That wasn't so far off the mark. By the weekend, it became known that winter storm-naming was created not by government meteorologists but the hype-happy folks at the Weather Channel... which is owned by NBC. So the reporters from other networks breathlessly keeping track of Nemo were unwittingly promoting a rival. This is genius marketing on the WC's part, far better than its real job, which is predicting the weather.
If you saw any of the WC in the run-up to the blizzard, you probably remember its crack weather guy Jim Cantore, in his official network down hoodie, standing on the walkway over the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in Boston, swinging a yardstick like a nine-iron. Cantore used this prop because, as he kept reminding us, twenty-four hours later the snow would be at least three-feet deep right where he was standing -- perhaps over a foot more than the 1978 record-setter of 27-inches.
|"Trust me -- I've got a yardstick."|
I believe it was Jim Cantore who, several years back, stood in the middle of Times Square as a monster snowstorm was allegedly approaching. We got the same "24 hours from now" shtick then, too. And 24 hours later he was still standing there, about an inch of snow on the ground, getting hooted down by New Yorkers who had seen him give his apocalypse now forecast with the conviction of God.
So what is the Weather Channel good for? Great storm footage. Graphics that look cool in HD. Pretty music during the local, incorrect, forecast. That's about it. And yet like a hop-head zoning out in an opium den, I park myself in front of Jim Cantore & friends whenever a snowstorm or hurricane is said it be making its way to the Upper East Side. Not because I'm going to get the right information, but the information I want to hear: snowier, windier, bigger than the other guys' forecast.
That's why Dick Morris lost his job on Fox News after (deliberately?) botching the 2012 presidential election predictions. Yet you can bet that come next storm, however, Jim Cantore and his trusty yardstick will be on their way to the next photo-op, demanding at the top of his lungs to listen to him because he's wearing a hoodie that says "Weather Channel" while your local forecaster doesn't.
All photos of Carl Schurz Park on NYC's Upper East Side were taken by my talented wife.