Meteorologist fires back at viewers upset over tornado warning during NBA game
George Flickinger, head meteorologist for Virginia ABC affiliate WSET, is refusing to apologize amid complaints from viewers left irate over how an NBA playoff game telecast was partially interrupted by a tornado warning.
On Wednesday, a segment featuring Flickinger highlighted how some viewers contacted WSET to express disgust over how Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinal series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets was put on a split screen so the weather team could cover a tornado warning.
Among the complaints, as highlighted by Deadspin.
“And I just like to say, I thank you for absolutely ruining Game 7 of Denver versus Portland because you have to show a [the station bleeped this word, which was probably “f——g”] tornado warning for over half an hour,” one caller yelled.
“We get it, there’s a tornado, it’s been on the TV for over 20 minutes and I’m trying to watch the last three minutes, not on the B.S. split screen,” another caller said. “This is B.S., you guys are terrible at your jobs.”
Suffice to say, Flickinger — who incidentally was fired from a previous weatherman job in 2006 for interrupting an NFL game due to pressing issues related to wildfires — was not having any of it. Along with chronicling viewer complaints and Flickinger’s retort, the segment also featured footage of the devastation left behind when a tornado strikes a populated area.
Kudos to Flickinger for defending the station’s policy regarding severe weather and its commitment to providing critically important updates that could potentially save lives.
Who would ever think that there’s people out there who would become enraged and accuse a television station of having the audacity to commit such a heinous act like … reducing the coverage of an NBA playoff game to a split screen for a little while. All for a stupid tornado.
What a world.