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TMCNet:  Internet uproar: Did they call us a land mass or not?

[August 29, 2012]

Internet uproar: Did they call us a land mass or not?

Aug 29, 2012 (The Sun Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- An Internet uproar churns unabated over The Weather Channel's alleged reference Sunday to Mississippi as "the land mass" between New Orleans and Mobile.

The Weather Channel says no such video has been located and was not posted on its website, but the website is not a complete record of broadcasts. Spokesperson David Blumenthal says he's asked around, at the office and in the media.

"If somebody did say something and there is a video that has us saying it, I certainly want to see it," Blumenthal said. "If somebody made a comment like that and we were asked about it, one of our folks would have seen it and remembered it." Meanwhile, on the World Wild Web, satire factory theonion.com, has posted a video about land masses and other insignificant locales to be hit by a hurricane that will spare Texas.

The creator of a Facebook page called The Land Mass Between NOLA and Mobile has responded to The Weather Channel's skepticism with the following status (plus 51,640 likes at last count): "What a crazy few days! We have gone from being the Land Mass to being treated with respect TO BEING ACCUSED OF MAKING IT UP by The Weather Channel. They call us by name now and it has not gone unnoticed. Stay safe everyone!" Another update informed visitors about "Land Mass Between NOLA and Mobile" posters, plus T-shirts "in your favorite collegiate colors," available in the online shop.

Commenters on the facebook page, apprised of The Weather Channel's undocumented affront, jumped in to say they had seen and heard the Land Mass comment. None of them posted a video link.

At last count, 229 commented and 709 hit like. Sun Herald readers also commented on an earlier story that they had heard the remark on The Weather Channel. More than once.

Knowyourmeme.com devoted a page to the land mass flap, including related videos. One video is the closest we have found to a "land mass" reference on a weather channel, but not The Weather Channel.

The video is from The Weather Network, Knowyourmeme says. The Weather Network is a Canadian affiliate.

In the video, The Weather Network anchorwoman interviews several reporters from The Weather Channel about Isaac, but they make no references to land masses.

The anchorwoman goes on to say that it looks like the storm will miss Florida, making landfall, possibly, around New Orleans. She added, ". . . maybe even along the Louisiana and Alabama border. So, along the Gulf is really what we're keeping a very close eye on." And therein lies the rub, posted one Facebook user who had seen The Weather Network video. He wrote: "Apparently 'Land Mass' is a hilarious derivative of the statement "Louisiana/Alabama border" combined with a map labeled only with 'NOLA' and 'Mobile,' but the hurricane track graphic hitting Mississippi . . .

"Nobody has been able to post a video of the 'land mass' gaffe. It's possible it's out there but TWC themselves are looking for it. If you can name the reporter AND the hour/date it ran, please do so.

"No matter what, this whole thing has captured a lot of truth about the frustration we Mississippians have about how the impact of Katrina is remembered. So even if the 'Land Mass' statement isn't true there is some truth in it." ___ (c)2012 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.) Visit The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.) at www.sunherald.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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