If there’s one thing you can count on when a hurricane hits U.S. shores, it’s that some newsperson will get blown around by the wind and then we will all point and laugh at them for being morons. Exposing oneself to harsh elements does little to nothing to actually enhance reporting on a storm, yet people like Jim Cantore and Al Roker keep doing it, as they did in New Orleans this morning when Hurricane Issac blew through town, because ratings or dumb journalism awards no one cares about or something.
Something to note about the shot above: being intimately familiar with the city of New Orleans, I was wondering why The Weather Channel’s producers were setting up reporters up in this particular spot, with the intersection of Canal and Magazine as a backdrop. But then it hit me: Canal Street is the widest street in downtown New Orleans — great for gusts of wind to flow freely — and where these guys are is probably a half mile from the Mississippi River, and the closer you are to the river the heavier winds will be. In other words, TWC set up in a spot in the city that was most likely to see the heaviest winds, meaning that it was staged for dramatic effect. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course, yet knowing this only makes it all the more disturbing to me.
And, of course, Jim Cantore Tebowed while giving a live report. No, there’s no way at all that this was staged.