Environment

How to Panic Weary Travelers

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorAug 27, 2009 12:04 PM

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Kudos to Curtis Brainard over at The Observatory for his criticism of the media's latest round of "overly alarming" swine flu coverage, which was driven by the recent White House report. As Brainard notes,

The worst offender was perhaps USA Today. The White House report clearly states"”many times, and at one point in big, capital letters"”that the scenario it lays out is "a possibility, not a prediction." Yet, on Monday, the nation's mostly widely distributed newspaper decided to run the headline, "U.S. report predicts 30,000 to 90,000 deaths from H1N1 deaths."(The italics are mine.)

A few days ago I woke up to that USA Today story somewhere in Indiana, numb from my cross-country drive back to NY. But that headline sure did jolt me to attention. I fretted about Swine Flu the rest of the way home. Maybe if the Hampton Inn coffee was stronger I would have been more discerning.

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