COMMENTS: When in Doubt there is Always Weather

On a day when little happened with a weekend of holiday shopping and blizzards beginning, what can a newscast do to fill its headlines? Well, there is always the weather. Looming snowstorms on the great plains and along the northeastern border with Canada were the Story of the Day. NBC led with winter for the fourth day out of the last five, this time focusing on New England. ABC led from Kansas where the electricity blackouts from this week's icestorm persist. CBS chose to follow up on yesterday's headlines for its lead--the Mitchell Report into doping by baseball cheats.

The forecast for snow this weekend posed problems because it will fall before the mess from the previous wave of winter weather has been cleared. NBC had Victoria Block of its Boston affiliate WHDH-TV describe the foot of snow that fell during Thursday's rush hour even as a nor'easter is expected on Saturday. "When it starts to fall at a rate of three inches an hour it is really hard to keep up." CBS and ABC turned to the plains instead. ABC's Eric Horng (no link) was in Kansas where one in five residents is still without electric power, so for power crews "a difficult job just got tougher" as they brace for a forecast foot of snow. CBS' Seth Doane went to one Oklahoma City neighborhood "known for its trees"--that are now no more than firewood. "Burdened by the weight of ice more than a million trees in the Oklahoma City area were damaged."


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