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as seen on phillyBurbs.com

The sky is falling
Bring in the snow, reign in the hype.

It was easier to predict than the weather.

The first snowstorm of the winter brought with it a blizzard of TV "news" coverage. In reality, it was nothing more than a thinly veiled ratings bonanza for local stations.

Our doppler radar is better than their's, one touted.

Another declared it had more correspondents in the field to give you the broadest coverage. Like we really needed 30 people dressed like Nanook of the North to tell us it's snowing outside when one look out the window said it all.

The third boasted that its forecast has been the most accurate.

Who cares?

All I wanted to know is how much snow is coming and when it was going to stop.

It's December. White stuff happens. We just have to deal with it.

For me that means stocking up on food, filling the car with gas, picking up some booze and waiting for the storm to pass before I dig out my car.

In bad winters I tend to drink a lot more.

If a storm is really bad, I start shooting suction cup darts at the TV correspondents every time they say something stupid. It's my own personal remedy for cabin fever/seasonally affected disorder. (If only someone off camera who felt the same way would pelt Mr. or Ms. Hairdo with an ice-packed beauty.)

On Saturday, one talking head went so far as to try to interview a dog being walked by its master. The dog took one look at the microphone in the lady's hand and promptly turned around and put its muzzle in the nearest snow bank.

Thump. Darn suction cup bounced off the screen.

For this she went to journalism school? Her parents must be so proud.

It's time for the five area TV new stations to reign in this madness. Unless a storm is of historic importance, limit its coverage to less than half the broadcast.

The last thing I want is for you to interrupt the regularly scheduled broadcast to bring me the weather.

Unlike the TV stations, and the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration - the people who do the long-range outlook for the National weather Service - I already know what the winter will bring: It's going to be cold and dark with periods of rain and snow over the next three months.

Ain't no cure for the wintertime blues.

Dave Ralis' Pave The Grass column appears on Mondays. You can send him an e-mail at  or call him at 215-269-5051. To read his previous columns, click here.

Dec. 8, 2003