Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Weathermen II

Do you ever wonder what happens to weathermen and women? There was the case of the legendary ABC weatherman Tex Antoine, who got booted off the air when he commented, "With rape so predominant in the news today, it is well to remember the words of Confucius: 'if rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it.'" Do they go on to lead lives of quiet desperation? You wonder about the field of weather or meteorology itself, something which like the very world it forecasts is prone to its ups and downs and its stormy days-- something which has been underscored by the Category 4 hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma which have recently devastated Puerto Rico, the Texas coast and Florida. No one says that weather people (or for that matter anyone reporting on catastrophes) are schadenfreudians. But traumatic events are their bread and butter and you can't help but notice the saliva on the edges of the mouth of these Cassandras when a storm is about to strike. Global warming has of course added an urgency to a profession which many including viewers of the daily weather reports on the evening news once took for granted. It’s nice to be blond and dashing like CBS’s Lonnie Quinn, who looks like a surf boarder. However, weathermen and women are a little like athletes, who when they reach a certain age no longer are going to be able to step up to the plate, Roger Federer notwithstanding. Are rookies recruited at meteorological conventions? Then there’s The Weather Channel, which is a world unto itself. The Weather Channel is like The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, when it comes to weather matters. If you're a Weather Channel reporter and you make it to the Broadway of weather reporting, which is a local network affiliate of CBS, ABC or NBC (or even become a superstar like Chad Myers of CNN), you have a broader audience it may be necessary to talk down to. Oh, yes you may still discuss low pressure systems off Bermuda or high pressure ones over the Great Lakes or reveal the name of that hurricane brewing in the Bahamas. However, cloud formations are another matter, and you’re not going to be shooting off so easily about El Nino when your news anchor passes the ball, asking you for the five day forecast. 

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