Thursday, August 23, 2007

WOOD TV - Evil Weather

Okay, this is an outright rant against local television meteorologists. I'll warn you right now.

I've raged against the evil media a few times before, and I'm going to do it again.

Today we had some severe weather in the area. There was a possible tornado just to the northeast of my location. It was a TVS (tornadic votex signature) on the National Weather Service radar. Now, that happens a lot of times. Most of the time it's nothing. But a warning was issued for the area, and the meteorologists at WOOD TV went into full "storm attack panic mode."

They went on the air with the warning, and didn't get off for over three hours. Other stations did what they were supposed to: report, show the radar, and get back to regular programming. Oh, but not WOOD TV. They have to waste everyone's time, and possibly creating a panic, by "beating the horse to death" (incessantly talking and not having information). They bothered people up in the affected area with phone calls (at one point talking to the sheriff up there, who said "we have seen nothing that you are talking about").

That's the funny thing: they ask people to call in, and then when they do, the meteorologists ask them questions they couldn't possibly know, and also feed their fears. They are asking pointed questions, and people are scared. How low can a person go? Oh yeah, it's all for ratings.

At one point one of the meteorologists said "The NWS radar is tripping," which is usually that another TVS alarm went off. But the other meteorologist said "oh no! What that happens, it's catastrophic!!" What!??

And then, when there wasn't much happening from the tornado area, they started in on some storms down by Chicago. "This is going be a derecho, and I don't know why the NWS doesn't call it that." Once again, they were sensationalizing the facts. There was no derecho, just a standard MCS (mesoscale convective system), and it was over 100 miles away. But they turned their full attention to it, going as far as calling one of their daughters in Chicago to get her "take" on the storm. She's not a meteorologist!!!

I think they finally got off the air for the evening news. It was about damned time.

I hate WOOD TV Channel 8 and all they stand for. They are nothing but bottom feeders, leaching off the publics fears and frustrations. They are the "National Enquirer" of local news. They are beneath contempt.

And for the meteorologists, who are supposed to be scientists, I loath even more. As a scientist, you are supposed to remain calm, in control. You are supposed to observe the data, record the data, and formulate your results. You use the scientific method. You don't sensationalize the information.

Yes, you have to make the information palatable for the viewers, the public. But give them the information - don't inflate it!

To the Weather Department at WOOD TV: You have no honor. You have no integrity. You have sold yourselves and your souls. You are beneath contempt. You can scum. The dregs of humanity. And I will tell everyone I can how terrible you are, and what a disservice you do to the public and media at large.

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