Pardon the interruption, but Michael Wilbon put me in a very precarious position Sunday afternoon.
He made me decide between a former colleague who I’ve known for 25 years — Him. Or a television meteorologist who I’ve known for, like, three months.
Of course I sided with Topper Shutt.
I should explain.
While most of America had already seen Tiger Woods putt out for his pulsating masters victory at 43-year-old, Wilbon was watching the rebroadcast.
At approximately 6:32 p.m., long after the Masters was over, we cut away from the rebroadcast to bring viewers a very important message: A tornado was coming. Batten down the hatches, kids, if it’s near your ‘hood.
Well, not being in the general vicinity of having his home blown to smithereens, this angered Wilbon.
“Channel 9 in DC, the CBS affiliate: you people couldn't wait until Tiger putted out (on replay granted) before you took HIM off the screen for your self-indulgent endless weather interruption?” Wilbon tweeted. “Really?!?!? A pox on your producers, probably some of my dear friends!”
Now, I spoke to Wilbon about this. He is still angry that we cut away. “A tornado warning needs 12 bleeping minutes?” He said of the length of the report. He wanted us to at least wait two more minutes.
Number one: again, this was a replay. Number two: IT WAS A FRICKIN’ TORNADO!!!
FCC guidelines mandate that we tell our viewers, even the ones in the furthest reaches of Fredericksburg, they might want to get inside pretty quickly. Even if there were no FCC guidelines, It’s ethically and morally wrong to wait to tell anyone.
Anyhow, I’m not saying all this because WUSA9 now signs my checks. And I want no bad blood with Michael Wilbon.
But if he wants to come at our weather team, I’ll be rolling with Topper and the gang and let the chips fall where they may. We can watch that on replay, PTI tough guy.