The weather channel announced today that Chicago is at TorCon One warning status. That is, Chicago has a one in ten chance of having a tornado today. Good god, where will I hide? Have I collected enough emergency disaster meals, stockpiled enough ammunition, and locked and loaded all of my guns. If the Zombies come and attempt to lay a finger on even one of my coveted survival stash of Snickers bars, I swear I’ll, I’ll…
Be honest, how many of you after hearing the news this weekend that the health worker on the cruise ship this weekend had been cleared of Ebola and was allowed to go home breathed a sigh of relief. Not that she didn’t have Ebola, but that the hysterical media-driven stupidity might at last have crested. Limbaugh started his program whipping up hysteria. The morning show on another rightwing station invited an expert in infectious diseases, and then shifted the cogent and even-tempered answers from the expert into a graphic description of how Ebola kills its victims. They ignored the fact that all two current victims but the first victim, Mr. Duncan, who did not receive proper treatment, have survived the disease. The “logic-anchored” right is replete with panic, alarm and hysteria.
Pick an issue. ISIS terrorists are streaming across the Mexican border, left wide open by Obama, to behead Americans carte blanche and wholesale across the fifty states. Hillary Clinton could care less that the ambassador to Libya was butchered over hours and hours while Obama was asleep or golfing. Hispanic children are bringing pandemics across the border, according to Michael Savage, and Ferguson’s unrest means the welfare coloreds are coming to loot your particular gated suburban community. Obama is dividing America by simply talking about race? Huh? Obama, we are told, and which former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh so painfully conceded on his Far Side-type of radio program, is a Muslim, who wants to destroy America. Fear, panic, panic, fear!
We are fed a constant diet of fear and panic in this country, through the media, talk radio and by advertisers. It is the sales tactic of last resort, and they are playing it to the hilt. Specifically they target the elderly and the white middle class, and they respond instinctively. There is a deeply ingrained inclination to pay attention to the alarmist. Likely it helped your neighbor known when a lion was stalking the tribe in the Savannahs of central Africa. But this all began when corporations began gobbling up media in this country until 90% or more, including Facebook is poured through multiple filters.
We are told that crime is rampant in Chicago, with murder and mayhem everywhere. It’s out of control! Joe Walsh was pounding the desk with pretend hysterics over this crisis filler. That is, they need to constantly fill the airwaves with the idea, ahead of an election, that the world is crumbling. Truth is, the murder rate-one is too many- will be lower this year than last year. 357 currently, or about 300 less than the peak under Bush, and to be fair, half of what it was in 1994 under Clinton. Last year it was 415. It was 513 under Bush’s final year in office, but alas, no hysteria..
Limbaugh cited a rightwing poll and was screaming into the microphone about 85% of the American people saying that the country is “going to hell!” The right will cite chapter and verse from so-called experts who for self-aggrandizement, or to kiss the ass of the likes of a Hannity or savage for their 3 minutes on TV or radio to feed their fear narrative, but it is all to keep you controlled and diverted from real truths. Ebola killed one guy in this country who was half dead when the for-profit hospital in Texas followed their corporate guidelines and sent him home. That same media ignores many thousands of true, not-hysterical climate scientists warning of climate change; which has already killed thousands(I’ll send you the list) and has already mired us in wars for oil and water.
Occupy missed their true calling. Instead of occupying parks, they should have occupied the media. Imagine the country we might have had they stormed CBS and FOX, Salem, Clear Channel and the rest and returned the media to the people. You rightwingers out there longing for the good old days, how come that that doesn’t apply to a public media that represents and reflects the people, not the wealthy and powerful? How come that doesn’t mean a media that doesn’t strive to keep us distracted with crisis after crisis, day after day?
Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.