I Can’t Believe We’re on the Eve of Destruction

But ABC sure can.

The “news” network last night highlighted a doctor who is predicting an apocalypse as part of a weeklong series “Bird Flu: Fears, Facts and Fiction; What Americans Need to Know.” Reporter Jim Avila interviewed Dr. Robert Webster “the father of bird flu.” Webster came right out and predicted that the virus, which so far has killed barely 100 people in roughly eight years, will mutate into a virus and that “that 50% of the population could die.”

Webster, who is storing three months of food and water in his home like some Y2K survivalist, estimated the chance of such an event as “about even odds,” though he says it will happen.

This was just one piece of TV’s trend toward terrifying about the threat that still hasn’t killed as many people as die in one day on our nation’s roads. The Free Market Project has followed this trend in the recent week including Ken Shepherd’s comparison of how differently the networks treated this threat compared with the danger of terrorism and a detailed piece that points out how much the media call the virus “deadly” when so few humans have even gotten sick from it.

Dan Gainor
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and Vice President for Business and Culture for the Media Research Center