This entire week we have been deluged on television by images of sliding cars, snowplows, shovels, snow blowers and reporters risking life and limb on street corners up and down the east coast. Minneapolis and St. Paul media was no exception with double decked school closings on your screen, maps of highways flashing red, video of accidents, tow trucks, and 10 minute explanations on parking rules. Maybe it’s just me, but didn’t Minneapolis get a whopping 6 inches of snow and New York get the unbelievable amount of 10 inches? Is Snow in February really worth all that fuss? (Bemidji got 5.5 inches of snow and nobody even took a picture).
The Today Show broadcasted the first 16 minutes of their show Thursday strictly focused on the snow on the East Coast. They talked to the chief of police of Washington DC who recommended everyone to check on their neighbors and the elderly. Then we switched to dump trucks hauling snow from Reagan Airport to the Potomac River. Next it was the financial impact of the snow on city budgets that are tight. Obviously these things for several days took precedence over nukes in Iran, or people dying in Haiti, or the war in Afghanistan. (picture below taken by Monty Draper several years ago near Cass Lake)
I’m as big of a weather junkie as anyone, but to me that’s why God allowed the invention of the WEATHER CHANNEL. If I want to get my fix of natural disaster video footage, that’s where I need to be. Maybe that’s the problem with network news these days, it seems to be the “flavor of the month” club with this week snow, last week Toyota, week before Tiger Woods, and so on.
It’s funny that when a big storm hits the West Coast, particularly California, the national television is all over it. The same storm can pass through Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa, even Chicago and you never hear a peep about it. Then as soon as it gets into the populated areas of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, BAM it’s the end of the world as we know it.
Cold is different than snow and doesn’t get the glamour from the media. Snow is a visual and everyone gets excited when we see piles of it being brushed, slid upon, or plowed through. Cold doesn’t lend itself to TV. It’s just there. Oh it was -20 degrees today in Bemidji, Minnesota. The only television shot you’re going to get is someone’s breath, a person bundled up and a bit of smoke coming from someone’s car exhaust. That’s it.
So THUMBS DOWN to the Twin Cities television media…it’s almost sac-religious that Minnesota stations sensationalize 6 inches of snow. And THUMBS DOWN to the National media exploiting something that we live with 6 months out of the year. Snow in February? Who would have thunk that?