We had a BIG storm last night here in the DFW area. While there were tornadoes and hail damage and some injuries, our area managed to come out fairly well. That said, it was the scariest storm situation I can remember in the last ten years in Dallas. It was the first time we’d ever “taken shelter,” putting the cats in one windowless bathroom while we, the dogs and a bottle of wine hunkered down close to the other windowless bathroom. I know lots of our friends did the same. Were we over-cautious after seeing the recent destruction in Joplin? Maybe. But let’s be clear that this was a major “weather event.”
Even in today’s splintered media world, everyone seems to have their favorite go-to TV affiliate for weather coverage, and Belo‘s WFAA at least anecdotally leads that pack, perhaps because so many Dallasites grew up on Troy Dungan‘s forecasts.
So naturally, last night, during one of the DFW area’s biggest tornado threats, as softball-sized hail was falling, our top weather station was airing the Dancing With the Stars finale.
While there can be reasonable debate about that decision, suffice to say that sentiment on the Twitters and the blogosphere was running against that programming call. And then, someone at WFAA executed a perfect social media double-gaffe of facepalm proportions:
“been a difficult night trying to balance the most popular show on abc with severe storm coverage. thanks for your understanding.”
It’s worth noting that most Tweets from this account at least try to utilize some capitalization, so maybe it was dashed off quickly or posted by someone who doesn’t usually have their finger on the keyboard. Unsurprisingly, reaction on Twitter was less than understanding.
Then, once the item had been retweeted and railed about repeatedly, WFAA compounded the flub by deleting the tweet without explanation.
Is this really that difficult?
To be fair, KXAS also cut away for The Voice later in the evening, as weather subsided but threats lingered. To their credit, though, they totally pre-empted the season finale of The Biggest Loser.
Here’s a hodgepodge of commentary from last night:
And an oldie: