The Weather

On the drive home today, radio shows were ridiculing TV news. Again. This time for the panic they stirred up over this ice storm. It was rather silly. Yesterday I had off but my kids had to go to school. Today my kids had off but I had to go to work. Neither day was the weather all that bad. A few icy overpasses were shut down, but other than that, it wasn’t bad.

One radio host lampooned a TV station where a reporter was pointing to a frozen drop of water on the bottom of a stop sign–“a lady bug sized” drop, underscored a listener. On the same TV station, the anchor reportedly kept checking in with a reporter standing by a bucket of water, with reports on whether it had frozen or not.

The temperatures stayed in the mid-30s for a couple of days, and now will be going back upwards to normal January temperatures on the Gulf Coast.

I can’t stand local TV news. I’ve found it a joke wherever I’ve lived. Now, Houston’s is a cut above average. One station has had a lasting cultural impact on the national level–ABC 13, KTRK–because of its consumer reporter, the loud and abrasive, white-toupee and blue sunglass wearing “MARvin ZINDler … EYE. wit. ness. NEWS.” Some decades ago his reporting on the scandal of a house of ill repute called the Chicken Ranch operating with the full knowledge of local law enforcement was enshrined forever in the musical, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” He was slightly fictionalized as Melvin P. Thorpe (played by Dom DeLuise in the Dolly Parton/Burt Reynolds movie).

We laughed then. We’re laughing now.

4 thoughts on “The Weather

  1. Growing up watching local news in Washington, D.C., I took for granted that local news was of the same quality as national news reporting. Now that I’ve lived in several states around the country, I don’t take quality journalism for granted any more.

  2. I can remember in El Paso in the ’60s when local headline TV news centered on activities of the mayor’s office and city council.

    Here in Los Angeles, Spanish-language local news outlets tend to actually exhibit more substance than their English counterparts. There’s significant more community news than celebrity coverage or news of the weird.

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