Click to use the Talking Dictionary 48. LA: Who Needs a TV Weatherman? (2)


48. Mid‐December through mid‐March is often rainy and chilly. It's jacket and umbrella time. Rain excites the local TV weather people. They get to remind viewers, in their best parental voice, to "remember your umbrellas, watch out for traffic, and drive carefully!" Pity the poor people who don't watch TV. They probably forget their umbrellas, walk into traffic, and crash their cars every rainstorm. Another expression weather persons wear out during the rainy season is "Storm warning!" They love to say that, even though it rhymes less than "June gloom." Sometimes, however, no storm follows the storm warning. You don't have to watch TV news for long in winter to realize that the weather people are like the boy who cried "Wolf!"

When a big storm hits LA, every TV station sends at least one reporter out into the streets. The reporter stands in the street near the biggest puddle he can find. The raindrops hit the puddle. The camera zooms in on the raindrops hitting the puddle. The camera zooms in on vehicles' back‐and‐forth windshield wipers. The camera zooms in on people holding umbrellas or folded newspapers over their heads. Another reporter is sent to a nearby stream. The camera zooms in on the raindrops hitting the barely flowing stream and on the reporter's feet as he stands ankle‐deep in the stream. Two hours later, he is still standing only ankle‐deep in the stream, but the camera zooms in anyway. The mild‐mannered stream hasn't become the angry river that the TV station producers had hoped to bring you. But, there'll always be more storms. Hopefully, that reporter used an old pair of shoes and didn't catch a cold.

Local TV weather persons do their best to make weather, which is boringly predictable 90 percent of the time in LA, interesting. Not only do they fail 90 percent of the time but also, aside from NBC's Fritz, who wryly presents the weather and never displays the slightest bit of excitement, they make themselves look a little silly. 7.2, 344


48. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved.