CLAIM

An animated GIF shows a wind-blown stop sign hitting a weather reporter.

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

An old animated GIF purportedly showing weather reporter Holly Ellenbogen getting hit by a stop sign while covering a hurricane was recirculated on social media in September 2017 amidst a series of articles highlighting the lengths that journalist go to in order to cover major storms: 

Although this GIF is often shared in jest during major storms and hurricanes, it is frequently posted alongside genuine clips of reporters braving the dangerous weather, leading some to falsely believe that this is a genuine clip of a weather reporter getting hit by a stop sign. 

The footage, however, comes from a 2006 episode of the television show The Class entitled “The Class Learns About Hurricanes” in which reporter Holly Ellenbogen, played by actress Lucy Punch, reports from the eye of a hurricane:


This isn’t the only video purportedly showing a weather reporter getting hit by a stop sign. In December 2015, a very similar video went viral, this time featuring Irish weather reporter Teresa Mannion:  


Although Mannion is a real reporter, she wasn’t actually hit by a stop sign during a storm. 

Mannion’s original report was broadcast on “RTÉ News: Nine o’Clock” during Storm Desmond in December 2015. Her emotionally charged reporting, coupled with some very obvious, yet necessary, pieces of advice (“don’t swim in the sea”), made Mannion an overnight viral sensation:


Internet users turned her into a meme, remixed her original report, and on 6 December 2015 ,YouTube user Gerard Walsh uploaded the video above featuring Mannion getting hit by a stop sign at the end of her report. 

Although Mannion has repeatedly confirmed that the video is fake, this video continues to circulate during major storms. It took another lap around the Internet in September 2017 amidst a series of massive tropical storms and hurricanes:

Sources:

Ruxton, Dean.   “The Internet’s Take on Teresa Mannion: What You Need to Know.”
    Irish Times.   7 December 2015.

Watson, Chloe.   “Covering Hurricane Irma: Journalists Go to Extremes to Report Storm.”
    The Guardian.   11 September 2017.

Watson, Chloe.   “Covering Hurricane Irma: Journalists Go to Extremes to Report Storm.”
    The Guardian.   11 September 2017.