I rarely watch local news anymore. It is no reflection on the people who do it. I am like a lot of people, however, who get most of their news from their phones and online.
I started watching a little more often after spending some time with the Ch. 13 crew at radio row. (Really good people, by the way).
This morning I decided to watch coverage of the latest stormageddon on Ch. 2.
Thunderstorm Tom is a scary beast, apparently. The weather hottie warned us several times that there were two tornado warnings. She mentioned countless times there was no confirmation of a tornado on the ground, but conditions existed for one. (She almost seemed excited when there was finally a “confirmed sighting.” She constantly repeated the same stuff over and over.
Some of the key words: “Seek shelter.” “Dangerous weather.” “Enhanced risk.”
This is not to make light of the damage “severe storms” can do. But we also have to keep in mind that there are a lot of scare tactics involved. Bad weather equals ratings and web hits. So the smart thing to do is carpet bombing coverage.
My favorite is the on site reporter who points out puddles and dark clouds. Her camera shots included “ponding.” My goodness.
And you can’t help but love the guy who does a report from his car while driving in the rain who tells you to stay off the road. Er…OK.
This is Houston. We get bad storms all the time. But for some reason we have to cover every single one like it’s a hurricane. There will be wind. There will be lightning. There will be some damage. If you don’t need to be on the road, don’t do it. Otherwise, it’s just a storm.
Should we be smart when a bad storm comes through? Absolutely. Should we be scared to death? Absolutely not. By the time you read this, the storm probably has already gone through and it is all over.
In a way, weather coverage is like going to the doctor. “It could be a cold. It could be cancer.” They focus on the worst-case scenarios, and we sit riveted in front of the TV.
In reality, we all just need to be smart. We don’t need to be scared. But that’s today’s media. Hopefully you survive Thunderstorm Tom and we all can get on with our day.
Astros updates: One of my favorite sites for Astros news is crawfishboxes.com. If you want to keep up with what is going on, they do a terrific job. So, too, does Brian McTaggart. (Follow him on Twitter @brianmctaggart). He is the absolute best at Astros coverage. We also have our own preview here.
Happy Valentine’s Day: If you screwed up and forgot to get anything, swing by our friends at Darling Way, 3428 White Oak in the Heights and our friend Beth will hook you up. They will be open until 9 tonight. And check them out at darlingway.com.
And finally...Mommas, don’t your babies grow up to eat birds. Yeah, that pretty much says it all.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
— Charles Dudley Warner
HOTTIE OF THE DAY