Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One Flu Inside the Cuckoo's Nest

The old adage “sex sells” has been pushed aside by a new paradigm: “Fear Sells.”

Maybe that’s a by-product of our aging generation.
Does it not seem there are more things tend to worry us than in our youth? Remember, when we were 17, we were going to live forever!

Eyes fade, tissues sag, energies wane.
And for that we have lasers, creams, and vitamins.
Fears of those effects are mitigated by the balms to our self-esteem.

Fear is a real motivating factor.
The media knows this.
You cannot get away from the story of the Asian Bird flu…avian flu…each night on TV you see images of dead chickens and ducks slung over shoulders or cradled in the arms of some third-world chicken farmer, wearing a face mask and looking forlorn. Breathless reporterettes anxiously report that the Asian Flu could wipe out millions, and there’s nothing you or the government can do about it.

Who needs “Fear Factor” when you’ve got prime time network news?
I have a general rule that the greater the hype, the more shallow the threat.

Bird Flu passes from bird to bird. The H5N1 variant has claimed only 60-lives despite the high level of contact between foul and man in the hyper-populated Far East. Indeed, the European Center for Disease Prevention says the risk to the public “at this stage is minimal.”

Still, President Bush and his Health Czar are going out on a limb and making the political and public proclamation that The Government is On The Case to find an antidote to Bird Flu.

Tilt some windmills while you’re at it. The odds of you catching bird flu this winter are infinitesimal.


Anonymous said...

Sir Brent,

Could not the President's response be a way to divert some attention from the negative press he has received of late?

Brent Clanton said...

Sir Anonymous (or could it be madam?):

Don't miss my interview with Rodger Baker, Sr. Analyst with Stratfor, Friday morning at 7:50am on The BizRadioNetwork.