Jul 23, 2008

Attack of the Weathermen

It really pisses me off when a TV station interrupts regular program to tell us about bad weather. I don't mind weather alerts on the edges of the screen; I can deal with a smaller picture. And in a real emergency, say if a tornado was coming, it would be OK to interrupt the program just long enough to say what's necessary. "A cell is forming here and moving in this direction, so places X, Y and Z may be hit by a tornado." Thank you, we got the message. Now, if we live in X, Y or Z, we want to prepare for the approaching twister, and if we don't, we'd like to continue watching the show. You can still keep us informed on the margins.

So tonight a tornado was possibly forming about 20 miles west of where I live. But, instead of just giving us the necessary information, the station interrupted the regular program with almost 10 minutes of detailed explanations of observed weather patterns and how they conclude from those patterns that a tornado may be forming. Interesting stuff, if you wanted to see it; however, if you are seeing it, chances are you were trying to watch something else and would rather keep watching that. (More accurately, chances are you'd also like to wring the neck of the person responsible for the length of the interruption.) The unscheduled weather report is nothing but an intrusion.

No valuable public service is provided by a report that goes beyond necessary emergency information. Furthermore, it can't be good for business, as it will almost certainly annoy more viewers than it will keep glued to the TV waiting for updates. It may even have a negative net effect on public safety, as bored viewers surf away to channels not showing weather alerts. So why do TV stations do something so idiotic?

1 comment:

Robert K S said...

Welcome to my world.

Ever notice that the Archive is a little behind on captures? We can literally blame it on the rain. Not even flood-inducing rain. We're talking, like, chance of thundershowers in distant counties at the edge of the viewing area.