Friday, November 20, 2015

Americans Love To Be Frightened

Land of the free, home of the brave?  Yes to the former, not so sure about the latter.

The media has again gone nuts spreading fear, because fear sells in America.  The news is full of coverage of the Paris tragedy, a valid subject.  It was a terrible and horrible incident.  But on top of that, every news anchor is saying, in a "concerned tone":

  • Three flights had to land because of terrorist threats - except it is always a crank who calls these in.  Can you think of a situation where a terrorist put a bomb on a plane and warned about it?
  • The terrorists released a threatening video with some old shots of Times Square.  Great!  The terrorists can make a video, that certainly frightens the heck out of me.
  • The terrorists infiltrated an airport in another country with an unstable government on another continent (Egypt) and planted a bomb in a soda can that could be detected by American security screening.  Heavens!  I will never fly again!
  • Terrorists may wait out and pass the 24 month screening and enter America as refugees!  The last 10 or so terrorist incidents in the US (Muslim and Right Wing) have all been perpetrated by native born Americans with nutty ideas.  We photograph every single piece of mail delivered in the USA, we monitor the whole Internet, we monitor all international phone calls, we lock people up for years without trial in Guantanamo, we fingerprint and photograph everyone entering the country, we have secret terrorist courts where you can get a warrant on a person if they don't change their kitty litter every week, we have more guns than people in the country, and we fear terrorism from some refugee who sat in a camp for 24 months waiting for a visa??!!
I also recall the Ebola crisis, where no American died, and the TV anchors covered the bowel movements of every single one of the four people who caught Ebola.  Fox spent a lot of time talking about banning people who had traveled to Africa.  There was even coverage of citizens saying "we shouldn't let anyone into the country!"

The only difference between the "mainstream media" (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS) and the right wing media (Fox), is that the mainstream just concentrates on fear, and the right wingers concentrate on fear, hatred, and blame Obama for overything.

I would also point out that twice as many people were murdered so far this year in Baltimore than were killed in Paris.  17 US citizens were killed by terrorism worldwide in 2011, 29 were killed by lightning in the same year.

What is going to happen when we have something really important to worry about, like a real war, "the big one" earthquake, or Yellowstone erupting, are we going to have to put Valium in the water supply so people don't die of fear?

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