‘Brave’ Weather Channel Hurricane Reporter Caught Overacting [VIDEO]

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The Weather Channel makes buckets of money when natural disasters strike. Hurricane season means increased viewership as the channel provides the valuable, and often critical informaiton to those in the path of disasters. But it is still made-for-TV, as they say, and sometimes a little bit of acting is needed to help sell their coverage.

Take Mike Seidel. The Weather Channel reporter was dutifully covering Hurricane Florence from Wilmington, North Carolina. The storm slowed before it made landfall, and hit south of its original projected path. That doesn’t mean that reporting on the storm wasn’t dangerous for Seidel and his crew.

But Seidel sold his performance. He swayed in the winds, and acted like he was struggling to brace himself. The storm looked bad, and Seidel appeared to be bravely facing it, only something wasn’t right.

In the background, two people walked by. Strolled might be a better word. While Seidel leaned into the wind and struggled to keep his balance, the two people in the background simply walked on by.

After the clip began to go viral, The Weather Channel released a statement doubling down on the strength of the storm. The struggles were real, they assured viewers. The perceived differences in how their reporter was affected by the storm and the walkers were affected came down to “exhaustion.”

“It’s important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted,” they told reporters.

The winds simply weren’t that strong. While Florence had, just days earlier, been a monster category 4 storm, it made landfall as a category 1 and has quickly been downgraded to tropical depression status.

This presents a new danger, and one the good people at The Weather Channel actually are facing, but one that is harder to dramatize in the moment: flooding. The slow moving storm is dumping water on inland areas already inundated with water. The flooding is continuing, and continuing to break records.

This video, also by The Weather Channel, is a simulation of what the storm surge could look like. It is stunning, and worth a watch. It doesn’t get mind-blowing until after the first minute, but they deserve credit for making a really compelling teaching tool.