Monday, April 27, 2009

PIGS ARE COMING TO KILL US!

Psst. Come here, I have a secret to tell you. It's about the news business. Oh, and about a story that's making big headlines right now. Are you ready? Are you sure? Okay, here goes...

Swine flu is not a big deal. It just hit on a slow news day. And everyone loves a good panic.


I know, it's shocking. You would never suspect that we "respected journalists" would blow something out of proportion for our own selfish gain. I mean, the reason most of us got into the business is to HELP people, by TELLING THEM THE TRUTH. It had nothing to do with the fact that we wanted to be on television but had no talent as actors, or that we like to control the opinions of others. Actually, if you think about it we are still telling the truth. I don't think that anyone has reported more than 80 cases in the U.S., or more than 16o deaths in Mexico. However, those small numbers have been footnotes in video of people wearing face masks, and information about school closures and travel advisories. After all, the words "health warning" won't get as many viewers as "possible pandemic."

I promise you that if this story had surfaced on a day when anything else was happening, it would not have gotten as much play. But over the weekend the only other thing making headlines was the continued crumbling of General Motors. And, well, we've done that story to death. No one wants to hear about it any more. It's depressing. It involves concepts many people don't understand. What is something everyone DOES understand? Fear of death. And nothing is more frightening than death from an exotic disease. I mean, you don't think people saw "Outbreak" for Dustin Hoffman, do you?

I don't mean that you shouldn't worry about swine flu. You should worry about it the same way you worry about being hit by a bus. Both are possibilities, both could kill you, and both can be stopped by taking basic precautions. Don't step out in front of a bus if you see one coming. Oh, and wash your hands when you think they may have touched something germy, like a door knob, or a public phone, or Paris Hilton. That's right. The kryptonite to this killing machine of an illness sweeping the globe? Soap. That's never going to make it into the headline, I can guarantee it.

Just thank god the media had swine flu to keep themselves busy this weekend. Otherwise the death of Bea Arthur would have been the big story, and you would have spent Sunday wondering how the "Golden Girls" ended world hunger and the cold war. They didn't. We just would have made it seem that way...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your media expertise! I am supposed to study abroad in Mexico in July and have seriously been considering canceling it. If I die, it will most definitely be your fault. You'd better have good insurance because you will inherit 3 children 1/2 time. - Whitney

Anonymous said...

Thanks for admitting it! I cannot believe the BS you put on the air and on this page. Bringing us all down, all the time... Logic? Tragic!

Logical Libby said...

Wait, so what I put on this page is BS? Or what I put on the air is BS? I am so confused.

Although, I have to say it is nice to know I am bringing all of the people down all of the time. I think there is a proverb about that.

Logical Libby said...

P.S. Thanks for watching, and reading. My BS would be nothing without people like you! :)

Lyndsay said...

Well, I for one appreciate a little perspective. It is easy to get caught up in the panic/paranoia, but lets all be reasonable here: a pandemic is pretty unlikely. We all watch way too many movies.

She Said said...

Dang it. You just burst my bubble, the one I was intending on having my family live in. Back to life, back to reality. Wait, isn't that a line from a song?

Amanda said...

YOU ARE MEAN!!!

Andi said...

Phew! So it's safe for me to go to Cancun after all?? Because I totally need the break, even if it comes in pandemic form.

Tara said...

I think perhaps you should consider changing the name of your blog to Libby Tragic. Sure, theres no aliteration but you might attract more of the emo contingent.
Thanks, Anonymous, for the Best. Line. Ever.

Emily-Ione said...

you should be here at the conference on disaster preparedness and animal health in public safety- it's a big freaking deal in the veterinary community.

Daniel said...

Kinda reminds me of the summer about 5 years ago when all we heard about was shark attacks. The irony of that summer of course was that the attacks received so much attention but the total for the summer was actually BELOW the average. We now have one confirmed death from swine flu but have had 110 deaths of children alone from "normal" flu in 2009. Viewers with any sort of common sense can get passed the hysteria and the hype. There is a big difference between reporting the "hot topic" however ridiculous it may be and irresponsible sensationalism. As long as your newscasts dont show cities in flames or people roaming the streets eating the dead and link it to swine flu I think you are fine.

Janine said...

See? That's exactly what would happen to me.

So, let's say I made it big. At something - who knows what. Anyway. First, I'd die. Then on THE VERY SAME DAY, the Four Horsemen would appear. And sure as shite all over the news it would all be about The Apocaplypse - nothing about me.

Because that kind of stuff is always happening to me. I swear to God.

PS. My friend calls the Swine Flu Babe's Revenge.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

THANK YOU! Jeez, I feel like I need to raise my hand in the air and shout "Amen Sistah!" And I'm glad that Daniel pointed out (in his comment above) the truth about ANY type of flu.

I think people are just creeped out that they're being attacked by invisible pig germs. That gives me the eeby-jeebies too, but so do booger bubbles.