Silent Tropics are Good for Residents, Bad for Storm Chasers

This past week several of the local and national news sources that I follow have been filled with story after story bemoaning the fact that this year’s hurricane season has been a dud so far.

Personally, I would think that the fact that there have not been any storms that have turned into hurricanes by the midpoint of the season is a good thing.

But for news stations that make their livings providing continuing continuous coverage of breaking weather events like hurricanes, the lull can certainly hit their bottom line I suppose.

And each of the stories I read this week about the slow start to the season cautioned that with three months left in the season there is still time for a storm to hit so residents along the coast should still keep an eye to the clouds and of course stay tuned into those stations for the breaking news when the storm approaches.

The television news vans have been all gassed up but so far have not had any storms to chase during the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This has led to some news stations to complain about the lack of storms. Photo R. Anderson

The television news vans have been all gassed up but so far have not had any storms to chase during the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This has led to some news stations to complain about the lack of storms.
Photo R. Anderson

While I am certainly all for staying prepared in the event of a storm, and know that historically September is one of the more active months for storms, the sad for not having a storm to cover yet mentality really irritates me.

Ask people along the coast who are still recovering from past storms if they feel “cheated” by the lack of storms this year and I am sure they will tell you that they are enjoying the break from storms that have a name and winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

Also, despite the lack of named storms certain areas are still receiving record amounts of rain so the argument of needing a tropical storm or hurricane to blow through to bring rain quite frankly does not hold water either.

In Texas there are still drought conditions and more rain is certainly needed but I do not see anyone on the street corners shouting for the arrival of a hurricane to bring it to them.

The media meltdown over the lack of storms to cover is just one example this week of my growing displeasure with the state of media affairs.

I really don’t know who to blame for the lapses in media judgment.  I am in no way placing myself on a pedestal and saying that I am the poster child for what a journalist should be but the lack of fundamentals being shown by the mainstream press really has me concerned for the future of a field that many feel is already facing credibility challenges.

I understand that there are way more media sources now than in the golden age of media where a town would have one newspaper and three television stations to bring them their daily dose of news.

With the expansion of cable systems and the internet there are hundreds if not thousands of daily sources that a person with an internet connection can search to get their news fix.

Some of these sources are offshoots of traditional brick and mortar media outlets and others are part of the new media and citizen journalist movement.

Just as not all brick and mortar journalism sources are good, not all new media is bad. So I am definitely not saying that there is not a place for both in the information age, there just needs to be standards.

And when I see traditional media making lapses in judgment it really makes me wonder whether the fundamentals are still being taught to aspiring journalists before they leave those brick and mortar universities with their degrees in hand.

Aside from the biased weather coverage there was another headline that got my blood boiling this week.

Pete Rose spent just one year north of the border playing in Montreal but it was a memorable year as he hit his 4,000th hit in the Major Leagues. His reaction to another member of that club had some media outlets bending his words.

Pete Rose spent just one year north of the border playing in Montreal but it was a memorable year as he hit his 4,000th hit in the Major Leagues. His reaction to another member of that club had some media outlets bending his words.

Pete Rose, aka “Charlie Hustle”, has been in the news a lot the past few weeks. When the suspensions for the steroid abusers broke, Rose was contacted for his take on the length of suspensions since Rose himself has been a victim of the Major League Baseball disciplinary arm having received a lifetime ban for betting on games he was managing.

Then yesterday as the all-time leader in hits in Major League Baseball, Rose was once again sought out after Ichiro Suzuki hit his 4,000 hit Wednesday night. Now the 4,000 hits combine Ichiro’s time in both Japanese and American professional baseball (2,722 hits in Major League Baseball and 1,278 while playing in Japan’s top league). By contrast, all of Rose’s 4,256 hits were all done in Major League Baseball games.

So, Rose was asked if he felt that Ichiro should be considered the hits leader if he manages to get 257 more hits to surpass Rose’s mark. And Rose stated what many others have stated that only hits made in the Major Leagues should count for MLB stats. But instead of a headline stating that the headline writer for this particular article I read said, “Rose disses Ichiro.”

The article did include around five quotes of Rose saying how much he admired Ichiro by calling him a pure hitter and someone who plays the game the right way.  Those do not sound like “disses” to me.

So once again a misleading headline is put over a story to gain readers. This seems to be happening more and more and makes me wonder if the headline writers even read a story anymore before deciding on a headline.

I guess my rant about the state of media could fall under a headline of “columnist disses media” but it is really more of a call for a more responsible press. Time will tell whether the trends reverse or get worse.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to see if the local meteorologists have gotten over their lack of storm depression yet.

 Copyright 2013 R. Anderson