Storm chasers battle accusations of bad behavior as “chasertainment” comes of age

The volunteers who risk their lives to provide storm warning information argue that the “bastardizing” of chasing is not only destroying the image and creditability of chasing, but most disturbing, the character of “storm spotting.”

Photo of Warren Faidely
Faidely

Above is a quote from an excellent article on Examiner.com by journalist and storm chaser Warren Faidely. Faidely takes an objective, well-sourced look at problems created by individuals who chase storms for personal glory, publicity and money (from selling dangerously obtained video clips to the news media).

Below are a couple more of my favorite excerpts.

(Oklahoma City volunteer storm spotter Stan) Johnson and other spotters say that when people hear they are storm spotters, the reaction is much different than before. “People use to say things like, ‘Thank you so much, Stan, for your volunteer work.’ Now days, I hear more of ‘Man you guys are nuts, but I love the crazy footage clips.’ We are loosing many good spotters because they don’t want to become involved in the chasing circus.”

 Some storm chasers argue that image problems originate from news outlets that continue to give a “stamp of approval to imprudent behavior and fail to address the questionable antics, claims and ethics.”

(Dallas-based storm spotter Mike) Powers suggests, “Some chasers have become so popular and protected by the media and their fan bases, they’ve developed a kind of storm chasing immunity, free of any scrutiny or investigative reporting.”

This article is important for spotters, chasers and representatives of news outlets to read. Give it a look!

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