Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weather terrorists make little kids puke

Last night there was a story on the WCCO 10 PM news about a little girl who was so scared of severe weather - even a passing dark cloud during an otherwise sunny day - who would get so worked up that she would vomit. Her fear of weather is so intense that she spends all day every day indoors. It was a rather sad story but I also felt angry while watching it.

I'm not a child psychologist but that level of fear has to come from somewhere. While the parents seemed rather normal, I am always ready to pin the blame on the parents. I'm guessing that one of the parents is a panicky Pete and plops down on the couch (or paces nervously while whiel taking breaks to peer out the window at the clouds in the distance) during severe weather coverage and gets borderline obsessed during the wall-to-wall weather coverage of channels 4, 5, 9 and 11 when the bad weather rolls through the Twin Cities.

I'm not perfect either but we've gone as far as taking our daughter out on the front porch and letting her watch the weather. She shows no reaction whatsoever to house-shaking thunder and the only time she has ever showed a reaction is when the cat jumped in to her crib during a severe storm and woke her up. She muttered the word "cat" to tell us what happened and was back to sleep in a few minutes.

Back to the WCCO story, though. The worst part, and the moment that should have made the main fear culprit instantly obvious to a few hundred thousand WCCO news viewers, was silver fox Don Shelby throwing things to meteorologist Chris Shaffer. He actually said something to the effect of "there's probably going to be more big boomers tomorrow, another severe weather day..." with Shaffer then beginning to whip up the weather fear.

I get it, the severe storms around her have sucked this summer. It's been worse than many previous years but the only thing that seems to get more news coverage is an oil slick covering the Gulf of Mexico or the election of our first black president. For whatever reason, weather equals TV ratings but with obsessive parents who should show their kids early on that even severe weather isn't anything to puke over, the media needs to sometimes take a step back and ask themselves whether or not the weather they are covering is truly as ominous and scary as they make it out to be. It's really a case of them trying too hard all too often.


justacoolcat said...

"the media needs to sometimes take a step back"

Come one buddy, we know that will never happen.

My question is why does the weather on tv get such good ratings? Is it a because they interrupt everything that is on and take over with weather, thus false ratings. Or is there a certain demographic that just can't get enough fear news? Yeah, just another way the baby boomers are F'in up our world.

choochoo said...

I luves storms. When I was a kid, I would sit out on the lawn with my head turned up. And my mouth open in amazement, most of the time. Then my mum would drag me inside before I drowned myself. Normal is prolly somewhere between me and that other kid.

Jules said...

I totally agree with you on this. Parents are responsible for teaching everything to their kids. My niece was and still is terrified of animals because her parents never let her near any. Shame. This little kid will grow up to be Agoraphobic, or whatever that term is for people who have to stay inside. It it's not a storm, it'll be that she's afraid of too much sun. Tsk tsk.