Showbiz and the live TV stand-up

The Mediaite media critic site is taking CNN to task for making a journalist bundle up and go outside, pretty much like everyone else in Minnesota who had to go to work today.

It was all the way up to -15 by the time the CNN reporter began her “torture.”

It’s mostly showbiz. Reporters have a nice warm truck within feet of where they do their live shots, and where they sit until just before they are “tortured” for the cause of journalism.

On the other end of the reporting extreme, props to WCCO’s Mike Binkley, who went to Detroit Lakes today in search of winter and didn’t need battle gear. Neither did some of Detroit Lakes’ citizens, apparently.

It’s all in the attitude.





Original photo by Hart Van Denburg. Enhancements by Michael Wells and Julia Schrenkler, all of whom made it into work today without problems.

  • joetron2030

    Lookin’ good, Bob!

  • Dave

    I went out to get the mail a while ago and I heard a strange noise. At first I couldn’t tell whether it was the wind thru the trees or distant traffic. But I think the extreme cold did something to the branches and remaining leaves (made them brittle?) because the wind is creating this weird whistling noise that I’ve never heard. It’s like high-pitched wind.

  • Julie

    Take that same picture outside and I’m interested.

  • Tyler

    I don’t mean to be offensive Bob, but I’ve been disgusted with your disparaging remarks on Twitter regarding wind chill and the weather reporting. Yes, it’s been hyperbolic; yes it’s been silly, but you’re in the news business, and you’re also a responsible Minnesotan. You check the weather reports and dress appropriately. Contrast this to the stereotypical college kid, who’s clubbing downtown in a t-shirt and jeans. Remember Alyssa Jo Lommel, who’s facing amputation? A couple over-the-top news reports could have done her good. Even with all the hoopla over the weather, 5 people have been hospitalized for hypothermia, and another 5 for frostbite.

    Frostbite can occur with 5 minutes, even through clothing. More power to you for being suitably dressed and aware of conditions, but you’re not really the intended audience for these warnings.

    • Dave

      Oh my gosh! 10 people in a metro area of 3+ million? That’s roughly 0.0003% of the population! Clearly an epidemic. Poor Alyssa got drunk and fell asleep. What warning could have prevented that?

      I fully support Bob’s effort to point out the absurdity of the present-day weather alarmist media culture.

    • Well, I’m sorry you feel that way. My argument against the wind chill is pretty well documented by facts and also I give college kids a lot of credit, #1. And if a college kid isn’t dressing for the weather at -25, they’re not dressing for -25 with a wind chill.

      Your use of Alyssa Jo Lommel is a horrible use of a tragedy to make a point. She didn’t forget to dress appropriately, got inebriated and spent as many as 18 hours on the porch of the wrong home. It’s absurd to lay that at my feet. She was sheltered. She didn’t have this problem because of a phony windchill number

      Here’s the facts as I’ve stated them. IF you dress for -25 as experienced by the average Minnesotan, you’ll be fine. The average wind speed in MN in January is 12, that’s -41 wind chill.

      Why isn’t -25 SCARY enough for people? Perhaps it’s because we’ve resorted to using -40 as the scary standard and people aren’t scared by -25 anymore.

      My pointing out that -25 (or the ACTUAL temperature in the context of the average wind in Minnesota) is the BEST reference guide is not why people are in the hospital with hypothermia or frostbite. It’s the people who have cheapened the meaning of that number in a bid for a more sensational and dramatic effect.

      Shame on you.

      • Tyler

        I’m not splitting hairs about the wind chill business – I agree that “-45F wind chill” is a useless metric, compared with “bare skin can freeze in 5 minutes.” I’m saying it’s OK if the ‘news’ gets a little hyperbolic if it prevents disfigurement and/or death.

        • You have NO knowledge, Tyler — zero knowledge — about the people who were being treated for frostbite. You don’t know if they were out there for an hour, you don’t know if they dressed poorly, or just had the misfortune of breaking down, or were driven out of their homes by a fire. You don’t know if they were homeless.

          It’s not my job — nor the media’s job — to dress you in the morning. It’s my job to give you good information and the temperature reference is a great source of information being weakened and diluted by a very questionable practice.

          And you’re wrong. It’s not OK if the news gets “hyperbolic,” because that means we have to scare you into a course of action. So what’s next after -45 doesn’t scare them anymore? If you predict Armageddon by inflating things and you don’t get Armageddon, what do you suppose the dramatists will need to resort to next time to get you take things seriously?

          Here’s a good idea. Educate people about the science here and about reality and let them make a decision on REAL information.

          -25 doesn’t need embellishment. It is exactly what it is in Minnesota and that’s usually with a 12mph wind. If you live here, that’s the only reference that matters. -25 is damned cold and dangerous . It absolutely, positively doesn’t need ANY embellishment.

          We don’t need drama in the news business. We need good facts that people can use or ignore as they see fit.

          BTW, the difference in how long it takes to get frostbite at a typical -25 in Minnesota and the hyperinflated wind chill , is about 1 minute.

          Also, don’t run with scissors. You could poke someone’s eye out.

        • Dave

          Hyperbole in news is bad because it drags all news farther down the rabbit hole of ridiculosity.

          • Ben Garvin, the outstanding photographer for the Pioneer Press, just posted a picture of one of the hands of one of the people who is being treated at Regions. She got stuck outside of her home and couldn’t get back in. I suspect those are the kind of stories that involve frostbite, usually. Accidents that have nothing to do with planning a wardrobe.