ATLANTA — As a “supercell” system of deadly tornadoes ripped through downtown Atlanta Tuesday night, killing 24, injuring hundreds and causing billions of dollars in damages, local station CBS Atlanta 46 proved to local viewers how dedicated they are in supporting the arts.
Instead of watching CBS Meteorologist Markina Brown tracking the paths of the five massive twisters, announcing confirmed touchdowns and advising residents in danger areas to take cover, viewers who still had power, weren’t in their basements or getting sucked out of their blown out windows were treated to Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony Awards closing number, “Empire State of Mind”.
“I didn’t know nothin’ ’bout no tornady. I was watching NPH sing and dance, he’s adorable! Then I heard a freight train, it all went dark and I woke up in a field”, bubbled Vinings resident Carla Stimple from her ICU suite in Piedmont Hospital.
Once the seven minute Tony Awards segment was over, the station offered a brief nod to the storms, as CBS anchor Bernard Watson read the following statement on the fly – “It’s a blustery night out there tonight, folks. Watch out for funnel cakes.”
CBS Atlanta Producer Hank Puffins defended the decision, stating that it was primarily based on social media. “So far we’ve seen over 400 tweets and facebook posts from fans of the Tony Awards and arts supporters in Atlanta”, stated Puffins. “I have yet to see a tweet from anyone killed by the tornadoes.”