Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 1/13/08

Weather Chanel can come on a bit strong
By, Ezra Paul Mann (Editor and High Wind Advisor)

It starts out like almost any other day; you decide you would like to know what the weather is going to be like. So, innocently enough, you turn on the television to check out what the local forecast will be.
Some of us choose our local stations, but others turn to the Weather Channel since it does a decent enough job living up to its name. Sure, innocently enough you greet the dedicated atmosphere watching network and they greet your attention with rain, shine, wind or the usual expected outdoor conditions. Then whammo, next thing you know, you’re on a not quite comfortable trip to naughty town.
I’m not saying that the weather channel is all about getting down and dirty, but I swear every time the local on the eights pops up it’s accompanied by a song only Ron Jeremy would use in one of his “films.” I don’t know about you, but slow jazz with a bow chicka wow wow sound going on the background doesn’t exactly bring to mind thoughts associated with the fluffy clouds.
Has it really become so desperate a competition for ratings that meteorologists must double as barometer gigolos to get our attention? I’m not sure it warrants a call to the FCC, but we might want to be aware that the television climate is getting a little more than upper level disturbing. Unfortunately, the Weather Channel doesn’t only tread the adult line with just eights updates.
Just this morning, I heard a forecaster on the network mention in a low kinda voice that Boston was looking fine. I wonder how Boston feels about that.
Sure, a compliment on looks is ok as long as it is tasteful, but if forecasters start using pickup lines on the air it could lead to something else. First an area of the country looks fine and then it’s all about falling from heaven, picking up phone numbers and late night sessions of Barry White. If national weather types aren’t careful, they could have a hurricane of lawsuits on their hands.
Finally, the Weather Channel Web site just seems to want to be way too personal in our lives right now. A quick glance will show links that suggest putting weather on your “desktop,” helping you get to work with a “travel forecast” and offering “raw video” for those who want to see more.
I like knowing if it will be cold or hot, but strictly in the sense that I can check when I want it to. I just don’t know if I’m ready for it to move to the El Nino stage yet. Perhaps they just need to tone down the advances.
It’s not that we’re not digging you Weather Channel, we simply don’t feel you are quite taking things as carefully as you should. Maybe someday when we are at a coffee shop and feel like checking you out on our cell phones or blackberries we can move on from there.
Until then I think it would be best that we remain friends, that way no one gets uncomfortable or any wrong messages are sent that end someone up in jail. I know you’ll understand and not get too offended if I take some time off to meet other weather information providers. It’ll give us time to cool off from this heat wave anyway.

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