Silly weather reporting

The massive storm predicted earlier this week for the northeast corridor of the US and caused New York City to pretty much shut down, resulted in a mixed outcome. The storm did hit hard many regions of Massachusetts and the upper regions of New England, though friends of mine who live in Maine said that it was pretty much the kind of bad storm that hits them every winter and not an unprecedented one.

But the TV news shows that hyped this storm as one in a century are based in New York City and that region had the good fortune to see the storm veer slightly and dump most of the snow into the Atlantic ocean. Weather forecasting is a difficult business and a slight shift in wind patterns can move a storm away from its predicted path. It should not be a surprise that in this case, it shifted from a dense urban area to the neighboring ocean. But rather than celebrating their good fortune, some people seemed to be annoyed, angry even, that the storm did not live up to its hype.

The news shows based in New York City had to decide what to do. Do they tell their viewers that the storm largely missed their city and send their reporters to the regions that were hard hit? Or do they pretend that the storm in their area was as bad as they had hyped and continue the dramatic coverage they had planned in advance?

It should not be hard to guess what they did. Here’s a hint: They did not cover themselves with glory.

(This clip aired on January 27, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

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