The hype comes from the idiot box, not the scientists

Click to go watch the idiot box. 

Click to go watch the idiot box.

I always seem to end up in the same place, don’t I?

Repeat after me: what’s the root of all evil in the world?

That’s right, kiddies, it’s the television.

Television news has no will to treat a complicated and developing story with anything that resembles reality.

The formula should be this: “Here’s what we know now. And here’s what our decidated and brilliant public health officials are working night and day to find out. They have promised to let us know as soon as they do, and we’ll bring any new information to you speedily.” Alternate formula: “Here is what we have found out in our own investigation of the facts.”

No speculating talking heads to fill dead minutes. No swirling graphics or ominous theme music. If TV wants to fill time, how about a look at what epidemiology really means? How about a sidebar onthe 10 greatest public health achievements? Why not educate the public about emerging infectious diseases?

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