Thursday, March 01, 2007

Storm Blogging

Regular readers recall that Baxter O'Beagle is terrified of storms. As usual, the boy woke Mrs. DocLarry and I as the thunder and lightning began. When the storm sirens sounded I turned on the TV to learn why. The Weather Channel crawl identified the tornado warning, so I flipped to KY3 for more information. Brandon Beck was doing a good job providing information in the wee hours of the morning with what was likely a skeleton crew. And, even with the fast-moving storms, was able to stay ahead of the game so as to provide several minutes to get to safety. My one criticism is that Beck announed the "likely" location of the storm "at street level," and then almost immediately stated he wasn't going to get into predicting the storm location "at street level."

But the real fun began several minutes later. I commented to Mrs. DocLarry my surprise that Ron Hearst hadn't shown up at the station yet. Within five minutes Hearst's voice could be heard, but just barely. And true to form, Hearst took over, attempting to demonstrate his vast knowledge of the region and all-things weather in his typical annoying manner. One big difference: his mic wasn't working. So you could hear Hearst talking in the background, but not really understand what he was saying.

Having worked in live television many years, I know that technology will fail at the worst possible time, but the show must go on. Former colleagues liked the phrase, "Live means never having to say you're sorry." Ten minutes into Hearst's speech it should have been evident to SOMEONE at KY3 that his mic wasn't working. Still, Hearst kept butting in to Beck's commentary. Instead of turning things over to Beck while his mic was fixed, Hearst just kept talking, though he couldn't be heard.

Finally, the mic problem was fixed. And for some odd reason, Hearst decided we all needed to know exactly WHY his mic hadn't been working. The explanation? He wasn't wearing a "normal, button down shirt" so that the "mic didn't fit properly" and pointed at his chest. What this had to do with the severe weather is beyond me, as is why anyone might possible care about WHY the mic wasn't working. Of course, it's beyond me why Hearst just kept yammering while his mic WASN'T working.

As I said to Mrs. DocLarry, The Ego Has Landed.

Before turning off the TV we were treated to two more delicious comments. Beck announced that he was going to repeat the safety tips, which they put on the screen frequently "because people sometimes forget what they're supposed to do," and that "we do this for a couple reasons; one, because we have to do this, and two, because we need to."

The final comment came from Hearst, who said, "We're keeping you safe here. But we need to remind you that you're responsible for your own safety."


No, I couldn't do what Beck and Hearst had to do. And I'll forgive Beck because he'd been talking almost non-stop, unscripted, for at least an hour. But Hearst? Sometimes I think he just likes to hear his own voice, without really listening to himself.