Weather channel blows it...again
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 00:02
As numerous news sources made their way to the Hub City Monday morning covering the weekend’s post-tornado damages, The Weather Channel failed to understand Mississippi geography yet again.
In the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Isaac, the cable network referred to our great state as the “Land Mass between New Orleans and Mobile.” Monday, the geographically challenged channel managed to name the correct state but failed to pinpoint Hattiesburg. During a Weather Channel reporter’s telecast, a graphic appeared on screen saying: “LIVE Johannesburg, MS.” As millions across the nation reviewed the horrific damage wrought by Sunday’s tornado, Hattiesburg became Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa. A for effort, right?
Wrong. There’s a little body of water called the Atlantic Ocean standing between Hattiesburg and Johannesburg. And to think we are supposed to be considered the ignorant party. The flub was captured via camera phone and immediately posted on the Facebook page of “The Land Mass Between NOLA and Mobile” Monday morning. Internet memes and biting, sarcastic comments quickly followed.
One photo posted on the page showed a survey of the damage suffered by USM, including a sign that read “SMTTT.” A cheeky commenter kindly reminded The Weather Channel that “SMTTT” didn’t refer to Southern Madagascar.
Southern Miss - 1 The Weather Channel- 0
Since the misunderstanding, however, The Weather Channel released an official apology in response to the Facebook post stating: “Thank you for posting this. We apologize for the mistake— we noticed it and corrected it for the rest of our coverage.”
Regardless of a two-sentence apology most likely written by a 20-year-old intern sitting at a desk in a sea of cubicles, the impact of such a “mistake” says more than someone’s inability to use Google Maps. Mississippi’s poor perception in the media is frequently reaffirmed, even in times of crisis such as Sunday’s tornado. Long live our beloved Land Mass.