TWC "Busted For Over-Dramatic Coverage."

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Warren Faidley, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Warren Faidley

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  2. Stan Rose

    Stan Rose EF4

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    I've never been a fan of the Wx Channel's antics but of course hype and drama is what drives ratings so it is a bit of a catch-22 for media.
    But it's kind of scary/sad seeing the outpouring of hate and cries of 'fake news' that I being dished out right now on Seidel. At most he may have been overacting a bit. Not exactly the nefarious lie that is part of the insidious liberal plot to institute socialism that the commenters make it out to be. He was, as the channel pointed out, standing on wet grass (right or wrong, doesnt matter to the issue) the winds in the video were probably 30-40 possibly with higher gusts which is clear watching the vegetation in the video. The people in the background were clearly walking with the wind which is much easier than standing, especially if you've been standing for hours on end and tired...and as anyone knows gusts can be highly variable even over 50 feet, and we have no idea from the video what may or may not be affecting the wind from the right side of the clip. So, I've never been one to defend Seidel or others but the criticism here is misguided, IMHO.
     
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  3. Warren Faidley

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    Yes, I agree. Seidel is a very experienced hurricane chaser and I do respect him. I'm sure the pressure to perform stunts comes from upper management.

    As I stated in the Hurricane Florence discussion, with these large build-ups that fizzle out (Cat 4 to Cat 1) the inertia is like trying to stop a freight train. Instead of saying, "Well the storm was certainly not we expected and there were no 20-foot storm surges," they have to justify the hype by finding the most extreme examples of what a boring Cat-1 can do. I think Seidel's event was overshadowed by the reporter who found a small piece of awning in Wilmington and acted like it was a life-threatening hunk of debris. The big story here is flooding, and the people suffering from that, not broken twigs and ankle deep water along the coast.

    Edit: Looting reported in Wilmington reported by multiple media outlets. I'd love to see TWC go live there!
     
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    #3 Warren Faidley, Sep 15, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  4. Stan Rose

    Stan Rose EF4

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    yep, I totally agree, Warren. Even if I had been following the storm closely I might have still expected Florence to come in a lot stronger than it did. Intensity forecasts are notoriously tough. And unfortunately the message that goes along with the forecasts (that regardless of storm intensity, the flooding will be catastrophic) gets lost in the hype.
    After I responded a couple of Seidel's colleagues defended him by noting he was standing in a gustier location due to a nearby building. Of course that begs the question why he has to stand in the windiest spot (obviously for ratings).
     
  5. Warren Faidley

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    Inland flooding is very difficult to cover. Although it's deadly and destructive, no one wants to cover it. Most of the time, the images are not all that exciting. Very static. Anyone with a camera can shoot it so the stock / news value is very low.

    TWC needs their own helicopter. Maybe a surplus black hawk painted baby blue with a big TWC logo. Seidel and Cantori can fast rope down and report. I'd pay to watch that!
     
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  6. Todd Lemery

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    #6 Todd Lemery, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  7. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Todd - based on the rough level of water on the building, it doesn't seem like he's too far off? Plus that's from Ike - so not sure that applies today :)
     
  8. Todd Lemery

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    Yep, I did see after I shared that it was from a previous storm, but I still think it’s funny. Not as funny as the original video clip in this thread though....
     
  9. Joey Ketcham

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    I read a story about this just earlier today, it wasn't that Anderson Cooper was standing in a ditch to mislead the public... he was doing a demonstration of some sort, and was walking around and in the broadcast it was clear he was in a ditch, something they didn't hide.
     
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  10. Jeff House

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    The Seidel video is actually tragic from a psychology point of view. How many people will ignore the next warning? Any kind of warning such as Tornado!

    More broadly, it feeds the fake news crap. I'm all for social media freedom, but we have to get back to making decisions based on well thought out news and opinion pieces (both sides) plus journals. Founders assumed we would, but alas I'm off-topic.

    Finally I really agree coverage should focus on the deadly water, both storm surge and fresh water flooding. TWC high water mark this storm (pun intended) was that green screen demo with the on-camera met drowning in storm surge. Very helpful!
     
  11. Warren Faidley

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    TWC's reputation was damaged years ago. I will say they are generally doing a much better job. I did hear a few inaccurate statements regarding Florence and hurricanes in general during the coverage. Too bad they don't bring back the Star Trek "red alert" they used in the old days when something big was happening. (lol) Anyone remember that?
     
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  12. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Probably none. There is zero evidence that would indicate that someone hearing a tornado warning for their location and seeing dark clouds approach would NOT shelter because they saw a TWC snip on Facebook where the TV met was overhyping hurricane wind gusts.
     
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  13. Jeff House

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    Self evident to you and me; however, many people will not act without solid multiple confirmations. Of course dark clouds would help, and a live-stream of a tornado certainly closes the deal, but sometimes it's still pretty bright when the warning is issued.
    Can you site a source showing zero evidence? I have read several AMS papers and seen several presentations showing evidence people act only after confirming the threat, and that the threat is personal to themselves.
     
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  14. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    That's not how evidence works :) If you want to claim that people might die because they saw a TV meteorologist overemphasizing winds in a hurricane, you'll need some backing. The first half of your post is spot-on. People do want to seek out confirmation before acting.
     
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  15. Jeff House

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    OK maybe the burden of proof is on me for my first post claim. Good point about science and research in general..
    However I think we agree about the sociological studies. Therefore, my conclusion is not a reach given those studies. In fact my hypothesis is a reasonable application of past research, and current skepticism of the media. Technically though, yes I have to provide the evidence to confirm. Cheers!
     
    #15 Jeff House, Sep 25, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  16. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Ehh, it is a reach. Studies show that people trust their local TV meteorologists. National stuff is different - but if someone is watching TWC to know where the tornado in their town is going, then they didn't mind Mr Seidel's "incident" and still trust them too...
     
  17. Ethan Lang

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    I have seen a few episodes of this. One in particular where a TWC anchor was allegedly being blown away and pelted my flying debris while a local fisherman was out on his boat standing straight up.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Stormtrack mobile app
     
  18. Andy Wehrle

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    Well, one thing is for sure, no one felt compelled to "over-dramatize" anything during Michael. They were all running for cover once they realized it had become a top-end 4.
     
  19. Warren Faidley

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    TWC has a history of thinking meteorology knowledge always trumps years of experience. Such self-centered thinking has lead to near disaster multiple times and I have no doubt it will get someone killed in the future.
     
  20. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    With all due respect, what do you mean by this? Truth should weigh more than past experience IMO. Did you perhaps mean something slightly different than what you said?
     
  21. Warren Faidley

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    There have been multiple times I've watched TWC reporters make on-air comments during severe weather events that were grossly incorrect or exaggerated -- not because they were uneducated, but because they lacked practical field experience. Show me a cadet who walks out of West Point with a degree pitted against a battle-hardened special forces soldier and see who wins in a street fight.

    TWC, narrowly avoided disaster on Mexico Beach because once more, they relied on 100% internal decision making instead of seeking advice based on experience. I for one know what a Cat. 4-5 storm surge does along the Gulf.

    During their "Tornado Hunt" they made multiple mistakes (not just El Reno) because they relied on individuals with obvious meteorology skills but little hardcore chasing experience. They were also guilty of being caught up in the fake science era and it's invincibility psychology -- something I personally warned them about after Cantore was nearly killed.

    Part of the reason I stopped working with TWC after my book / video deal was because some of the on-air personalities were pissed that I had a good working knowledge of what I was pursuing while they did not. It made them rather uncomfortable.
     
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    #21 Warren Faidley, Nov 5, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018

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