Good discussion of the fear-mongering hysteria around COVID.
2021-12-31, by Matt Taibbi.
For a while now it’s been clear the primary objective of most pandemic coverage is to scare the socks off mass audiences... Matt Orfalea does a hilarious job of stitching together an homage to the latest moral panic. So many great little details here, from the “Way Too Early” background to one reporter’s premature death report to the “aggressive Covid vice” imagery, the dramatic Biden-cough, and so much more.
It was the world’s loudest record-scratch when the WHO in the first week of December said the ominous “Omicron variant” of Covid-19 had been detected in 38 countries, but without any known deaths.
No deaths? How could that be? In the United States in late November, we’d already skipped past the stunned-curiosity phase and moved straight into active mass panic, with “fallout from the Omicron variant” causing the Dow to fall 652 points in a day when news of the mutant contagion arrived. Right away, we had a travel ban from southern Africa, an address urging calm from President Mumbles, and a declaration of a “Variant of Concern” from the CDC, as “scientists raced” to learn more about this “almost Frankensteinish” new strain of Covid-19.
The next month of Omicron coverage offered a fascinating window into our Covid-fixated future. For most of December, we were presented with an unbroken string of scare stories that in many cases actively buried the lede on the most important question: is this thing going to kill me?
The distinction between “dying with” and “dying from” is a sticking point in theory if you’re trying to accurately gauge the lethality of a thing, but journalists have mostly shrugged it off.
Descriptions of Omicron as the scary scary thing coming from southern Africa have been near carbon-copies of those old bee stories. Kudos to the few outlets at home and in Europe that pointed out the hypocrisy of this coverage....
If they’re determined to keep going in the scare direction, they should do a better job of it. Omicron is certainly an improvement over Delta, but they should dispense with the pretense and start giving true Fangoria names to coronavirus strains: the “Mutilator” Variant, the “Suffocating Agony” variant, the “Shaft-Sagger,” the “Face-Eater,” etc. Would you bet against something like that coming?
WIND: the mass brainwashing operations formerly referred to as “news” just love fear-mongering—it’s their business model.