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Weather Channel arrests

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:54 PM GMT on April 17, 2006

Three members of a Weather Channel camera crew were arrested Wednesday after repeatedly trespassing on the property of a tornado victim killed by a tornado in Tennessee. Edward John Lazano Jr., Bradley Reynolds, and Jorma Brandon Duran were freed on $500 bail each after their arrests. The Weather Channel has not released any comments on the matter. According to the press release from the Associated Press:

"There are eight no trespassing signs posted on the property," Bruce's brother-in-law, Lynn Boren, wrote in warrants filed against the video team. "They were asked at least six times over 30 minutes to leave."

Sheriff Jackie Matheny denied reports that he gave them permission to be on the property.

"If they say they were given permission by me, they are telling a big one. Plus I'd have no authority to tell them that since it's private property," Matheny said.

I hope this incident will encourage all media to be respectful of the victims of tragedy. With the recent explosion of dramatic prime-time coverage of disasters, such as offered by the Weather Channel, Discovery Channel, and other news programs, the media needs to be sensitive in their disaster coverage to prevent the perception that sensationalist journalism is exploiting death and tragedy for the sake of profit.

To their credit, the Weather Channel did offer a public apology on Thursday:

"While we cannot comment on legal proceedings, we are upset and saddened this family suffered the loss of one of its members," Weather Channel spokeswoman Kathleen Lane said.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Here here Dr Masters.
Very sad indeed. If true, they should be prosecuted like anyone else would be. Is nothing sacred anymore?
I've pretty much boycotted TWC. Not that I liked the fact that they were changing their format from weather to ratings, but after the whole "Stop the NWS" thing, that pretty much sealed the deal.
I hear ya kritikal. It has been awhile since I have even tuned them in.
Times like these makes glad I don't have a TV...besides, this site has all the weather info I need. :)
WU > TWC | Done.


Hahaha.. sleebus. I love math. :)

Hahaha.. sleebus. I love math. :)

Im glad you do, I failed Algebra in High School.
Sleebus is the answer to that equation thirteen?
Wow just wow. Thats horable. I have noticed that the weather channel has changed a little bit and not for the better. They have all these wired features about gardens and they have the home depot project of the week. They have lost there focus on the weather a bit.

Wunderground >TWC.
Good Morning Dr Masters,

Thanks for posting that article. We all need to be reminded that getting the pictures of disasters should not occur at the expense of the family and victims.

TWC is struggling to stay relevant. Local stations are now devoting a lot more time and resources to weather, and there is so much good info available on the internet, that TWC no longer has a niche to fill.
Sleebus, I am not in complete agreement with your equation. I like some of the weather guys at TWC. Could you formulate an equation which brings Cantori and Lyons to the Weather Underground as gophers for Dr. Masters, and totally cancels out the rest of The Weather Channel?
Cantori??? Are you nuts? LOL NO ONE in FL wants him in our towns!!! You must read back to Dr. M's blogs from last year to get the specifics and fun about him. :)
Cantori thinks he is a rock star...has he ever had anything intelligent to say? I do like Steve Lyons, as he is the only one on TWC that actually talks about meteorology any more.
TWC and any other national weather broadcasters are useless when it comes to weather nowadays. Just like the national mainstream media is useless.

Local news organizations and the Internet (like Wunderground) beat them hands down.
Cantori grandstands because TWC requires it. But he knows a lot, and he wants people to be aware of severe weather. The media is always searching and trying to create a 'star' or 'hero'. That's a lot of what is wrong with the American culture.
Excuse me, "The media ARE always trying to create a star..."
Actually, you were right the first time. The media takes all the news outlets and such as a whole, so it's not plural.
Soon weather on the Weather Channel will be like music on MTV. Pushed to a handful of time slots in the late night hours.
No question in my mind that they put ratings/sensationalism above weather.
I agree the Weather Channel is no better then the local TV stations. They never talk technical about weather anymore they just tell you what the weather is, not why it is what it is.
Cantori??? Are you nuts? LOL NO ONE in FL wants him in our towns

hey you!!!!!!!
My locals ae pretty good and in my opinion, so is TWC. I'm in that northeast corridor that they always concentrate on, which makes them better for my area than others. I'm sorry, I do dig Jim Cantore. In a totally non-sexual sort of way. He's cool and no one can convince me otherwise. Stubborn Snow is my new name.
Heavy you know you are in love with Cantore..LOL

TWC is good for basic weather info. Which is what most Americans want. Quick forecasts as they run out the door. For us weather geeks, that isnt enough, thats why we are here..LOL
Also, they are entertainers as well, and need the ratings, thus the Cantores of the world.
HurricaneMyles...yeah, you get the notion we are all influenced by a single mind set.
When TWC showed up on the beach before Frances and Jeanne they were catnip for the 15-seconds-of-TV-fame wantabes. When they people shoulda been finalizing preparations, they were trying to get their faces on TV.

Whom, I wonder if these are the same folks that get on TV 5 minutes after the winds stop blowing to complain that nobody has shown up with free ice and water?
Heavy...nobody has made mention of Cantore as sex symbol... "Methinks thou dost protest too much!!"

Here's an article that the sherriff commented to the reporters.

Bruce's brother-in-law Lynn Boren said the crew told him they had permission to film on the property from Sheriff Jackie Matheny, who denied that.

Weather Underground > TWC + Accuweather
Another thing about TWC, AccuWeather, etc is that they are often not that accurate (do you get what I mean here? LOL). I remember that AccuWeather was predicting a foot of snow on the first day of spring and the NWS 2-5 inches; it turned out that there was 3 inches of snow. Also, TWC often over/under estimates temperatures (although they were correct that I would get a high of 90 or higher a few days ago).
Seems like everyone wanted some coverage except the grieving family, which is very understandable. If they were asked to leave in the face of trespassing signs and didn't, they should have been arrested. The media have no more right to trespass than any other citizen.
Most people holding TV cameras think they are on a mission.
I had nothing to do with both weather channel and accuweather until that famous "bill" trying to stop weather.gov was supported by them publically.

Even that shows what they all about.
It's monday & the ENSO (la Nina) report is out.

Credit NOAA

I think I'd missed this. (April 6th)
Synopsis: La Nia conditions are expected to continue during the next 1-3 months.

There's hope yet!
Australia is going to get hit by another storm in a few days:

If you look closely, you can see what appears to be an eye forming in the center (look at the convection in the middle).
You don't want Cantore(sp?) anywhere near your town.

I also agree that the media needs to leave people alone after they go thru a tragedy.

The only time I watch TWC is when the do the tropical updates, but now that I have discovered this site, I won't need to do that anymore.
I bet that in 24 hours Monica will explode.
Latest Microwave shows half of an eyewall. The other half has not formed yet.

The problem is TWC is trying to get everyone to tune in now and sometimes they got off the subject of weather a little bit,but they definately are better than they used to be,the problem is they are not local for most of us so can not show as much attention to a certain area as a local news station.Their website,esspecially if you have a member pass is a very good weather site also.I use the weather channel sit combined with the NWS and the WU to get the whole complete story.
TWC Sucks.... They spend more time now doing shows about weather then covering weather. Last week when storms were moving thru the carolinas I put it on TWC and the local channels and the locals covered the storms movements 15 times in 1 hour. TWC ?? 1 update. They may as well change the name to Storm Stories.
Interesting though,that weather channel does shows that support the NWS,I dont like ther conservativity,esspecially the office here in the the tampa bay area but the NWS does its job in my oppinion.I think the deal is that the meteorolgists at the wrsther channel support the NWS in my oppinion,I would blame it on their spokeswoman as she has said nothing about the trespassing issue even though the one who trespassed opologized about the issue,I think she is the same one that wanted the NWS gone,probably because she is wanting more attention and money.I may be wrong but that is the way I see this.
They have 1 show at 8:00 and 11:00,and 3 shows from 8:00 to 9:30 on the weather channel,like I saib because they are not local if you watch it you wwont see your area as often,I use the website more then I watch it.I think their main prob is they are trying new things to try and get more customers,I call it experimenting because you want more money lol.
Yes, TWC is not that good for current weather; one of my local news stations is very good at covering severe weather, complete with radar showing TVS, hail, storm paths, etc, which means that even if the Internet is out you can easily see what is happening, although they don't cover it continuously; also, they use and explain weather terms pretty well for non-weather people..
I mean you can get more weather info then this site if you want a platinum or gold member pass but it costs you some money,that I believe is the main problem with the TWC that the WU does not do,they try to hard sometimes to do new things to make more money,if they offered those passes for lower prices it would be a very good weather site but I dont want to paymoney for that info.I still use the site as well as the NWS combined with this site.
The local news down here in Florida has exceptional weather coverage and sems to be built around weather technology.
See if the weather channel had a ocal meteorologist for their local forecast I would like them alot better,thing is it just isn't practical for them to be able to do that,I hsve seem them show hail signature, live lightning, tornado signature and rain rate but because it coverers the whole country,and because they are allways trying something new,they dont get good coverage.You have to expect that from a chnnel that has to cover the entire country,heck they breifely do internation travel weather now breifely.My pick on TWC is that their problem is they have to cover nation wide and the try news tings to often.I like the website alot combined with the NWS an WU.
It is a shame, and representative of all the media now to just try to push too far. I stopped watching the news Post 911 as each media outlet (and politician) tried to see who could best scare us into submission...end soapbox. I figured as long as we are ragging on TWC, I thought I'd pipe in with what really bugs me about their website. Have you ever gone looking for actual model, surface of upper air charts? I can't find them. As a meteorologist, I sure would like to do some forecasting of my own once in a while to improve the timing of the locals. Aside: That would be because I am now in Asheville and inevitably the locals and the big boys miss the slowing of the cold air damming.

Ya I know how ya feel the NWS forecast always foecasts us too low because they overdo the seabreeze effect,strangely enough the weather channel is quite accurate at forcasting my area.I do wish TWC did have a choice of multiple models though.
Well I want to say this about TWC, NWS, & WU...
Weather you know this or not TNWS and TWC has been around for sometime and I just do not see them leaveing anytime soon, and I really love WU because I get to see the Weather first hand and I also get to track any storm I want too... Just a few days ago I called my parents in MO before the storms hit and if it was not for WU I would have not known how bad they really were to even warn them...:0) ( I'm off the soap box now)...
I do want to say this we all use the radar satellite and it is the same radar satellite that TWC, WU, NWS or anyone else uses, And I am glade to have them...
Weather you know this

LOL... Was this intentional?
i got a poll up on my blog about jim cantors on my blog and two new polls as well

Sorry Micheal,

Yes it was LOL :0)
52. TX
TWC is aaaaaight...getting worse and better

They provide things we don't need, but want(after brainwashing). Did TWC hire psychologists?

Mostly Storm Stories, a deplete international weather segment, and dismal local coverage is to be expected as they move away from providing what is needed and producing what is addictive, which is hype and drama(e.g. pre-storm coverage)

I show all my friends how to use WU (a feat in itself as we are all in college and I am the only one I know who has an affinity for the weather) and interact with the maps and radar in the event that I may be on the road or out of touch with the net

As for the 3 arrests; bad professional ethics in this case is overshadowed and replaced by the next story..so sad but true

OK, here's my two cents on TWC. I'll admit to watching "Storm Stories", and my wife likes it too IF they show something new and not a tired old rerun. I would have to say that there is far less serious weather and more stuff for ratings now than in the earlier years. And I was VERY disappointed when they got rid of Paul Kocin! I never really got into weather.com. and have gotten my weather off of WU for a long time, then started reading the blogs, then started blogging, now have to control blog addiction LOL
There is no excuse for trespassing on someone's property to get a story, and the reporters should face the consequences.
On the "shut down the NWS" comment, I believe that was Accuweather, not TWC. TWC runs off NOAA data, it would hardly be to their advantage to shut them down.
NOAA's March rap up is out~ highlights

Last month was the driest March on record for five eastern statesNew Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

Moderate-to-extreme drought (as defined by a widely-used measure of droughtthe Palmer Drought Index) affected about 26 percent of the contiguous U.S.

Several cities in northern California had a record number of days with rain for March, including 25 days for San Francisco and 23 days for Redding.

The Hawaiian Islands were much wetter than normal, with a record rainfall total on Mt. Waialeale (Kauai) of 93.7 inches. This was nearly 60 inches above normal and broke the April 1971 record of 90.07 inches.

The average temperature for the contiguous United States for March (based on preliminary data) was warmer than average at 44.0 degrees F (6.7degrees C). This was 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) above the 1895-2005 mean, making it warmer than two-thirds of the March temperatures on record.

The average global temperature anomaly for combined land and ocean surfaces during March 2006 (based on preliminary data) was 1.01 degrees F (0.56 degrees C) above the 20th century mean. This was the 7th warmest March since 1880 (the beginning of reliable instrumental records)
It wasn't a matter of shutting down NWS only their part in weather info disseminating to the public & one tried as hard as the other on that account, but accuweather took it one step further in their comments that they also wanted NWS to provide them with nifty maps & the graphics package to dissiminate the info in. They lost out to the public, but NWS has given them the right to forecast whatever they want as long as they also put out the NWS track or forecast during severe weather.
Personally, I believe that they shouldn't be allowed to require Accuweather to do that. AccuWX is a private company, asinine as they are, and should have the freedom to do what they like, as long as it's made clear that it is, in fact, unofficial.
Ya it is accuweather that wanted to be independent from the NWS,TWC has always been afiliated with the the weather experts at the NWS,if you get a a high membership pass off of weather.com(which cost some money)you get even more infor and radar options then this site the problem is you have to pay for it on the TWC.I use TWC,NWS,and WU to get the most complete coverage on everything,I think all companys and their significant competitors will all have their advantages and disadvantages,if not there would only be one competitor or maybe 1.I take advantage of this by using all 3 sources as all 3(NWS,WU,TWC,)have their advantages and disadvantages.
Well,I believe that when the NWS was started their was some sort of government law,that made private companys have to use NWS products and be affiliated at least somewhatt to make sure they are providing others with ligitimate info,because severe can be a life or death situation which most people dont realize untill huge tornado outbreaks occur.
Or like situations like all the hurricanes or unless they get hit themselves,most peoplw dont really take the weather as that sirious of a matter,but at times weather can be extremely violent and as dangerous as weopons of war.
If not the NWS wouldnt be a government division,that is why they require other companys to use their products,and accuweather got to pushy.
Jedkins~ Are you comparing the high membership pass off of weather.com to the info from the $5 membership at WU or what you get as a nonmember of WU?
Even though Accuweather is a private entity it wouldn't be in existance without all the data that NWS gives them (none of them would), they don't own satilites & whatnot. The public pays taxes to gather the info as well as for the NWS to forcast. Their mission statement is all about protecting public & property while allowing some forecasting money to be made in this country by privite industry. To let a company owned by the major tourist company, have accsess to data paid for by americans & forecast only their own forecast during severe events conflicts with the whole 1st 1/2 of that mission statement. NWS needs as many disseminating routes to reach all americans in the path of bad weather, this is their return for providing all the info that accuweather uses to exist.
Shear continuing to break, area of near-zero shear in the SW carib - only weeks left, methinks.

Accuweather did what many companies do, they made a campaign contribution to their senator, Senator Santorum PA. In exchange he introduced favorable legislation into the subcommittee.

Pretty typical behavior on behalf of companies and politicians.

More importantly, the subcommittee never brought up the legislation for discussion. None of the other senators of either party wanted anything to do with it.

Santorum was unable to find another senator of either party to co-sponsor the legislation. In other words, it aint goin' nowhere.

The only result of this folly, IMO, was that it made both Accuweather and Santorum look really, really bad.

I did some research on all this last summer. As part of that, I contacted Santorums office. They sent me information stating his viewpoint. It arrived the day after Katrina hit.

If there was ever any possibility of that legislation being taken serously, and the evidence suggests there wasnt, I'd say not a chance after Katrina.
I think that the NWS/NOAA should get more federal funds so that it can improve forecasts (and get rid of all of the pork barrel programs that are mainly a waste of taxpayer's money).
I don't see anything wrong with watching the weather channel, as long as you realize and accept its limitations. I like the "weather in a nutshell" format they use, which, as someone mentioned (forget who now), is great if you want to get a general idea of weather across the country. I do agree, however, that they have become more sensationalistic in their broadcasting in the last couple of years.

Nevertheless, they still have some good points. I actually like their website because they attempt to give some basic information on a huge range of locations around the US and the rest of the world. Moreover, they pull together quite a lot of information in one location, including some fairly sophisticated interational material. I wouldn't rely on their information alone for any serious weather information, but as a survey tool or for cursory searching they are pretty comprehensive. (For example, I usually check 3/4 other websites for weather info during hurricane season, along with local broadcasts.)

I also think they have to keep the information relatively comprehensible to the broadest base of viewers and web users. From their perspective it would be economic suicide to provide huge amounts of essentially esoteric information for a relatively small audience instead. It's not as if there aren't other websites like WU for the more weather-astute or for the curious, easy to find websites that serve a different purpose, and to a certain extent a different audience from TWC.

On the news article about the arrests, I think those young reporters got themselves into trouble. They needed to learn a lesson that perhaps they didn't understand by listening to or observing others; you have to show some respect for others, even if you are getting the news out. Perhaps they will be a bit more empathetic and a little less brash in future.
With DAVIDKRZW's latest post spelling on the internet has hit a new low.
Colby it is only a matter of time. Just take a look at Monica! What a storm! She is in almost 0 shear!

Monica is in the southern hemisphere ;)
Sorry Colby I should have reworded my post. I was saying it is only a matter of time in response to your last post. Then I made a comment about Monica I should have seperated them sorry.
Reference storm coverage by the media...I, for one, get soooooo tired of seeing reporters (most of whom know almost nothing about weather) standing in flood waters, getting blasted by wind, hit by waves, etc. during hurricanes...and then they criticize the public for not evacuating or otherwise being out "in harms way" during the duration. Such silly stuff we end up with--all in the name of news. How many times does the Weather Channel have to show these so-called Storm Stories??
well, I'm going to go out on a limb, and possibly become (more)unpopular. It doesn't seam to me like tresspassing is the most serious of offenses. While I certainly wouldn't like someone tresspassing on my property. Just slap a fine big enough to be a deterrant have the procedes go to the "victim" and be done with it. On the scale of crimes, it is one of the most minor certainly below fraud, drugs, shop lifting, and perhaps even the crime of bad taste ;).
Yeah, you shouldn't tresspass on other's property, but I don't know anyone who didn't commit this crime growing up in some form. Hell, I used to have kids cutting through my lawn all the time. I didn't like it, but I didn't get bent out of shape.

ditto for me too gcain...Where has the right to privacy gone? Previous posts have summed up my thoughts so I won't add any more.

Monica is looking impressive. Looks like there is going to be a double landfall. We'll see.
This is off subject. I'm using Firefox as a browser. It allows me to open up multiple tabs in one window instead of multiple windows like IE. It's easier to blog and look up sat pics without too much of trouble.

I don't really mind people passing through as long as there is no vandalism, but at this point I don't like the idea of someone staying for a while. May the circumstances would be different if death was not involved.
"maybe the circumstances"
As just a note for Haydn, the comment about internet explorer not doing tabs is not entirely true. Just recently Microsoft released an Internet Explorer 7 Beta thingy that does give you tabs.

As for the weather channel, I think that NWS > WU > TWC

Storm stories on TWC was interesting for a while, but it also is anoying when you are actually trying to find current conditions. But I always go to wunderground for tropical storm updates, as Louisiana is always at risk.
I used to be a TWC junkie, but hardly ever watch it anymore. There's just too much superior weather information on line now. However, I do have to throw in a favorite Cantore moment. I remember seeing him in the studio one night several years ago explaining the south-central satellite images and getting all excited about this big cloud over north Texas, because it wasn't really a cloud: it was a huge formation of bats flying someplace. It was obvious that right before he went on, he must have been sitting there talking with the people in the studio going "This is so cool!".
We have several excellent local meteorologists here in the Tampa Bay area. I watch them as much as I watch TWC during hurricane season.