We’ve been in the television news business for 25 years, we’ve worked with the foremost weather people, including Frank Field, Al Roker and Linda Gialanella, and we've never heard of renegade cells-- at least not when it comes to the weather. But here this morning was the frumpy weather lady on KNBC-TV's morning show (when they hired her she was advertised as kooky, but KNBC switched her to frumpy right away), talking about a storm system that was working its way from Santa Barbara, and she was using terms of terror.
She wasn’t talking about storm fronts or low fronts. She was describing the approaching storm as “renegade cells.”
We understand that scare tactics are the key to ratings in local news. Tease a story about an anthrax threat or poison chicken and make the viewer hang into see it’s not really in their area at all. Report every drizzle as if it's Noah's next flood. Scare the bejeezus out of us us with crime. And since September 2001, they’ve had a grand time cutting away from car chases to scared the children with reports of terror threats.
Now they're terrorizing us directly by adding terror buzzwords to mundane segments. What genius consultant is advising KNBC-TV local news to add terror to its newscasts? Who told the weather lady to describe the storm as "renegade cells'? We can't find that in the rip-and-read wire service reports she relies on. Are they bringing in other terror code words into the news? Is this a national phenomenon or is it restricted to the morning news in L.A.?