Hurricane Sandy: CNN bans ‘Frankenstorm’


Sandy! (HANDOUT/REUTERS)

Hurricane Sandy, a big storm expected to hit the Eastern Seaboard just shy of Halloween, has taken on the popular nickname of “Frankenstorm.” A Newsday story takes the moniker to punning extremes, noting, “Meteorologists expect a natural horror show of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow to the west beginning early Sunday, peaking with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday and lingering past Halloween on Wednesday.”

Don’t expect that kind of language on CNN’s air. Management at the network has issued a directive not to use “Frankenstorm,” on the rationale that the storm is powerful and deadly. “Let’s not trivialize it,” said the directive, according to CNN meteorologist and severe weather expert Chad Myers.

“It’s a term that’s not appropriate for a storm that’s already killed more than 20 people,” says Myers. The directive doesn’t much affect Myers, who says he’s never used “Frankenstorm” on air; he did see a banner that deployed the term and dashed off a quick text message ordering its removal. “It’s too big of an event to make fun of it.” The Associated Press last night reported that Sandy had claimed the lives of 29 people in the Caribbean region.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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