Hurricane Ida Reporter Gets Blasted Online for Seemingly Exaggerating Intensity of Storm During Reports

by Josh Lanier

You don’t need to look far to see the devastation that Hurricane Ida left behind in its wake. But social media is taking one weatherman to task after people began posting videos of his theatrical reports from New Orleans.

Jim Cantore is one of the most beloved figures on the Weather Channel. So, it makes sense why he’d be on the front lines covering one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history. However, many on social media believe he exaggerated the storm’s strength during live shots.

In two reports from the front lines of Hurricane Ida, Cantore fights the wind as he tries to stay upright. However, in the background of these shots, people seem unaffected. In one report, a man does cartwheels for the cameras while Cantore flails about.

In fairness to Cantore, though, people sharing this clip have either selectively edited it or are taking it out of context. In the full report, which you can watch here, the meteorologist admits that he’s intentionally walking into the wind to show its strength. He walks back and forth during the broadcast, using the buildings in the foreground as cover. The buildings on the block behind Cantore provide shelter for the man doing cartwheels.

However, this video of Cantore and another Weather Channel reporter standing in the wind as people walk behind with ease in the background seems more egregious. Some people pointed out that the bushes only a few feet behind them barely move in the shot. But they are having to brace themselves against the wind.

Man Attacks Journalist During Hurricane Ida Report

However, people calling out reporters for seemingly exaggerating or overplaying a storm’s power is nothing new. It happens with every major hurricane.

Unfortunately, one man decided to take his beef to the source.

Shaq Brewster was reporting from Hurricane Ida from Gulfport, Mississippi when a “wacky guy” approached him during a live shot and demanded he “report (the storm) accurately.” Brewster was speaking with TODAY show’s co-host Craig Melvin for MSNBC when the man pulls up in his truck. He rushes toward Brewster, who tries to ignore him at first. But after a few seconds, the man jumps into the shot and gets in the reporter’s face. Producers quickly cut away from the on-scene drama.

Viewers were left wondering for several minutes if Brewster was OK. Melvin eventually updated the report to say that “Shaq is okay.”

“You probably saw or heard a few moments ago, one of our correspondents was disrupted by some wacky guy during his live shot there in Mississippi,” Melvin said. “I’m pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is just fine. Shaq is okay.”

Brewster confirmed it in a tweet later, saying he and his team were “all good.”