As Hurricane Florence continues to slam the East Coast with wind, record levels of rain, and flooding, reporters and meteorologists are working tirelessly to provide the latest updates. And for those who have never experienced a storm of this caliber in person, footage of newscasters fighting against the torrential rain and gusts of wind can be pretty eye-opening. However, it's tempting to wonder: Are these weather people overreacting — even just a little — at times? Because Twitter is calling out this Weather Channel reporter for "struggling" against hurricane winds while two people casually stroll by in the background.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, a reporter for the Weather Channel went viral because of a video of a recent newscast that was shared online, People reported. In the clip from Wilmington, North Carolina, Mike Seidel is clearly struggling to keep his balance while doing a live report. "This is about as nasty as it's been," Seidel says, while rocking back in forth against the wind. All the while, two other people in the background are walking by with ease while appearing to take cell phone video of the storm.
And viewers definitely noticed the disparity. One Twitter user shared the clip, writing, “I like the Weather Channel. But look at this guy acting like the wind is about to blow him over as he rocks back and forth. Meanwhile, I guess he missed the guys walking behind him casually talking on their phones. OOPS!!”
Take a look for yourself.
Another person tweeted, "Weather Channel dude: *about to be blown off his feet by the wind*Two locals: *casually walking down the street taking cell phone vids*I love you North Carolina."
Another person wrote, "So dramatic! Dude from the weather channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past. #HurricaneFlorence."
Yet another Twitter user chimed in with, "Not to downplay the intensity of tropical storm Florence, but this reporter for the Weather Channel is acting as if he was hanging on for dear life when two guys bomb his report as they casually stroll by..."
In response to the criticism, the Weather Channel defended Seidel in a statement to The Hill, according to Newsweek. “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.
Still, former news anchor for MSNBC, David Shuster, wasn't convinced, according to People. “I’ve stood on wet grass and concrete while reporting from hurricanes. The Weather Channel defense of their reporter is utter bullsh*t,” he tweeted.
Look, I definitely don't want to minimize what's happening with Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas right now. But either this guy was completely and utterly exhausted (as the Weather Channel hinted,) or he was hardcore milking it for the cameras. Because judging from his movements, the two people behind him should not have been able to casually stroll along like they were in those weather conditions. (That's not to say this is the case with every on-the-scene weatherperson reporting during a major storm.)
As The Washington Post reported, Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina on Friday — and was downgraded to a tropical storm by Friday afternoon. The storm has been blamed for at least six deaths so far, according to the publication. Additionally, hundreds in the city of New Bern have needed rescuing because of flooding, and nearly 1 million are expected to be without power.
So once again, Florence is nothing to sneeze at. But still. Either the Weather Channel needs to consider swapping out its reporters a bit more frequently, or this reporter deserves some sort of an acting award nomination. Because this video isn't fooling anyone.