Television networks have worked continuously to maximize their return on investment by making spectator sports more exciting. For example, I once heard a proposal about how NASCAR races could be more compelling by putting the beer stand in the middle of the track. “Now that would be a sport!” said one producer. News organizations have long operated in accordance with the same doctrine “If it bleeds it leads.” They’ve been pushing the fine line between news and entertainment for a long, long time. One of the initiation rituals is to put young, low seniority reporters downtown to describe an incoming hurricane.
As they stand, waiting to be decapitated by a flying stop sign, they often struggle to be heard above the wind as it messes with the big furry microphone they’re holding. The synthetic fur cover you often see on a microphone is referred to as a “dead cat” or “wind muff” by TV news crews. Experience hath shewn the funny looking covers can actually help to reduce the amount of wind noise that gets broadcast or recorded. One time, when I was tilting at windmills on a calm day, it occurred to me that I was missing the glorious battle. While windmills are ferocious noisemakers, they are highly efficient energy generators because of the wind.