‘You know, I’m not new to live TV — in 1952, I starred in my first live sitcom, which was ‘Life with Elizabeth,’ joked Betty White. ‘And, of course, back then we didn’t want to do it live. We just didn’t know how to tape things. So I don’t know what this show’s excuse is.’
The Weather Channel. The phrase brings to mind thoughts of planning your weekend, flipping through en route to According to Jim, maybe even watching a hurricane tear your crappy state a new asshole. But there is a dark side to The Weather Channel. A world of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and corporate cover-ups. Yes, the unthinkable has happened: The Weather Channel is interesting.
The man who made it so interesting? Bob Stokes, their “lead anchor” (sorry Bob, but you’re still just a weather man). After running his original co-anchor off with physical and verbal abuse, and not getting fired for it, he realized that he was so valuable to The Weather Channel that he could get away with basically anything. What made his bland, pan-asian face and generic way of speaking so damned valuable, we’ll never know.
But the fact is his new co-anchor, Hillary Andrews, was forced to put up with three years of sexual harassment and petty sabotage during which her superiors refused to act, and ultimately laid her off. Damn, but that Bob Stokes must be some draw. And all this in the midst of a 5 billion dollar bidding war for the sale of the channel. My God, The Weather Channel, when did you become a soap opera?
Probably about the time these pages from Andrew’s deposition hit the Internet. Prepare yourselves, readers; you are about to enter the seedy cloak-and-dagger world of national weather reportage.
Excerpts From The Deposition of Hillary Andrews
Mr. Stokes repeatedly made crude sexual comments to me in the guise of discussing the weather, including “tonight looks unusually hot, with a chance of boning,” “I’m sensing a high pressure system forming in the deep south” and “make like the Santa Ana and gently blow me.”
While I was reporting, Mr. Stokes routinely replaced the map of the U.S. on the studio greenscreen with nude photos of himself flexing.
During the March 9th, 2006 broadcast of our national weather round-up, Mr. Stokes never once took his eyes from my breasts.
Mr. Stokes described my unwillingness to have sex with him to a Producer by saying “she’s got a high ‘do point.’”
By setting me up with an assignment which later proved to be fabricated, Mr. Stokes convinced me to deepthroat a barometer, and has since kept the footage playing on a loop in his dressing room.
During our time covering Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Mr. Stokes repeatedly tried to start an impromptu “Mardis Gras wet t-shirt contest” with me as its sole entrant. On several occasions, he pretended to help bail out the flooded home of a resident only so he could “accidentally” spill buckets of water onto me. When he succeeded, he invariably made a reference to his “levee being about to break” and ran to the restroom.
Mr. Stokes once told me that I had to go check the fluid levels on the studio’s Doppler Weather System. When I returned, he had masturbated onto my desk and was arching his eyebrows at me suggestively.
Whenever I try to enter the studio through the hallway leading from the dressing rooms, Mr. Stokes always stands in my way, presses himself against me, and says “Warm front. Get it? Warm front.”
Mr. Stokes once placed smiling sun logos on a map of the Eastern Seaboard in the shape of me giving oral sex.
Harrowing. We can only hope this monster’s abuses are finally brought to light, and The Weather Channel is replaced with something more wholesome and worthwhile, like foxy boxing.
When not blogging for Cracked, Michael fulfills his title of world champion watcher of female mud wrestling as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!
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