Idol Fans, Upset Over KATC’s Weather Warnings, Take To Facebook
Last night American Idol crowned its latest winner, but not without interruption: storms were threatening our area and the local news station "broke in" with weather warnings. That did not sit too well with many American Idol fans.
In an episode that some critics are calling "mild chaos", Just Sam won this season of American Idol last night while tornadoes were ripping up parts of Acadiana, resulting in several injures and one death.
As local television weatherpeeps are known to do, Rob Perillo, Chief Meteorologist for KATC TV3, broke into programming to warn the community of the impending weather threat. While he was on the air, warning of the tornadic activity in the area, he was also checking his social media platforms, email, and his cell phone for messages. Messages from his colleagues with the National Weather Service. Messages from people who are eye-witnessing the storms. Messages from people with legitimate questions. He did get some of those, but he also received angry, sometimes threatening messages from American Idol viewers. Here's one of the nicer messages he received:
I understand Granny's point: she's trying to watch a show and it is being interrupted by a weather report. But, I do wonder: if the town that was being threatened was the town where her grandchildren lived, would she have been concerned enough to call to check on them at once? Or would she have wanted to wait until after American Idol to find out that her grandchildren were victims of a tornado? Again, I do wonder.
Being a broadcaster, I am aware of the juggling act that must be performed: you have to check messages, acquire and compile information, monitor the radar for changes AND maintain composure on-air while trying to be informative without causing panic. It's not easy, to say the least. You want the information to be out there. You want to be clear. You want to stress the dangers, You want to try to save lives. You want the best for people, and that's one of the reasons we do what we do.
Rob was trying to do all of that last night and, in my personal and professional opinion, he did a great job.
If you've never met Rob Perillo in the real world, you are missing out. Yes, he is on television, but that's just part of Rob Perillo: he's a nice, funny, humble, caring, brilliant man. Truly a leader in his field. A family man who could almost burst from pride in his children.
I understand you want to watch your show. I understand that the weather was nowhere near you. I understand it's easy to lash out at Rob or KATC for making you miss your show. We just hope you, one day, will understand that you are not the center of the universe.