Friday, April 26, 2013

Coming Next Week

Trey Smith

I'll be the first to admit that I can be very obsessed with the weather. For this reason, I like to watch the Weather Channel. For the most part, I like their programming and special features. That said, I am little uncomfortable with the recent promos advertising that, beginning next week, it will be Tornado Week.

I understand that, in this world of a gazillion cable channels, you need a lot of glitz and excitement to try to get viewers to tune in. You can't simply say, "Next week we will take a look at a variety of aspects about tornadoes. So please watch." Your promos need to be creative and make use of emotive hooks. I get that.

But sometimes I worry that promos about climactic events and natural disasters are portrayed too antiseptically. Tornadoes, for example, lead to numerous deaths, injuries, emotional trauma and widespread property damage. Yes, they may be cool to look at -- personally, severe weather fascinates the heck out of me -- but I bet that the people who live through the storms featured don't think of them as cool at all!

What would people think if, instead of Tornado Week, some cable outlet featured People Blown Apart By Bombs Week or Industrial Disaster Week? We would watch our intrepid reporters oohing and aahing as a bomb explodes in a crowd or a fertilizer plant becomes a fireball. We would get to watch as the reporters scramble over each other trying to capture the best shot of the calamity and then breathlessly explain the wheres, whys and hows of the holocaust just viewed.

Me thinks most rational people would think that such a "week" was in very bad taste, to put it mildly. So, why is it okay to treat tornadoes this way?

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