Meteorologist: The World’s Most Narcissistic Profession

As everyone in Northwest Louisiana knows, KSLA decided to replace the second half of yesterday’s LSU-Auburn game with two hours of frantic warnings about severe weather. In a tone of incredible self-righteousness, I’m sure their defense would be something like “We would never give football, even a game between two top ten teams, one of which is the local favorite, precedence over PEOPLE’S LIVES.”

And you might be tempted to agree. I mean, given the facts as I’ve summarized them, you might think that during the hours of the game, multiple tornadoes, with lighting, and hail, and who knows what else, were destroying large parts of Shreveport. You’d be wrong.

In fact, what the weatherman did was spend two hours zooming in and out of radar that indicated a few strong storms were occurring around Mt. Pleasant, Texas, over one hundred miles away. There were no tornadoes, just conditions that might lead to tornadoes, and all of that far from KSLA’s viewing area. Oh, and did I mention it never so much as rained here yesterday?

These facts might be why no other station did anything more than put a small map in the corner of the screen, accompanied by a scrolling warning. Given the extremely low threat, that was the proper response. KSLA, meanwhile, absurdly overreacted, going into code red and interrupting LSU’s biggest game of the year.

But interrupting the game isn’t the biggest cost. I cannot be the only person who, after witnessing KSLA act like the world was about to end, only to be completely wrong, will never trust them again. I’m strongly disposed to distrust weathermen, and last night only made it worse. They’ve cried wolf one too many times.

So why did they overreact so badly? That’s the reason for the title to this post. My only guess is that after several months of the exact same weather – sunny skies, warm, no chance of rain – they needed to do something to affirm their existence. Unfortunately, all they did was piss off their viewers and earn themselves a lot of distrust.

P.S. The station manager’s e-mail:

P.P.S. My e-mail to Mr. Smith:

mr. smith,

i’m sure by now you’ve read and heard this complaint a thousand times, but let me add my voice to those scolding you for your actions during yesterday’s LSU game.

the threat was minimal and miles from your viewing area. given the very low levels of danger, the proper response was that of your competitors: a small map and scrolling warning on screen.

your station wildly overreacted, costing me the game and you my trust. given your actions yesterday, i will never again rely on your station’s judgment about the weather.

of course, public admission of your mistake would go a long way towards re-earning that trust.

thank you,

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2 Comments on “Meteorologist: The World’s Most Narcissistic Profession”

  1. Jim Says:

    That was unbelieveable. The area affected has a CBS affiliate, Channel 19 for Tyler/Longview.
    Not one tornado formed, much less touched down. I think you are right – it was a narcissistic power trip.

  2. Mauriceloridans Says:

    The very next night all local weather casters spent hours on severe conditions to the northwest. But when the severe conditions reached Shreveport proper, it was after 11 pm and they’d all gone home.

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