Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Pass The Soap
Please wash your hands before you read this blog. The writer was in Kansas City last weekend and may have come in contact with the dreaded and media-hyped Swine flu. After all there were two cases in K.C. and maybe both of them were on the plane coming back to Detroit. You can never be too safe about protecting yourself from being killed. The news media has fallen in love with the Swine flu story and has now overstepped its responsibility to keep the public informed. Instead, the over coverage has created so much fear that you would think somebody put a box of anthrax in every newsroom in the country. Of course not, but unless there are new developments that are news worthy, the news hounds should take two steps backward and chill the hell out. The sensationalization of this story came up in the Granholm inner circle on Tuesday and when she stepped out in public, the governor confessed that the cable news guys "do have to fill some hours" on the air. She added if you watched over an extended period of time you would conclude, "we are in a pandemic." She quickly added, "We're not there yet." And until we get there, Swine flu is just another story. Jon Stewart on the Daily Show did a marvelous tongue in cheek analysis of the media coverage as he lambasted the overkill. He showed a clip of John King on CNN reporting there were six new cases in Canada and the graphic had the=2 0entire country covered in ominous red. Six cases out of how many millions of hockey lovers north of us? On a local news channel in this neck of the woods, where the median age of a reporter is about 15 years and six months, viewers were told to stay at home if you are sick, cover your mouth when you cough, and for God's sake, wash your hands. In three separate stories all that stuff was repeated…in the same newscast. Maybe this is a clever attempt by the soap makers to sell more soap? Or maybe the TV guys are about to move into the May sweeps and they want to boost their ratings? Naw, responsible journalists would never do that.