People Who Complain About Tornado Coverage Deserve to Miss Their Shows
Deadspin covered the fallout from a television station in New York breaking into the last few minutes of the final game of the World Cup for a tornado warning in the station's viewing area. When it comes to severe weather, news stations put viewer safety over programming every time, and people who complain about it deserve to miss their shows.
Most television stations in the United States have policies in place that require their weather personnel to break into programming when a tornado warning is issued in their viewing area. As tornado warnings are only issued during imminent life-threatening severe weather situations, meteorologists need to get the word out as fast as they can so people in the way of the storms can take cover just in case the worst happens.
@WENYTV you guys are a bunch of fucking geeks. Really needed cut out the last 7minutes for this bullshit??
— J.D. Mac (@ScootMcC) July 13, 2014
Each and every time broadcast meteorologists have to break into programming, dozens and sometimes even hundreds of people take to the internet to chew them out for opting to give priority to safety rather than entertainment. The complaints are almost always from folks not in harm's way, representing the most basic type of selfish screw-you-I've-got-mine mindset — your entertainment is more important than your neighbor's safety. Screw that noise.
Whether it's really selfish behavior or just a sign of immaturity, it's amazing that full-grown adults would send vulgar tweets and sometimes even threaten people's lives on social media and via email when stations have to cut into programming to cover a tornado warning.
The angry, barely-knowledgeable internet user will point out that since the National Weather Service's false alarm rate for tornado warnings is near 75%, stations should ignore most tornado warnings and choose to show scheduled programming, or they should show weather coverage on a different station and just run a tiny crawl across the screen rather than break into the Super Important Life-Saving World Cup Game of the Century.
Again, screw that. Tornado coverage is more nuanced than scrolling "x County is under a tornado warning until 600PM" at the bottom of the screen at size 8 font. It can save lives in the event that the storm really does produce a tornado that hits populated areas.
The right to find out about a potential tornado barreling towards one's house trumps one's "right" to watch the final few minutes of the World Cup or the newest episode of Big Brother.
If these adults — again, I emphasize adults because for the most part these aren't just some fifteen-year-olds mouthing off on Twitter — can't understand that, then they deserve to miss whatever television show they covet more than the safety of others.
Priorities, people. Learn them.
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