It seems to have become an expected part of the cycle of any massive storm hitting a part of the world. There are the well-known and accepted phases; the increasingly urgent warnings from government for people in the storm’s path to prepare themselves adequately; the actual devastation of the storm itself and, finally, local and national governments pledging whatever aid is necessary to help with the clean-up – or, if the storm affects the dominion of a larger state, like Puerto Rico, for its plight to be ignored. Now, it seems a fourth phase has cemented itself in the journey of any storm, and we must now consider it as much of a present factor as the storm itself: the obligatory placing of a reporter in the direct path of the storm so that we may watch their unbridled misery and suffering as they are battered by the elements.
Last month, during Hurricane Florence – which hit the Carolinas – it was the turn of one be-capped reporter, Gadi Schwartz, to become a sort of internet celebrity on account of being contractually obliged to be sequestered on an exposed island during a life-threatening storm. Now, during Hurricane Michael, which was caused significant damage across Florida and the Carribean it is the turn of one Jim Cantore to swan into the ken of our cultural consciousness.
I’m not gonna shit you about here, Jim Cantore is nearly killed in this video. His existence is nearly brought to a premature close by a very large piece of airborne wood – a sentence which I can say I did not expect to have to type upon my arrival in work this morning. Ol’ Jim Cantore has to break-off, mid-broadcast to perform some evasive manouevres (clutch a hand to his head and sort of scuttle along the edge of a pool) to ensure his body remains unbludgeoned by the roaming sky wood.
Wow, Jim Cantore almost got speared by a 2×4 live. #HuricaneMichael pic.twitter.com/8qUsao0PQj
— David Magee (@sfslickdawg) October 10, 2018
Jim Cantore does not take hints. I feel that most people, were they in a scenario where a large piece of wood was hurled at them, would extricate themselves from that situation. The one time a piece of wood was ever hurled at me in such a way, I did just that; I calmly reached for my satchel, stood up, and told my Uncle Keith that – while it was perfectly fine for us to disagree over which was Nelly Furtado’s best album – he really had gone too far this time, and then I left his dormitory. Not so, for Jim Cantore, he remains unphased by the weather’s evident disapproval of his presence there and, rather than leaving, he simply put on a helmet and carried on broadcasting.
Jim Cantore standing in between a pool and the ocean in the middle of a hurricane eyewall making land but at least he’s got a helmet on. pic.twitter.com/1iGrYTUjQe
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 10, 2018
He also apparently found time to assist a fellow weather reporter from another station who appeared in legitimate danger of being blown into the ocean.
Whew! NBC News Reporter Kerry Sanders was nearly blown away by the winds of Hurricane Michael in Panama City Beach, Florida, when the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore saved him. https://t.co/wQ4PZaVlX5 pic.twitter.com/PoDc9MmIxi
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) October 10, 2018
However, there are some voices of dissent online. Some naysayers who are looking to cast doubt on the source of the wood. These conspirators are claiming that it was not in fact the wind that should be held responsible for throwing the wood at Jim Cantore, but that it was in fact simply thrown by a member of the crew to add drama, in the hope that the weather report would go viral, leading to coverage and articles like this. If this is true, bravo Jim, I have played right into your incredibly rain-sodden and pruned hands.
Almost got speared? The 2×4 was nowhere near him. Plus it looks like someone tossed it from off camera. These guys are trying too hard to be the news.
— George Ponder (@Coppertop004) October 11, 2018