Media Coverage of Ice in Dallas
Ice in Dallas is a full force media event yet we see the same media coverage year after weary year.
The forecasts begin days before the event, often delivered by a rookie to Texas who pronounces “gulf” (as in the Gulf of Mexico) like “golf”. We ponder the relationship of a sporting event with an ice storm.
Why do TV news editors believe shots of the sand truck are newsworthy? We know what the blasted sand trucks look like. The trucks dump sand on major thoroughfares, while your neighborhood resembles the artic cap. If television stations are going to feature coverage of the sand trucks, they should include a caveat that states, the trucks do not go into neighborhoods.
Employers, citing news coverage of the sand trucks, don’t understand that in Dallas the major traffic arteries may be ice-free but if your neighborhood has a difficult orientation, you are unable to get out of the garage. Forget public transportation. The bus that waltzed over the sanded major thoroughfare skidded into your subdivision and now rests wheels up, like a dead possum huddled against the neighbor’s garage.
As you arrive three hours late for work the boss who saw the news coverage of the bloody sand trucks, all eighteen of them, believes you are a piker, since you don’t live in the hinterlands. The first face you see is the smirking company dilatant, who commutes two hours every day. With an air of superiority, he states had no problem at all getting to work. Just wait ’til the spring flash floods when the access roads to the freeways become swirling death traps. Visions of him floating down a storm sewer in his SUV are better than Xanax.
No ice storm coverage would be complete without a live shot of television reporters shivering out of doors. Their report follows the sand truck story to inform viewers about the sand truck delivery in their charming hamlet.
The female reporters look glamorous in their mittens, puffy jackets, stylish berets and parkas. They never have red runny noses or look like overstuffed pierogies. Reporters are careful to avoid human-interest stories about what is like to be a prisoner in a house with no hot water, no electricity, a smelly dog, unbathed family members and peanut butter cuisine three times a day.
Southern women know stale news coverage and smelly family members are tolerable if accompanied by ice storm staples – brandy, chocolate and cheese.