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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Post# 213 - CNN: Stationing Reporters in the Paths of Hurricanes Is Irresponsible

I sent this during the height of Hurricane Irene, on 8/27/2011:

Dear CNN,

I've decided to boycott your coverage of hurricane season this year.  I feel that it's wrong of you to throw reporters out there on harms way as deadly hurricanes pass by them.  You do this every year.

You pick these brave (stupid?) people who are trying to climb their way into anchor jobs so they can stand out there and say stuff like. "It's really windy here!" and "These waves must be 35 feet tall!"  They interview local people who made the brave (stupid?) decision to stay in harms way, rather than get out of dodge.  These locals don't deserve the attention--you're rewarding them for bad decisions.

During a massive storm, the local reporter doesn't add much value.  In baseball, the teams use the flag to gage wind strength and direction.  Isn't that really all the reporter is?  A human wind vane?

Let's be really honest.  Storms are big business for networks like yours.  People tune in, in part, to see if the reporter will blow away.  They do this because you keep putting them out there.
Why not take a higher road?   Your meteorologists are bright enough to know the basic path of the storm.  Why couldn't you throw remote, anchored remote control cameras and weather vanes every few miles along the coastline?  You could collect weather info and stunning images without anybody risking their lives.

If you really feel the urge to throw people in harm's way, do something productive.  How about replacing news trucks with moving trucks and help the elderly and disabled who couldn't move?

Or here's an idea.  There are convicted murderers, rapists and pedfiles wearing shackles, eating our tax dollars, rotting in prison cells.  Why not give them a public speaking course, make them up and throw them out there iin harm's way nstead?  The shackles could be used to anchor them down.

Just some ideas.


My follow-up, sent 9/6/2011:

Dear CNN,

I noticed you never bothered to answer my questions regarding your policies during natural disasters.  I don't think it's fair that you make your employees risk their lives in inclement weather (and for that matter, war) conditions, all for ratings.

By not acknowledging me, you're confirming what we all know--it isn't cool.  Face it--if your reporters were cows, you'd be running from animal rights activists.  Instead, they're people, seemingly lacking rights.

I gave you better options: remote weather stations and web cams, or convicted inmate reporters.

Why not get back to me at 19 minutes after the hour?


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