WFAA is the local ABC affiliate here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Tonight we had a potentially life threatening situation in the area. Several tornadoes were passing through the DFW area between the hours of 6-11 PM. This all came on a day when the National Weather Service had put the area under the highest level Tornado Watch, calling it a potentially dangerous situation. The predictions came true as more killer storms ripped through Oklahoma this afternoon. That brings us to what I can only describe as some of the most irresponsible journalism I have ever seen from a local TV station.
Let’s first take a step back. I am normally a fan of WFAA. I turn to WFAA in times of weather emergencies or other important local events.
I am also very interested in weather. My parents kicked off my weather interest at a young age when they bought me a weather set to help me learn about what caused those loud noises that kept me up at night. I began a life long fascination with weather and what makes things go. I understand weather and what causes severe weather. I have educated myself and know what is and isn’t dangerous.
I watch WFAA because they have the best technology in the area. When things go bad here in storm season, I can always count on their weather coverage. I can make informed decisions based on what I see. I will tell you their weather guys are over the top. Pete Delkus and Steve McCauley almost seem to relish bad weather. They are almost giddy as they talk about the high winds and large hail. This is their time to shine. If we have a 10% chance of rain, they will pump up end of the world storm predictions during every station break in an attempt to scare people into watching the weather forecast. Of course you’ll then find out that there’s no real chance of rain/snow/etc…
The best part of the WFAA dynamic weather duo is on those North Texas nights when we have rough weather. Delkus will break into programming and stay on the air for hours, strutting around “keeping us safe” from dangerous weather threats. You can’t get these guys off the air. If it’s raining, they are there. Don’t trust your DVR in the spring because there’s a good chance you’ll just record Pete running around the weather center sensationalizing a line of storms.
This takes me to tonight. We missed the first storm that came through and thought the storm threat had passed. We ran out to grab some dinner and came back to sit down and eat. About that time large hail began crashing down on the house. We flipped on the television expecting to see the WFAA weather team, but not tonight. We changed to the local NBC affiliate (KXAS) and they were on the air. A tornado was bearing down on my area and touched down just a few miles away. The storm sirens went off and we took cover. A scary situation, and one that continued in the DFW area for hours. We had several storm waves that spun off many tornado warnings. There were reports of damage and even a large wedge tornado in the Southern Dallas area.
Where was WFAA? Where was Pete Delkus? Not on the air tonight except during commercial breaks for quick “updates” on the dangerous weather. Why? The Dancing With the Stars finale was tonight. Not going to break into DWTS under any circumstances. Thanks guys, I really appreciate the way you looked out for my family tonight. Tornado coming? Better hope you find out about it after Kirstie Alley is finished flopping around the dance floor.
You’ve lost me as a viewer tonight. This was a bad move. Shame on you WFAA for selling us out. I will be moving my loyalty to another local station who actually cares about viewer welfare. Of course it is easy to break into most of the regular ABC programming, nobody is watching. When the big ratings draw came up tonight, you had an opportunity to make a choice. You choose dollars over integrity.
I hope it was worth it.