I've let this issue simmer for quite some time now. I needed to give it some time to sit so I could better control the vitriol and present a more logical argument.
What the fuck was up with the coverage provided by CNN and Fox News — and any other news broadcasts — of Hurricane Katrina's actual onslaught? Not the leading-up-to stuff, not the follow-up reports, but the actual "storm coverage."
It was completely irresponsible, foolish and dangerous! There comes a point during a hurricane or typhoon when you get the fuck inside, batten down the hatches, and just try to keep safe. When you have reporters in the field — OUTSIDE — when deadly winds and storm surge have started, you are just tempting fate. Not only does this endanger the reporters' lives, and the lives of the cameramen and other production people out there, but it sends the exact wrong message to the general public: That it's not so bad to be out in the middle of the fucking storm, so why not try it yourself.
I've been through dozens of powerful, deadly typhoons, many of them as a working journalist. You don't send people into destructive winds or near churning storm surge. You don't send people out even during the eye, when all seems calm. Because if you do, people can be seriously hurt or even killed.
It galled me to see a reporter who could barely stand in the wind say, "Whoa! That was a piece of the roof that just whipped by me."
Umm ... what if it had whipped into your face? No one has the reaction time to duck debris being blown by gale-force winds, and the faster the winds, the worse it gets. Do you know what a piece of roofing tin, or a tree branch, or a fucking lawn chair can do to you if it hits you at 60, 80, or 100 mph?
Don't give me the public's right to know either. I'm in the media, and the public's right to watch deadly storm footage ends when the lives of those relaying those images and descriptions are endangered. The news networks should be ashamed for how they covered the storm's onslaught. It was dangerous, reckless and just plain stupid. I was almost hoping that a reporter on the air would be seriously hurt or even killed live. What the hell would the jackasses in the studio have done then?
"Carl, it looks like you got hit by something. Are you OK? Carl? We're getting word from his cameraman that a piece of steel just sheared the top half of Carl's head completely off. We'll come back to that situation in a little bit. And now, what is the proper headgear for a storm? A cap? A hood? A rain bonnet? We'll talk to our style guru and get you the answers right after this commercial break."
Random Guam Fact Of The Day:
• Guam has some of the strictest building codes in the United States, being in a zone that experiences both regular, powerful typhoons and frequent, powerful earthquakes.