Everyone knows that sometimes TV producers or news stations are guilty of, ahem, embellishing the truth a little bit; either to chase ratings, to serve a political agenda, or just to make their¬†coverage a little bit more exciting. In the modern age, with fake news spreading all across the world, and many people questioning the way in which information is disseminated around the globe, people are looking more closely than ever at news broadcasts for any sign of embellishment, exaggeration, or hyperbole.
Which is why a news reporter covering an oncoming storm has managed to go viral this week, after the dramatic scenes during his live broadcast were interrupted by the intrusion of two hapless dudes who wandered into the shot and spoiled everything. Man, if I were that guy I reckon I’d be feeling pretty sheepish right about now, don’t you think?
The trouble began when Mike Seidel, a Weather Channel reporter, decided to travel to the state of North Carolina to cover the meteorological¬†effects of Hurricane Florence in person. Now, there’s no doubt that the weather in Wilmington was extremely inclement, and Seidel kitted out in a cagoule and waterproof trousers to shield him from the wind and the rain.
However, from the way he was acting, in conjunction with his stance, any viewer watching the footage would have assumed that the storm was almost apocalyptic in scope. Seidel appeared to be bracing himself against gale-force winds, struggling not to be whisked away.
But then the effect of this scene was then spoiled by the appearance of two figures in the background of the shot. The men appeared to be strolling downtown quite casually, wearing shorts and light rain jackets, and seemed to be quite untroubled by the storm that Seidel was struggling to endure. Could it be that he was really playing up to the cameras all along?
On social media, a number of people commented derisively on the footage, with one person writing “It’s tragic what “production” does to something that should be more, truth with substance, not with embellishment or flair. Sad that some people are tricked by indecent folks,” while another added: “Why do these reporters think they need a wind machine and a bucket of water to make it look more dramatic, … Just tell us from the studio, stay dry, WE GET IT [sic].”
In defense of Seidel, the Weather Channel issued a statement in which they claimed that their reporter was “undoubtedly exhausted,” before adding: “It‚Äôs important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted.”
Hmm, maybe he was just tired, but personally, I think there’s been a little bit of staging going on here, don’t you?