Only In America: When Hurricane Floyd was blown away by Hurricane Dan

AMERICAN TELEVISION viewers were treated to a heartwarmingly familiar sight last week: the CBS anchorman Dan Rather, clad in waterproofs and dripping with rain, with a wind-lashed background. Rather (it is pronounced as in "blather") is one of the nation's most established talking heads, and his arrival in the small Georgia town of Savannah was far more exciting for many people than Hurricane Floyd itself.

Rather has an affinity with hurricanes. He made his name in 1961 when he chained himself to a tree during Hurricane Carla, and came to the attention of CBS executives. That set a pattern. Ever since, every reporter worth his waterproofs has taken it upon himself to stand out in the rain and mouth empty phrases like "the wind just keeps on building" and "the rain just keeps on coming" while the cameraman wobbles the camera a bit.

Weather is big business for the media. The Weather Channel had its biggest ever audience for Floyd - more than 1.7 million - and most of it is high- tech: rotating colour three-dimensional images of the storm, pictures taken using radar and so on. But you can't beat the Man in the Mac, and Dan is the Man. He nearly came to grief a few years ago during Hurricane Opal, when a producer had to hold his legs while the winds threatened to blow him away.

Professional meteorologists are a bit sceptical about all of this, and fear it persuades people that it's all right to hang around while the hurricane builds. One hurricane expert told USA Today: "I'm just waiting for the day that somebody does that and something flies off a power pole and decapitates him." Which brings a whole new meaning to "talking head".

Hurricane Floyd followed Mr Rather home and rolled on to Manhattan, though it had run out of steam by the time it got there.

SO, BY the sound of things, had the fashion editors who were in town for Fashion Week. The New York Observer told us that we were all so tired of fashion - it told us so at enormous length, in fact, in a 2000-word lead article.

THE NEW York Observer is a cross between Private Eye, Tatler and the Evening Standard if you can imagine such a thing, but it does have an ability to elevate the most trivial of subjects into major breaking news stories.

Last week they interviewed Jon Corzine, the incredibly wealthy former chairman of Goldman Sachs, who may run for the vacant Senate seat in New Jersey. They asked him all the tough questions, and he replied. "I've had it for 21 years," he said. "I would be sending a signal that I wasn't who I was if I shaved the beard. If that's why people don't like me, then I've failed in communicating both who I am and what I'm about."

ANOTHER WEALTHY man, Viacom boss Sumner Redstone, 76, is facing a more difficult set of choices. His wife of 52 years, Phyllis, wants to divorce him, and she wants quite a lot of money in recompense: $3bn.

It is not the first time she has done this: the last time, Viacom was in the thick of a takeover battle with home shopping network QVC. This time, Viacom is in talks with CBS, and once again the news caused a frisson on Wall Street. Perhaps the definition of real power in America is when your personal life moves the market.

THE BEHAVIOUR of "a certain Manhattan mogul and his extraordinary new lady" moved the guests at Conrad Black's smart Washington dinner to something closer to disgust last week, according to the New York Post. Their antics "seemed to have to do with the `lady' rearranging the napkin on the mogul's lap," the Post said.

Katherine Graham, of the Washington Post, was heard to mutter: "Why don't they just go outside and do that?" Whoever can it have been?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus brought her Bangerz tour to London's O2 Arena last night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis