Friday, October 26, 2012

Crippled Weathermen

It’s around this time of year that I start thinking about the cripple state of the union. Have American cripples made any progress in the last year?

So I spend a lot of time watching weather reports on the news. Because everyone knows that the best way to analyze who’s who among American minorities jockeying for higher social status is to analyze our television weathermen/women.

Because for some reason, weatherman/woman seems to be the entry level pop culture celebrity job for people who aren’t your standard, automatically-trustworthy, white males. I mean hell, in America, even an overweight person can make it big doing the weather on television. Let me rephrase that: In America, even an overweight MAN can make it big doing the weather on television. I’ve seen overweight weathermen but I’ve never seen an overweight weatherwoman.

But there are weathermen who are overweight and not even white to boot. Wow! Talk about tolerance! The only other time you see overweight people on the news is when there’s a story about obesity. And then we see them on what’s referred to in the technical language of television news production as “the fat ass B-roll montage.” Every television news operation seems to have one of those, just in case a story pops up about obesity. It’s so rude. And how is this montage created? I guess a producer barks out to a camera crew, “Go out and shoot a bunch of pictures of people with fat asses!” Are those whose asses are shot then asked to sign a release? And why is this montage even necessary? Stories about republicans aren’t accompanied by B-roll of white guys lighting cigars with $50 bills.

Anyway, America has evolved to the point where we trust overweight people to bring us the weather report. Sometimes you see overweight sportscasters, but usually they’re former football players, in which case they have a good excuse for being overweight so we forgive them.

But I’ve yet to see an openly crippled weatherhuman. I check back this time every year just to see if anything has changed, but so far nada. I even watch The Weather Channel. I hate watching The Weather Channel because it seems like every time I turn it on there’s a show about tornados. I don’t know who the hell these people are who enjoy watching shows about tornados. They must say to themselves, “Boy it’s been a rough day! All I want to do is pop open a brewski, put my feet up, kick back and be reminded of the random viciousness of the universe.”

The weatherhumans on The Weather Channel are black and white and male and female and some are a tinge overweight. But there’s no trace of a cripple. Not even a whiff. Now granted, there might be a don’t-ask-don’t-tell thing going on. It’s possible one of them has a wooden leg but they aren’t the type that goes around shoving it down people’s throats.

But as far as my naked eye can see, there are still no crippled weathermen. Some say cripples have made enormous strides. But I say show me the proof. Show me a weatherman.


  1. Ask any PA or ex-lover of SAC. He loves TWC.

  2. Hey Mike, what about us folks with invisible disabilities? When I'm not limping, you can't tell all the weird things about me.

    But if my foot/leg gets worse and I get a job as a weather presenter, I'll be sure to let you know! (Actually, that would be a pretty fun job; I've a science background and love presenting...)

  3. There's gotta be an autistic weatherman out there somewhere. It's such an autie job.
    I went through wikipedia's list of American Television Meteorologists. 97 are listed.
    None seems to have had a disability or chronic illness while they were on air.

    Jim Cantore's article says he has two disabled kids (Fragile X).

    Pete Delkus has an elbow injury... that made him leave professional baseball.

    Dick Fletcher continued to work and be on TV until he died, and he had his first stroke five years before that, and apparently he talked about it a lot. He seems like the most likely candidate for a real cripple on TV as a weatherperson.

    Rob Fowler is a cancer survivor- had one kidney removed. But other than his talking about it and wearing a cancer awareness bracelet and shaving his mustache for it, it doesn't seem to be visible- the article comments on how healthy he looks.
    Brant Miller is also a cancer survivor.
    Harold Taft continued to work while he visibly got sicker and sicker from stomach cancer and treatments. He's dead.

    Dale Munson got stabbed in the arm and face and had to be hospitalized... you'd expect some visible scars but probably no disablity.

    If severe depression counts, the perhaps appropriately named John Winter should count; he committed suicide.

    There are a lot of them listed as being really quirky, or described as measuring weather phenomenon when they were less than ten years old... autistic.
    Also, of the women listed the majority seem to have also been in beauty pageants.. I'm not somebody who sees sexism everywhere but honestly if only the beauty queens are on TV I'm not convinced that's a sign of equality.

  4. >> It’s possible one of them has a wooden leg but they aren’t the type that goes around shoving it down people’s throats. <<

    I can't shake the mental picture of someone with a wooden foot sticking out of his mouth. Or would it be shoved in foot first? No, I think holding on to the foot would give you leverage while shoving the rest of the leg down.

  5. Honestly, I'd prefer my weatherman had a combo of Asperger's and Tourette's. it would make the long cold Canadian winter much more tolerable.

    That said, we have a local anchor/feature reporter in a wheelchair. Sometimes you even get to see the chair!

  6. I'm thinking about Bree Walker- she's been on TV as a news announcer. She refused network demands to cover up her hands, shaped like lobster claws. No gloves for Bree. Good.

  7. CNN International has a pretty hefty weatherwoman. But you don't get that in the states, unless you go looking for it.

  8. WCIA in central Illinois had a news anchor in a wheelchair in the late 60s / early 70s. Can't remember his name, but he was very respected. The University of Illinois was the first in the state to be wheelchair accessible.