I'm a little surprised at all of the blog reaction to the so-called tornado so-called coverage of the local so-called news media last night.
I mean, we've all pretty much been in this town long enough to know that, given a stiff breeze, the local weather mediots will pre-empt your favorite TV show to tell you the sky is falling. Nothing new there. Hey, at least they don't interrupt the commercials, right?
Beating up on the so-called news so-called media is fun, but at this point it's become the dead horse of the local internets. Besides, you shouldn't be watching so much TV anyway.
What I want to take a few swipes at is the geniuses who run the tornado sirens around town.
My family and I were on our way home after a meeting with a volunteer group we're involved with yesterday evening. We had just decided to make a quick stop at Home Depot when the first sirens went off.
We flipped on the weather coverage on one of the local AM stations (can't remember which one it was, probably 980) to hear the dreaded news that the world was ending. But it was quite to the contrary...
The announcer was telling us that "the tornado warning for Johnson County has been lifted" -- note that this is happening as the sirens are going off. The announcer noted it as well: "The sirens are going off all over Overland Park, but the National Weather Service is telling us that the tornado warnings have been allowed to expire."
It seems the announcer was just as confused as I was (and that's hard, because I'm always pretty damned confused).
You see, what I don't get is, why turn on the siren if there's no tornado in the first place. People are heading for the root cellar and saying their last goodbyes when they hear those sirens. But not only was there no tornado, there wasn't even a tornado warning or watch. WTF?
Look, I already have an unhealthy disregard for tornadoes. I've lived in Kansas for more than 35 years. I've never been outside of the state borders for more than 4-weeks at a stretch. And I've never seen a real tornado in person.
Sure, I've see the coverage and aftermath on TV. On an intellectual level, I know they exist and they can be devastating. But in my heart, I still don't think it can happen to me.
And it doesn't help when we have a bunch of chicken littles with their fingers on the panic button waiting to cry wolf (hurray for mixed metaphors!).
It's a matter of credibility, people.
tagged: Kansas City, Johnson County, weather, tornado, warning, media