I am turning into a grouchy old man. I know this. I accept this. Please note, there is a rant to follow.
It makes me feel better, okay?
The evening of March 29, 2017 saw a round of severe weather come through Arkansas. Nothing unusual about that at all. It ’tis the season for that here in this part of the country.
We had active tornado warnings.
I looked at the Facebook Live feeds from a couple of the local stations. This is a good thing, by the way. A way to get live broadcast information if your power goes out streaming to your mobile device. I am all for the use of social media and streaming in the case of active warnings. I believe it is a tool that that the potential to save lives.
Let me stop here to say that it has been a few years since I worked in broadcasting, so maybe I forgot how dumb some people are. I mean, I have talked to my fair share of people via telephone and email during my time in radio and TV that sometimes they could and did say things so stupid that it gave me Forest Whitaker eye:
Then I made the mistake of reading the comments as they scrolled in during the THV Facebook Live stream.
The majority of folks posting to the live weather coverage video were complimentary and thankful for the information being given to them. But, see they had to break in during Survivor. A reality TV show was interrupted to tell someone about an active tornado warning.
Now, most sane, rational people with any modicum of brain processing ability would understand that this was the correct thing to do. Nevermind the FCC mandate that specifies broadcasting in the public interest, lives could be at stake. But no. Seeing which person who can eat the most bugs or worms and run an obstacle course is obviously more important to some people than, oh I dunno, A TORNADO WARNING!
Here are actual screen captures of some comments:
First, it was a warning. See unlike you Miss Commentator – who by the way if you don’t live in the world of unicorns and fairy tale dreams full-time, you at least spend most of your summers there – the rest of us realize that:
1 – Severe weather situations are a fluid thing and they change. Often very quickly.
2 – People will tune into the coverage at different times, so they have to repeat information.
Yeah. See? No. Probably not.
Sure. We will just forget about the warnings. Who cares about those folks anyway. I have covered this.
I mean sure, a lot of us WILL go outside and look during an active warning.
I didn’t say it was smart, just that we will do it.
Ok. Rant done.