Storm Chasing Meets “Reality” TV

Two moderately well known storm chasers* from Minnesota have decided to sell out to the slimy, grimy underbelly of all mass media, “reality” TV. Specifically, I mean to the producers of a “reality” TV show slated to air on “WE tv,” a rather obscure specialty network that features such thought provoking fare as, “Adventures in Doggie Day Care,” “Wife, Mom, Bounty Hunter,” and “America’s Cutest Puppies.” Storm chasing is the setting for what appears to be yet another stupid “reality” TV trashfest, among many that have shamelessly soiled the airwaves since this inane fad began several years ago.

Here’s an excerpt from the web page the two chasers have set up on the project, for which they will act as tour guides:

We ‘re looking for couples (or groups of 3 or 4) who have an interesting motive for going on a storm chasing vacation beyond just hoping to see a tornado . We want at least one of you to see this tour as a chance to confront some personal issue or take your relationship to a new level.

Wow. It has come to this. I’m not surprised, actually, but instead disappointed.

Whatever the stated motive of WEtv or of the two chasers involved, ultimately all “reality” TV is about airing cheap, tawdry dirty laundry publicly, exploiting gullible individuals (who are, admittedly, willing to let themselves be used in this way) so some production company and network can rake in some cashola. This means making it as “shock-and-awe” as possible. Why? Apparently enough people are willing to watch that crap. And the chasers themselves are willing to allow themselves be exploited by the producers in return for some payola and media exposure.


Perhaps the most germane question is this: Exactly how is such a project going to benefit storm observing?

* Who the chasers are is irrelevant to the principle of this discussion, so I’m neither naming them nor providing a link to the production. It’s not about them, it’s about the issue.


One Response to “Storm Chasing Meets “Reality” TV”

  1. Dave on April 14th, 2007 1:15 pm

    “Perhaps the most germane question is this: Exactly how is such a project going to benefit storm observing?”

    You know the answer to that one. It is dangerously close to zero. Not one iota. Sad, indeed.

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