A man wandered into a live shot and unwittingly foiled a Weather Channel reporter’s attempt at exaggerating gale-force winds from Hurricane Zeta.
In the dramatic live shot, the correspondent reporting from New Orleans amid the hurricane eyewall making impact is seen struggling to stand up, leaning into wind gusts as a palm tree violently sways behind him.
The reporter’s act is abruptly ended when a man casually walks into frame from off-camera and tries to talk to the reporter, who at this point drops all pretenses of a struggle.
Sensing the shot could be ruined, the cameraman pans away from the reporter and begins filming random buildings.
This isn’t the Weather Channel’s first foray into staging fake news.
In September 2018, as Hurricane Florence threatened the East Coast, one reporter was mocked on social media for pretending to fight against supposedly high winds, while two men casually strolled into the shot behind him.
In that instance, the Weather Channel released a statement defending their reporter, telling Buzzfeed:
“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.”