Weather Channel defends Mike Seidel’s Hurricane Florence viral video

Originally posted Friday, September 14, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on Wilmington, N.C., Weather Channel veteran meteorologist Mike Seidel appeared to be steeling himself against some nasty wind during live coverage Friday.

“This is about as nasty as its been,” said Seidel in video captured by different viewers. 

Moments later, the camera shows two men strolling behind him as if it were a low-key fall rainy day.

This juxtaposition led many social media commentators to accuse Seidel of “faking it” to make things seem worse than they were.

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In a matter of a few hours, the video on Facebook was seen more than four million times. 

The Atlanta-based Weather Channel released a statement defending its employee.

“It’s important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted,” the network said.

The Weather Channel on its website provided this video of Jim Cantore in the midst of the storm. No exaggeration here. 

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