The scientists try to get close enough to determine the funnel's path and then set instruments in front to see if they can gather data that may one day help predict formation and, as a consequence, save lives. But what about the news crews? Why are they taking these risks?
Have you ever turned on the light in a dark basement and shuddered as cockroaches scurried away? I get that same sense of revulsion whenever I hear about unscrupulous swindlers taking advantage of the victims of natural and manmade disasters.
In a pop-culture world that can turn anyone from a pawn shop owner to a professional beach vacationer to a rich (and petty) housewife into a television star, it's not surprising that tornado-seeking meteorologists would want to get in on the action.