Under no circumstances will CNN allow Jon Stewart to edit its coverage of a good snowstorm.
Last week, Stewart ripped CNN’s Don Lemon for hopping aboard the CNN “BlizzardMobile” as a means of showing viewers what it’s like to drive in dangerous conditions. “It’s one thing for the reporters to stand outside like an idiot to show us it’s cold . . . but how do you think it’s OK to get behind the wheel of an SUV on an icy road putting other people at risk for amazing scoops like this?” riffed Stewart as he showed Lemon riding around Manhattan in last week’s storm.
Today there’s a new storm to cover, and again Boston is in the cross hairs. To show readers what serious visibility and driving difficulties have resulted from the storm, CNN again took to the highways. In a just-concluded segment, CNN correspondent Brian Todd reported on “white-out conditions” around Lawrence, Mass. Addressing CNN host Carol Costello, Todd went from a stand-up in the midst of the storm to the passenger seat of a car equipped with a CNN dashboard camera. Here’s how he narrated the report:
I’ll switch inside and try to get on Interstate 93, which is one of the major thoroughfares here and we’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to try to get in and navigate these roads. It is very dangerous and really, Carol, visibility is the issue here. Pulling out on Lowell Street now and our photojournalist Khalil Abdallah, who just videotaped me outside is now driving. He’s pulling double duty today. We’re pulling up to an exit for Route 93 right now and this is, again, is one of the major interstates in the state of Massachusetts as we exit here. Out the dash cam, you can see out here, look at this: visibility is absolutely horrible. You can’t see, I mean, it’s less than a quarter mile and really, realistically, when you’re out and navigating these roads, it’s only about maybe 150 feet out in front of you that you can see. A state police official has just told me that what they’re concerned about is that with no travel ban in effect, that a lot more people will be out on the roads now than there were last week. Now, here we are and you can see it . . . Look at the volume of vehicles on the road. Still quite a few and we’re at the tail end of rush hour, of course, but rush hour is going to be obviously extended today, Carol. Check this out: We’re behind an 18-wheeler now who’s slowing down. And if you can see the visibility here, this really gives you an idea of what people are up against out on the roads. It’s really treacherous out here. A state police official just told me there are spin-outs all over the place. No serious injuries yet but a lot of people have been in need of getting their cars removed from the roads and of course when you have to do that, that clogs up the roads and delays the work of the snow plows and salt spreaders.
Bold text added to various spots in order to highlight CNN’s apparent lack of awareness that it’s contributing to these problems; the hilarity of a news reporter asking the anchor to “see” the terrible visibility; the failure to heed the warnings of the state police; and the news that an 18-wheeler on Interstate 93 is slowing down.