Posts Tagged ‘panic

16
Oct
14

On Ebola and the Media Panic Industry

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few weeks—and if you have, you may want to skip this and stay there where it’s safe—you may have noticed the media has a shiny new toy.

The Ebola outbreak which has reached our shores—infecting less than ten people—has our failed media experiment in a veritable apoplexy. CNN, looking for something to replace it’s 24/7 coverage of MH370 and recapture those golden days of summer, has joined MSNBC and Fox in providing a constant stream of information on the breakout. And by “constant stream of information”, I mean dialing the panic button up to 12 and reporting as if half of the country has been infected with the virus. Rather than a contained outbreak, this Ebola infestation is a new Black Death, scything through the population with grim glee.

Now, I know that it’s hard filling in the time between commercials. A news producer’s job is never easy. But there seems to be something disreputable about media organizations latching on to a very minor outbreak and building it up to be an existential threat to humanity. And, of course, the coverage was nowhere near as manic when the Ebola pandemic was restricted to west African nations. Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are facing real catastrophic consequences to their economies and social fabric; but, they’re far away, and in Africa, so not worthy of foaming at the mouth coverage.

Continue reading ‘On Ebola and the Media Panic Industry’

17
Sep
11

‘panic disorder’

16
Sep
11

‘the crybaby chorus’

Robert Shrum: It’s natural for the GOP to dismiss the facts in favor of misreading the entrails of a temporary congressional gain (in New York) which will be reversed in 2012. But it’s stupid, a sign of panic, and a pathetic and depressing picture to see Democrats joining in….

…. among the disaffected are elements of the labor movement …. Good luck to any union that sits out or sloughs off in 2012; if they end up with Romney or Perry, it could mark the end of organized labor in America.

…. too many members of his own party in Congress who pushed the president for a jobs bill, paid for by taxes on the wealthy, are now validating Will Rogers’s observation that they “don’t belong to any organized party. They’re Democrats”. Some of them are beginning to pick the bill apart, pursuing parochial interests …. Sen. Sherrod Brown warns that Democrats have to “compromise to get this bill up and running”; everybody can’t have all they want. He’s right, and so is Nancy Pelosi that Democrats can recapture the House – if they hold their nerve and stand with the president…..

Finally comes my friend James Carville to argue in a pyrotechnic CNN piece that yes, the White House should “panic” …. As Bill Clinton’s campaign chief in 1992, Carville didn’t panic – he certainly didn’t fire himself – in the early summer of that year, when Clinton was in last place, at 22 percent, in a three-way race with Ross Perot and the first George Bush.

…. Carville is on target about one thing: Obama has to “make a case like a Democrat”. But that’s what this president is doing now…..

…. the GOP is doing its best to block recovery as a conscious strategy to reclaim the White House: kill jobs to get the job. But there is grave risk for Republicans in this transparent cynicism; the president has the voice, and we’ve learned before that he has the strength of will to set the choice and win the big battle. Indeed, that’s what makes the comparison with Carter absurd; from health reform to financial reform to the salvation of the auto industry and the prevention of depression, Obama has a historic record of achievement.

…. Obama is a fourth quarter player. And the fourth quarter has come. It’s time for the crybaby chorus to leave the critic’s row and get in the game. The president will do his part. And then his victory in the 2012 election will be remembered long after his phony defeat in a peculiar special election fades into a footnote.

The panic isn’t justified — and Democrats can’t afford it. Grow up. As Carville might say, there’s too much at stake, stupid.

Full article here




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