Covering The Storm

reporter hurricane CBS

Whenever the winds blow hard, the blowhards blow in - bringing us Category 5 hyperbole - but nary a whisper of real news, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports.

"It's pelting my face and it hurts," one reporter said.

Seems they're not so much interested in getting the story - as they are getting washed out to sea.

"Here comes a big wave get ready!" cried one reporter while in a hurricane. Then, as the wave crashed over him, he said: "One of the biggest concerns emergency management officials had was beach erosion."

And it gets worse every year, as reporters edge closer and closer to harm's way. Last week, we almost lost Geraldo Rivera as he got too close to the storm.

Hartmansaid, "oh well, next time." Point is, whenever reporters get up to their knees in a hurricane, they're also up to their necks in hypocracy.

Some say we at CBS News actually started this nonsense. After Dan Rather co-anchored with a telephone pole back in '95, clinging desperately to it, just about ever reporter in America started flirting with natural disaster.

Even Hartman once tried doing a dramatic weather live shot - and it had less-than-dramatic results. He nearly executed himself.

Other reporters have been hit by debris. So far no serious injuries have been sustained, but it's only a matter of time, according to Harold Dow.

"Standing out in a hurricane when everyone knows its dangerous doesn't make sense to me," he said.

Dow is a CBS News correspondent who covered Hurricane Gloria TK years ago. Well, kind of covered it.

"They had a picture window showing the beach and I actually stood in front of that and did my stand-up," Dow said.

So he never left the hotel room?

"Right," Dow said.

CBS News management never asked him to cover another hurricane after that.

Of course, most reporters like covering hurricanes and will no doubt continue to relish the assignment, no matter how badly they get pelted by wind, rain … and embarrassment.
  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

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