I am on the road and I have the hotel television on CNN. The anchor is teasing a story on the prospect of some sort of “super flu” that some fear might be as bad at the 1918 Great Flu Pandemic.

Her teaser was basically:
“Imagine the bird flu transferring to a pig. Then the disease mutates into some new disease. Then the pig transfers it to a farmer. Then the flu kills millions. Here is CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the report…”

Huh? How is that journalism? “You should be scared of this awful thing! Really, you should! Here is CNN’s Dr. So-and-so?”

I have come up with some of my own.

“Imagine you get into a car. Imagine that an international terrorist cut the breakline. Imagine that you are going downhill. Here is CNN’s Tom Blitzer.”

“What if your milk is replaced by rat poison? What if your kids really liked milk? Here is CNN’s Matt Coulter….”

“Imagine the president really wants to push his agenda. Then a tragic event happens. Then the president uses that tragic event to push his agenda killing thousands and destabilizing an entire region of the world. Here’s CNN Stone Paulie….” Wait a second, that’s really happening. Why can’t I hear about that on CNN?

There are some really important issues we need to be talking about but instead I am having bird-on-pig-on-farmer-flu thrown at me…

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  • Read the Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner, he does a great analysis of the medias over dramatic stance on mundane issues. Such as the killer bees invading America. It is a great read.

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