new room, "How is it out there?" There are just so many ways of saying, "Yup, still snowing and the traffic is still bad." We know that. We drove through it if we work. If we don't we can see that out our own window.

I have no idea how much was spent on all that coverage ... but in our area, according to the very unscientific snow gauge we have out back, we had roughly 4 1/2" of snow. That's it. Some areas got a lot more. Was that really worth it?

I talked to a reporter about this phenomenon of sending reporters out in bad weather to cover bad weather. He told me you never feel stupider than when you are driving into the hurricane everyone else is scurrying to get away from. You have the whole inbound side of the highway to yourself and the police just let you pass.  You know it's stupid, but you do it.

Enough of this.

Let me close with the following, "I've been out this morning. I shoveled light powdery snow. My gloves were inadequate for the very cold weather. My finger tips hurt for 20 minutes. To sum up our current and ongoing story: Yesterday it snowed. Today it has stopped. It's stupid cold outside. Stay in. If you have to go out, drive carefully. This is J.S. Brooks reporting for J.S. Brooks Presents." 

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