A Weather Channel video in the midst of Hurricane Florence has gone viral but not for its stellar reporting.
While wind-whipped reporters bracing against horizontal rain and storm winds have become a fixture for hurricane coverage, a Weather Channel report got viewers’ attention for seeming to fall into the “fake news” category.
“This is about as nasty as it’s been,” Weather Channel reporter Mike Seidel reported from North Carolina as Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday.
The dangerous Category 1 storm battered the Carolina coastline for hours and network reporters from several locations provided a play-by-play of its approach and fury.
Twitter user @gourdnibler shared the video of Seidel during one segment that went viral for its sheer absurdity.
— Tony scar. (@gourdnibler) September 14, 2018
“So dramatic! Dude from the weather channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past,” the caption read, accompanying the video showing the reporter struggling to stand upright as the camera panned back to show two people casually walking in the background, apparently not experiencing the same weather conditions.
The video lit up the internet and has amazingly been seen over 12.6 million times so far.
Fake news in action. https://t.co/VfmuFwJdBl
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) September 14, 2018
Wind and water-gate. https://t.co/DmBVMs7uDe
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) September 14, 2018
oh dear… https://t.co/BJgacrVQSa
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) September 14, 2018
This video could not be more perfect. Seriously: you would think it was a sketch show parody of the news media, but it’s not. https://t.co/6YCVKuNBaX
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) September 14, 2018
Some thought the reporter’s performance was award-winning:
And he Oscar goes to pic.twitter.com/KTuS6ar1cI
— ??? ??????? (@KatbeeFulgenz) September 14, 2018
Others asked the question on everyone’s minds during storm coverage:
Why to reporters reporting on hurricanes have to stand out in the wind and rain? We know that there’s a lot of rain and high winds in a hurricane. Reporters reporting on a house fire don’t stand in the fire.
— Barry Rudd (@BarryRudd) September 14, 2018
Does a weather reporter have to die before networks stop doing these outside in dangerous conditions live shots?
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) September 14, 2018
The Weather Channel eventually attempted to clear things up, telling BuzzFeed News that the “exhausted” reporter was simply a victim of location.
“It’s 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,” the network said.
Unfortunately, that only made things worse on Twitter.
The wind is weaker 25 feet away. https://t.co/T5F0iV329g
— Jim Myers (@jbotcher_myers) September 14, 2018
— DorahTheExplorah (@PKikendall) September 15, 2018
— Nay (@therealmofnay) September 15, 2018
Some Twitter users were inspired to return to the vaults for the greatest hits of weather reporting.
“Hold my beer” – Michelle Kosinski pic.twitter.com/XuIJWdHFux
— David Zimmer (@dzimmernews) September 14, 2018
I’m only watching weather channel to see the weather guy get a sign to the face. pic.twitter.com/N5RS9YbQ5N
— G S (@GStone0922) September 14, 2018
— Lard of Dorkness (@LardFDorkness) September 14, 2018
And while the Weather Channel may ponder why Seidel didn’t just move a few feet over to stand on the pavement, perhaps they should consider using the this Floridian for future training exercises.
— Lane Pittman (@TheBigGuy904) September 14, 2018