RepMan is hanging off some mountain cliff in the wilds of New Hampshire this week. Here is the second “best of” posts, originally posted March 2009.
Monday’s “mega storm” or “East Coast Event” as the media are billing it has made a lot of newscasters very, very happy.
Newscasters live for big snow storms. They’re like little kids in a candy store. You can sense their excitement as they talk about high wind gusts, treacherous road conditions and school closings.
And, they just adore total team coverage. I was just watching the local Fox affiliate correspondent reporting “live” from Rego Park, Queens. Gee whiz. Live from Rego Park, Queens? Wow. Anyway, she was bundled up like an Eskimo, scrunched over like an elderly woman with osteoporosis and screaming triumphantly, “Just look at that wind whipping the awning of the bodega behind me! This is pure white out stuff, Curt!”
The media love to end every weather report with the same daunting admonition, “If you must travel today, please be sure and take mass transit. But if you don’t have to travel, by all means stay safe at home!”
The collective media overkill makes me wonder what these intrepid “journalists” would do with a real Rocky Mountain-type blizzard that dumped, say, four or five feet on New York? They’d probably go on a 72-hour, non-stop media bender. You’d see beaten and beleaguered field reporters standing on snowy street corners hour after hour. I can just imagine an “anchor” sitting inside a warm studio, directing his freezing and exhausted cohorts to pack it in. “Amy, you’ve done enough. Go home and get some warm soup inside you!” But, being the formidable frontline correspondent that she is, Amy would bravely refuse. “No Curt. My job is to be here at exit 124 on the Long Island Expressway, letting our viewers know just how bad it is. Remember everyone, if you must travel, for god’s sake, take mass transit! As for me, I’m staying here, Curt, right up until the bitter end.”
Newscasters use a combination of frenzied excitement and somber gravitas to make it seem as if they’re covering a fire fight on the Gaza Strip instead of a 6 to 10 inch snowstorm. They’re not happy unless they’ve succeeded in shutting down every school, emptying the shelves of every Acme in the tri-state and interviewing every last stranded passenger at LaGuardia.
Yes, for the media, a snowstorm is the most wonderful time of the year.