The recent storms of Harvey and Irma have produced broadcasters the likes of which we have not known since World War II. No, now our front-line reporters are the brave men and women of the weather reporting media, state and federal weather bureaus.
One hundred and fifty-five miles per hour winds. Drenching rains, carrying millions of grains of beach sand. Sand that sting the faces of the weather persons. “I feel as though I was getting a skin abrasion treatment. Oh, that hurts.” Another reported standing on a pier, just alongside the Miami River, slipped on a cement block, and fortunately did not hit the water. Other reporters braving unpredictable ‘catastrophic’ wind gusts, and yet standing just three feet from the safety of a concrete parking garage, and the warmth of a massive GM SUV.
They report on the rain, and Palm trees swaying. The program directors request more shots of the rain, and flooded streets. The producers and television directors ignore the fact that we can see the rain, and the Palm trees bending. We can hear the howling wind. We see the waves, white caps and the boats floundering in their moorings, or out to sea. The camera tells us all we need to know, without the added thrill, and death defying heroism of the weather reporters. How much danger do the reporters need to suffer to keep the television ratings on the rise? What kind of harm do we have to see, before the ‘entertainment’ portion of the weather report is satisfied?
Tom Golden, Writer’s Cramp, 2017