From Poor Richard: Open Letter to Big Media — Thanks for Nothing!
Let's all take a moment to applaud "big media" for cultivating a culture of ignorance, fear, and "crisis saturation." How many examples can we count where big media was fanning the flames of global hysteria for relatively minor incidents? From religion to politics to the environment (is there really a difference between these three subjects any more?), how can anyone really know when they should start paying attention to the 24/7 news cycle?!
Pick your favorite crisis and decide which of these REALLY justified sounding the global panic alarm: Pending Ice Age? Killer Bees? Y2K Meltdown? SARS? EBOLA? AIDS? Ozone Layer? Global Warming? Avian Flu? CO2? Polar Bears?
Are things different this time? Is the so-called "Swine Flu Virus" a potential global pandemic that could kill millions similar to past epic plagues? Or will it prove to be another Y2K media-fueled exaggeration?
Only time will tell, but have you ever considered how many college kids and business travelers returning from Mexico have brought back a sexually transmitted disease compared to the numbers that may have contracted a unique strain of flu?
A few more questions to ponder:
- How many pedestrians will be hit by vehicles in New York City today?
- How many murders took place in Detroit last year?
- How many women are chronic victims of domestic abuse or rape?
- How many fatal vehicle accidents are caused by drunk drivers each day?
- How many children will be molested or abused by family members this year?
- How many people of faith are assaulted, maimed, executed, and denied basic human rights in various parts of the world each day?
- How many homeowners and convenient store clerks have prevented a crime by owning a gun?
- How many terror plots have been disrupted by the U.S. and international allies since 2001?
- How many terror plots might be resurrected as the new administration "stands down" and refuses to even utter the word "terrorist"?
- How many people vote but pay ZERO income taxes?
- Are obese kids the victims of child abuse?
Are any of these stories worthy of "epic" media coverage today, tomorrow, next month? Which of them should earn the most "buzz" and attention?
So thanks for nothing, big media. How does it feel to help the ignorant masses go on living from one soundbite to the next without any real sense of priority, scale, or context?
[For FacilityBlog's coverage of swine flu, click here.]
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