Hurricane chasers take the heat (again)

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Mark Blue, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Mark Blue

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    It seems the public doesn’t believe reports from the front lines of hurricanes are needed because of the risk involved to the reporters/chasers. I’m on the fence because I’m a chaser and enjoy watching what’s happening. I certainly don’t want anyone to get hurt doing what they love to do. What do the rest of you think?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...decisions-during-nate/?utm_term=.bf3fc367bb69
     
  2. Michael Towers

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    I have no problem with chasing canes, it’s not my cup of tea but to each their own. But cut the “doing it for science” or doing it as a public service rationale, that’s either plain bullshit or misguided thinking but either way simply nonsense. Same with chasing tornadoes, I think most people do it because it’s fun and an amazing thing to experience and maybe for some a way to seek fame and/or fortune. Regardless the reason, if it floats your boat then have at it as long as you’re not endangering others through reckless or irresponsible behavior.
     
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  3. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    It's a valid argument, but the article follows the clickbaity pattern with media to present as uncharitable a caricature as they possibly can in order to stir up/stoke controversy (as they do with any subject, particularly political). Theiss is a veteran and one of the most experienced hurricane chasers, I see no problem with someone like him being out there.
     
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  4. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    I'll give you some points for that Dan - but seriously, this is why Reed does what he does? He considers himself equal to the Coast Guard pilot rescuing people off roofs? "like first responders who place themselves in harm’s way, we do go into dangerous situations but as top professionals do so in intelligent and cautious ways so that people understand the dangers and when told to evacuate they will do so.”

    I assume he knows better - but when two feet of water are flooding the roads, it's too late for anyone left behind to evacuate.
     
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  5. Alex Elmore

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    I would guess it's probably a combination of just how he is naturally, coupled with him doing whatever Accuweather tells him to do since he works for them now.

    I agree with this 100%. So many chasers, regardless of what they chase, claim that they're chasing for a reason other than self-interest. While there may be other reasons, self-interest is probably the top reason because why else would you go out and do it? If they know what they're doing and aren't going to hurt or bother anyone, I say go for it.
     
  6. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    Does anyone know if there is any scientific data that proves - with evidence - that seeing chasers and reporters on TV covering a hurricane makes people .a) do the same; b.) not evacuate, etc? Are we talking about facts/science, or just some anti-chaser opinions? FWIW, this author has written anti-chaser articles in the past.
     
  7. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Well, given Dr Timmer's claim that people are acting based on his video feeds, he probably has some research to base that off of.

    Just kidding. As noted, he lies as part of his marketing plan as Alex observed.

    No, there is no evidence that reporters on the beach sway any opinions. As noted, evac go/no-go decisions happen long before reporters show up on the beach. But to be clear, this isn't just the author's anti-chaser opinion. She included numerous tweets from NWS and other meteorologists in the mix.
     
  8. Ben Holcomb

    Ben Holcomb Digital Janitor
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  9. Todd Lemery

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    Hell, anybody that wants to chase anything, from blizzards to hurricanes, more power to them, because in the end, they are just doing what I wish I had the time, balls or money to be doing.
     
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  10. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    As an aside on these hit pieces in recent years: One thing I've started doing is to look at the Twitter feeds of some of the authors of these pieces. Often it's full of vitriol toward everyone and everything. Some of these people really have a chip on their shoulder, and will jump at the chance to inject themselves into any controversy real or imagined. It is what drives viewership and ratings in today's media. Media companies hire journalists with these personality traits on purpose ( citation). The divisive pieces are very profitable, it is why we see so many of them on every subject imaginable. If in that process, people lose reputations, friends become enemies, public misunderstandings and misconceptions amplify, our country destabilizes and/or any other collateral damage happens, it's a pat on the back from upper management and a guarantee that this cycle of journalism will continue.
     
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  11. Mark Blue

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    IMHO if they claim it’s for scientific reasons, I believe they should be collaborating with CSU or Florida State University (or others) under a grant of some sort collecting and providing data sets according to what they’re trying to accomplish. What that would be I don’t know, but otherwise I think they’re doing what they love to do and that’s the bottom line. Nothing wrong with that!
     
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  12. Warren Faidley

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    Believe it or not, I don't have a problem with what Timmer is doing now. At least he's honest about it. I'm not aware that he's working any longer as a want-to-be scientist, claiming to be collecting critical data that results in diddly-squat. As I've said before, I think his Storm Chasers stunts and deceptions destroyed his credibility forever.

    Hurricane Nate was not that big of a deal. That same garage and location floods during every Cat-1+ hurricane. Ho-hum, I did not even go -- especially since it hit at night. My problem with some chasers who claim to be "journalists" is that they are not. They don't have an accredited background or any affiliation with genuine news organizations. I saw multiple set-up shots during Nate. That's a big no-no in journalism and will get you blackballed even in today's fake news world. I also work near or in (safe) storm surge areas, but it's not for show. I need certain shots to tell the story. I'm also very professional about it. I avoid certain hazards and I always wear an inflatable life vest with rescue and survival equipment like a PLB. (Personal locator beacon).
     
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    #12 Warren Faidley, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  13. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Honest?!? He claims to be doing it to save lives still...
     
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  14. Kevin R Burgess

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  15. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    No, here's his exact quote again:

    “The work that I do here is a public service,” Timmer told The Washington Post via email, “and like first responders who place themselves in harm’s way, we do go into dangerous situations but as top professionals do so in intelligent and cautious ways so that people understand the dangers and when told to evacuate they will do so.”
     
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  16. Kevin R Burgess

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    How many pinocchios do you think Reed deserves ? :)
     
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  17. Mark Blue

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    Probably not as many as some who like to Tweet like it’s going out of style! :(
     
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  18. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    He blocked me when I asked him to stop posting inaccurate information about severe weather in Michigan so I don’t know how often he does :(


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  19. Warren Faidley

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    I was not aware of the statements he made regarding "saving lives." I'm really surprised that Accu-Wx would support such behavior and the obvious liability connected to it.
     
  20. Mark Blue

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    I would venture a guess that Accu-Wx is attempting to keep up with the private sector competition otherwise known as TWC. Put a well known face out in the field whose enthusiasm for severe weather is second to none in order to compete with the likes of Cantori, Bettes, and Mike Seidel. The only difference being the channels used to communicate with the end users. Reed leans heavily towards social media whereas the others are on cable TV, but also utilize social media to a lesser extent. I could be all wet but it seems a likely explanation from my viewpoint.

    I imagine there is a live feed from Accu-Wx out there via streaming or lesser known TV channels, but I don’t follow them very closely, so my theory could be a shot in the dark. We have an Accu-Wx Channel through Roku, and the streaming apps built-in to modern televisions, but I didn’t watch it during the hurricane season (or much at all in the past) to know whether or not Reed receives or received live air time for his reports. I guess I’ll have to revisit what they’re currently doing in that regard.
     
  21. Warren Faidley

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    There is a growing segment of society that relies almost entirely on social media for most of their weather, news and other information. I know many people personally who do this. Social media outlets are slowly being held responsible for content. Regardless, the legalities of supporting bad behavior still remain. I think TWC learned this the hard way, multiple times. If you are a business connecting your brand or services with idiotic behavior, then be ready to pay for it. I no longer care much about bad chaser behavior as my business model no longer includes sponsors or advertising gigs. The images of (a very few) chasers killing each other, faking science and acting like morons has pretty much killed off any chance of a responsible and informed client to use a "chasing" theme. Loosing a $75,000 contract because of another chasers actions was enough for me.
     
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  22. Kevin R Burgess

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    I agree 100% Warren... I would have loved to have chased,back in the day's of VHS video tapping :)
     
  23. Jeff House

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    Tough to compare chasers with First Responders, but they are free to chase at their own risk. Honestly I enjoy watching the coverage from my safe dry living room.

    Growing research partnerships between psychologists/sociologists and meteorologists show evidence people act on warnings if they have confirmation and it is a personalized threat. While evacuation decisions for this storm are made before chaser coverage, people do remember chaser coverage from last storm. Rather than encourage chasing, I believe coverage encourages taking precautions. Irma evacuations were large after Harvey. Rita evacuation was ordered after Katrina. (The yes/no decision is another issue.) My point is a verified personal threat moves the public to respond to warnings.

    Long as chasers do not complicate the situation for locals (they don't) I think chasing is a positive. Of course something going well does not make good clickbait, lol.
     
  24. Warren Faidley

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    Given enough higher level risk situations, these chasers will eventually be killed or seriously injured. I hope not, but accounting for the magnitude of past stupidly and stunts that nearly resulted in loss of life or serious injury, it's a better than 70% chance. We have already seen chasers killed for various reasons, including negligence. I would say the "luck" factor for a few is amazing. I know from my own experiences what the dangers are and I continue to see chasers push the limits way beyond the safe zone. This year is a good example, as several put themselves in situations where the worse case scenarios did not develop and they relied almost completely on luck.
     
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  25. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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