Saturday, September 03, 2005

Regarding hurricane coverage ...

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.

5 comments:

sassinak said...

that always makes me just shake my head and stare. Uh dude... that was a piece of a house that just flew by you... do the words STORM SHELTER mean anything to you?

Besides, it would be interesting to see coverage of what's happening inside the 'safe' places too.

Chrissie said...

Well, people are all about "reality" and extremism... be it sports or weather. Personally I think they are retarded... but then i dont know why people are in the middle of gun play in the middle east either *shrug* Or why regular people dont leave and area when they are told to evacuate... I dont think I have that gene lol... "Oh oops, they told me to leave and lookie, ive been captured and they are gonna kill me on TV... or wow lookit all that water around my house?! Ill just sit on the roof for 4 days, someone will come."

A Person is smart, people as a whole… are stupid. Seems most have lost common sense somewhere along the way.

sassinak said...

chrissie you hit the nail smack on the proverbial head. people's ability to think for themselves has disappeared along with modernity. least it seems so.

DZER said...

sass: they're all fricking idiots


chrissie: no doubt ... but the broadcast news folks making it seem as if everything is safe and ok doesn't help at all ... though you're right and some people just can't be "helped" in any way

lividviv said...

You really convinced me. Do you think they volunteer for those broadcasts to get extra cred with the public or something? Or danger pay? They must at least have to sign a damage waiver. War journalists I understand, because I think they know what they are getting into when they sign up for the job, but these storm broadcasts are just regular journalists, right? Crazy.