July 30, 2014

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Fair

69°
Conditions at Parkersburg, Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport, WV
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The Unsung Heroes

There's somebody we overlook during all the great coverage of a hurricane in the gulf!

I was watching The Weather Channel today and they reminded me of something.

(Yes, I do watch the Weather Channel a bit. Why not?  It's on my cable.)

The segment was live from New Orleans, where Al Roker and Jim Cantori were standing side by side in the streaming rain, fighting the wind, attempting to hold a conversation.

The fact that they were out in that type of weather speaks to the risks that we put TV anchors in, just so that we can get compelling video footage.  And I assure you that the footage of them being blown about and fighting for footing will be played over and over, and will become an icon of Hurricane Isaac for the future.

But that's not the point of my comment.

Al Roker pointed something out about an hour or two later during a more calm break in the gale, that I think needs to be repeated.

Al Roker was standing between buildings, where the rain was coming horizontal, the wind was howling, and he was wrapped in a rain slicker and boots.  You could see he was holding a microphone that trailed a cord, and he was clutching his hood to protect his face.

How do we know this?  Because it was being brought to us LIVE... via satellite relay television.

That means we were looking through a television camera that was hooked to a production truck with a satellite dish pointed up at an orbiting satellite to relay the images, sound and video, direct to our air conditioned home where we sit in an easy chair and watch for our entertainment.

And that's when Roker said it.  Rather that compliment Cantori for his work or anchoring him to the ground in the gale, Roker pointed out that they owed a great debt of gratitude to the TV truck technicians who were bringing this image to us.

He enumerated that the truck had to be delivered to New Orleans, find a sheltered spot behind a building, orient the dish, string the microphones, set up the camera, keep power going when all other power had failed, and protect not only the tech, but the talent as well, from falling lights, stands and wires.

It really made an impact on me.  He stopped and thanked "the crew"...the whole crew who were in the thick of it with them... putting themselves at risk, to get the job done.

You don't often hear that in the thick of battle.  And it was a nice gesture from a man who is set for life, and doesn't really need to think of the little man.  But he did. It was a small brief moment, but it spoke of character and concern and team spirit.

And that, more than the images of destruction or weather, stuck with me today.

I hope it will stick with you whenever you see TV people out and about.  They're behind the camera, and without them, you wouldn't see us.  Any of us.

Thank you.

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