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Ginger Zee, ABC Meteorologist, Called a Weather 'Pornographer' for Not Pushing Climate Change

Image: Ginger Zee, ABC Meteorologist, Called a Weather 'Pornographer' for Not Pushing Climate Change
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By    |   Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 10:20 AM

Ginger Zee, an ABC meteorologist for "Good Morning America" and "World News Tonight," was likened to a "pornographer" by news consultant Andrew Tyndall because she didn't discuss weather in the context of climate change.

"If Ginger Zee reported in the role of climatologist rather than meteorologist, I would praise ABC’s 'World News Tonight’s' decision as a daring intervention into a crucial national and global debate," he told The Associated Press. "Instead, she is more like a pornographer."

By some accounts, weather stories were mostly under the jurisdiction of local news stations up until the 1990s, when nation-wide news programs discovered that severe weather and natural disaster stories made for gripping television outside of the effected area.

"The weather is part of the national conversation and it is part of the news cycle," said Almin Karamehmedovic, executive producer of "World News Tonight."

"Increasingly, we see it that way. I'm sure the weather is the same as it was 10 years ago, but we see much more of it."

Among meteorologists and broadcast producers, there has been debate about the role of severe weather stories in national newscasts. Some find the coverage — which often shows pictures and video of storm-beaten communities — sensationalistic. They often use the term "weather porn" to describe such stories, sometimes likening them to lurid violent crime stories, and other forms of yellow journalism.

Tyndall likened Zee to a weather pornographer in his example. A more high-minded move, he suggested, would be to eschew the weather porn stories, and discuss weather in the context of climate change.

Washington Post weather editor Jason Samenow took issue with this idea in a Tuesday article.

"This unflattering portrayal of Zee and her work is uncalled for," he wrote.

"Moreover, Tyndall’s argument that ABC News should present the weather through the lens of climate change is not compelling. It’s notoriously difficult to link certain weather extremes, like hurricanes and tornadoes, to climate change. Attempts to do so, when the established scientific connections are fuzzy and/or contentious, invite criticism from skeptics."

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Ginger Zee, ABC meteorologist for "Good Morning America" and "World News Tonight," got swiped by news consultant Andrew Tyndall last week, who likened her to a "pornographer."
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Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 10:20 AM
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