The Weather Channel – they're not just about global warming anymore

According to The Smoking Gun: the cable network seeks cloak on anchor harassment details:

Weather Channel In Sexual Harrasment Storm

As The Weather Channel’s owner negotiates a multibillion-dollar sale of the cable outlet, the network’s lawyers are angling to keep secret the details of a blistering arbitration ruling in favor of a former anchorwoman who charges that she was subjected to unrelenting sexual harassment by her male co-anchor, who was “romantically obsessed” with her and frequently made crude remarks.  Hillary Andrews, 38, contends that the cable network’s brass turned a blind eye to the harassment because her co-anchor, Bob Stokes, was popular with viewers and scored high ratings. According to recent court filings, Andrews won her arbitration case three months ago and the final ruling was “highly critical of conduct by both Stokes and TWC management.”

( h/t TVSpy.com Shoptalk)

If you want your own custom weather channel, minus the “fluff and nonsense”, get one of these for your business: www.viziframe.com with custom weather content for your area.

UPDATE: One reader questioned why a mostly science site would post a story like this. I saw it as one more indication of an organization that used to be dedicated to truth in science and meteorology, has now lost it’s way and become just like many other TV news organizations – a ratings hound. I knew what the Weather Channel was like at it’s inception when John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo worked there. I would have been proud to work there then. Not today. See a related story about TWC’s Heidi Cullen.

With TWC being so influential in many households, we deserve to see the ugly warts too. Ask yourself this question: If TWC management looks the other way with issues such as this, why should the public trust that same management to deliver truth in reporting on weather and climate change when ratings and popularity, not facts, appear to steer their course of action?

32 thoughts on “The Weather Channel – they're not just about global warming anymore

  1. I stopped watching The Weather Channel years ago, when they became The Global Warming Channel. Remember when MTV used to play music videos? TWC has started down the same path.

  2. In reading the brief it looks like Predator Stokes was enabled by management for five or six years. Seems to me, TWC has more people to fire. First on the list should be the Human Resource Manager.
    I tell ya, this kind of thing gets my Adrenaline pumping. If I were a friend or family member of Ms Andrews, I would have risked an assault charge in dealing with Stokes.

  3. I look forward to the big storm season every year to see 172 year old guy that they pull out of his crypt to talk about hurricanes. The Weather Channel may be full of sexist pigs, but I apparently they aren’t “ageist”.
    Great blog, by the way. I have really enjoyed reading about sunspots!

  4. jimsmuse, regarding old meteorologist, in our TV viewing market, Nash Roberts was “The Man”. They’d pull him out of retirement when a storm threatened.
    I don’t think I ever saw him use the blue screen graphics that came along. His graphics package included a stick of chalk and a green chalkboard.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nash_Roberts

  5. jim, you’re probably thinking about John Hope. He passed on in 2002.
    I miss the old Weather Channel. As a kid, I used to watch it for hours on end. Now it’s got “reality TV” and I’m just not interested in Storm Stories or It Could Happen Tomorrow’s often implausible scenarios but hey, Catastrophe Porn and “Reality TV” sells these days. Even the Sci-Fi channel has gone down this road.
    Still get a kick at Jim Cantore getting blown around in storms. He’s a true storm junkie. The Weather Channel needs more of him and less of the fluff.

  6. Guess Bob could score on-screen, but not off.
    I’m with Terry on the “Reality TV” aspect. I get enough reality from 8-5, M-F. Last thing I want to do when I get home is turn on the TV and watch someone else’s.

  7. Terry, I like Cantore too. I think most folks do. But, they hate to see him come to town because, since he always tries to place himself at ground zero, it means a storm is fixin’ to hit.
    My cousin enjoys photography. In fact, he works hard at it. Shortly before Hurricane Katrina, he shot a series of images of Cantore on the Biloxi Beach. Here’s the one I thought was the best of the lot. Fantastic golden hour light…
    http://www.pbase.com/smms/image/50415746/original

  8. Agree with Terry. I miss the old weather channel and John Hope. I miss watching their data and forecasts and comparing them to my own. (I’m not a met, just a weather junkie.)
    We do need more Jim Cantorie types there. I have never, ever seen him bring up AGW. In fact, he seems to bring up the more proper “well, that’s weather and isn’t it just amazing!!” montra more than most. I am under the assumption he is one of the standard met types that doesn’t believe the hype.
    I wish the Weather Channel luck and hope they change back to their old, standard ways.

  9. I too miss the old weather channel.
    I sent a letter to the weather channel back when Heidi Cullen made her ridiculous statement about decertifying meteorologists if they didn’t subscribe to the AGW theory. I never heard back from anyone, even though I gave them my contact information. So I decided I was done for good with them – no more weather channel or weather.com. Intellicast is much better anyway…
    Frank

  10. Terry,
    Same here. I liked John Hope and the old gang much better. I stopped watching TWC about the time they began to join the AGW Bandwagon (maybe 5 or 6 years ago).

  11. This may be interesting 😉
    i know its off topic, but Amazon doomed by too much clean air
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/05/07/sciamazon107.xml
    Their new study in Nature reports a link between reducing sulphur dioxide emissions from burning coal and increasing sea surface temperatures in the tropical north Atlantic, resulting in a heightened risk of drought in the Amazon rainforest.
    The link was found by a team from the University of Exeter, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Met Office Hadley Centre and Brazilian National Institute for Space Studies

  12. err… isn’t the extra heat in the North Atlantic a natural AMO based phenoimena or am I missing something ?
    Sorry, silly me, it’s back to the same old same old story again. Anothe Bandaid answer to try to explain away a naturally ocurring event.
    Phew ! Glad I got that straight.
    There was another piece in the same vane today in the Telegraph in the UK which said that Koala bears were threatened by AGW as it was going to make the leaves they eat toxic.
    Now how long has Australia been a separate continent ?
    Oh a long long time, and it has never been warmer there before than it is now ?
    And when did Koala’s first start eating leaves ?
    What a bunch of c**p masquerading a pseudoscience.

  13. I never understood the thinking of the Weather Channel. Why do I care what the weather is like in Kuala Lampur? Aside from the weather here I don’t care what the weather is anywhere.

  14. I agree with all of you complaining about the bias and sensationalizing of science by the media.
    Another good example of it is in the Telegraph’s use of the word “doomed” in the headline of the article linked to by mercurior. Check out the abstract of the paper and you will see what a misrepresentation it is of the paper’s content it is.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/abs/nature06960.html

  15. A friend of mine put it rather well: Do not jump on a bandwagon before checking to see if someone is driving. To which I add: and knows where they are going. Most bandwagons do not have brakes. They only stop when they run off the road. When AGW was a scientific debate, it was interesting. Now that it has risen to an almost religious fervor, with massive economic and social impact, the humor diminishes. Rational debate, the basis of any scientific inquirery, is no more. And that leads to disaster.
    As Milton Friedman put it: Government solutions to problems are usually worse than the problems themselves.

  16. Gratuitous sleaze on Watts Up With That, Anthony?
    Why?
    REPLY: I didn’t see it that way, but rather as one more indication of an organization that used to be dedicated to truth in science and meteorology, has now lost it’s way and become just like many other TV news organizations – a ratings hound. I knew what the Weather Channel was like at it’s inception when John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo worked there. I would have been proud to work there then. Not today.
    With TWC being so influential in many households, we deserve to see the ugly warts too. Ask yourself this question: If TWC management looks the other way with issues such as this, why should the public trust that same management to deliver truth in reporting on weather and climate change when ratings and popularity, not facts, appear to steer their course of action?

  17. Thank you for responding to my concern, Anthony. I acknowledge the validity of the point you make; but would have felt more comfortable with a less explicit demonstration. Sexual harrassment would have, to my mind, been an adequately descriptive phrase to make the point; and I would have continued to feel comfortable noting this site to others, including kids, as an excellent source of information in the field, and where noting your caution as to the validity of TWC was a useful addition.
    REPLY: Most of the text came from TVspy’s newsletter, where they have no modesty. But a couple of edits I just did should help.

  18. When I was a kid I remember seeing the “Mountain Report” from the top of Mt. Washington on WMTW TV (Portland, ME) often delivered by Marty Angstrom (1960s and 70s).
    The weather report was always given by Tom Elemond (sp?), who also hosted High School Quiz. I know this is all pretty corny, but does anyone know if it’s possible to get videos of these old broadcasts?

  19. The weather channel to me is bias .When there is an above average temp they just seem to glee but if the temps go below average and lots of snow like this past winter they hardly say anything at all.One other thing is check out the temps for the area you live , today,and the forecast for 10 days out compared to accuweather and noaa. The weather channel highs and forecast highs and lows is usually higher than the other two. I know in the town in which I live the temps come from our small airport.How can there be 3 different readings at the same time?

  20. I can testified that Bob Stokes has never said “Will you lick my swizzle stick?”
    He said “will you lick my HOCKEY stick?”

  21. Terry46, I concure. For almost all locations, the forecast is consitently higher on TWC vs. any other source, including the local source. (I’ve been watching this for at least a year or so.) I’ve wanted to set up a spread sheet that does the comparison of forecast temps for many location and then compares to the actual temps that occur for several sources. Winner get’s the “best forecast of temps award.” Loser, presumably TWC with their outlandish higher temps that are forecast, get’s exposed for being biased and having poor forecast abilities.
    Also, whenever a temp is relatively high, the local forecast bit says “close to record high temp today!!!” when the temp is low, or even a record, nothing is generally said on the local forecast. Lame.

  22. Swizzle stick? Isnt that a 8 cm long, 1mm diameter piece of plastic?.
    Oh, he was bragging.

  23. Don’t mean to get Jim Cantore fired or anything, but I’ve seen him make a face when a fellow anchor blamed something on global warming. I think he’s one of us – you know, those people who believe in the existence of weather. Any reports about how the Myanmar disaster was caused by global warming? I haven’t seen any yet, but I’m sure they’re coming.

  24. Well, I suppose this is the appropriate thread for this post. The folks at El Reg have tipped their hat to the BBC headline writers for “Great tits cope well with warming” at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/09/bbc_headline/
    The story, as you may have guessed, is that at one bird species has advanced its egg laying and hatching time along with the advance of the emergence of the caterpillars they feed upon.
    The Register story concentrates on the headline (they are an IT rumor site, with a bent toward beer, double entendre and interesting science), the BBC story refers to previous work studying some birds that are losing sync with their food. This is the first I’ve seen where birds and food are shifting in sync.
    Perhaps they’ll shift back over the next decade.

  25. Meanwhile, a Canadian environmental scientist says that university research should be added to the list of human activities that contribute to global warming. Professor Hervé Philippe from the University of Montreal has discovered that his own research produces 44 tons of carbon dioxide a year. The average American citizen produces 20 tons of CO2 per year.
    According to his calculations, Phillippe says his computers produce 19 tons of CO2 a year, the air-conditioning in his lab produces 10 tons of CO2 per year and transportation to and from his many environmental meetings produce another 15 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
    Phillippe was shocked at his findings, saying, “I did my PhD in the hope of advancing our knowledge of biodiversity, but I never thought that the research itself could have a negative impact on biodiversity.”

    Perhaps Professor Phillippe would share with us how CO2 has a demonstrated negative impact on biodiversity? No computer models allowed, let’s have some facts, not assumptions.

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