TODAY'S FORECAST: 90% CHANCE OF STOCK FOOTAGE

Posted in Rants on August 29th, 2005 by Ed

I have this thing about the news media and hurricane coverage. Irrespective of the fact that The Big Stinky (New Orleans) is currently in the process of being washed out to sea, I still can't believe the way cable TV news conducts itself during these fiascoes.

Hurricanes have always been gold for the media. They’re slow (guaranteeing several days of fill), they’re destructive (guaranteeing good video), and generally considered to be terrifying. But not only is hurricane coverage unbearable in its quantity, the awful part is that it’s always the same; every channel, every year, every hurricane.

Blow-dried, pensive anchor in studio: “How’s it looking out there?”

Live shot of storm-addled and soaking wet correspondent (with obligatory background debris flying about): “It’s really really windy!

Anchor: “OK, thanks for that report. We’ll have another live update in 15.”

From there, they cut to a meteorologist who will spend a few minutes pointing at a flashing, luminous satellite image of the storm moving towards the coast. Finally, the cycle ends with some stock footage of harried citizens buying jugs of water in grocery stores and boarding up windows or fleeing the area on gridlocked highways.

Cut to the human interest story about the retards intent on riding out the storm on their front porch, flashlight in one hand and Old Fashioned in the other. Cue the montage about past hurricanes (remember that wacky Andrew? Good times. Good times.) and bring out that clip of a wrinkled Asian scientist explaining the NOAA hurricane rating system. Did you know that a Category 4 has sustained winds of 131-155 mph? Well it's a goddamn fact.

Any force of man or nature that can level thousands of square miles of Florida or the deep south is a-o-fuckin'-k in my book. Have you seen rural Mississippi? The hurricanes can't come fast enough. Christ, let's drop a daisy cutter or two and help ol' Katrina out.

In closing, hurricanes and tornadoes are not random. They form when moist air masses from the Gulf of Mexico mix with NASCAR collectibles, the sound of Larry the Cable Guy, and the aroma of grits.