As the old joke goes, “Remember World War II? It was in all the papers.”
A news event like Ebola, which is and was by no means ever a joke, nowadays is in all the papers, all over TV and radio and social media, for weeks on end, all there for politicians to exploit to the hilt for the purposes mainly of wielding power and raising lots of money to maintain power.
Until the next news event–which might be better described as the next big “drama”–comes along to be exploited by hyping up the fear factor.
What short little spans of attention we have. As a result, the media and politicians keep perfecting ways to take full advantage of jacking up their ratings and securing votes that are all about the money, not about keeping a citizenry in a democracy informed.
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The good news is–in case you didn’t know it and you probably don’t–the deadly outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea has subsided, dramatically.
In fact, the last Ebola patient in Liberia was released from the hospital recently, and there are currently no fresh cases of the disease in the country. That means that Liberia is counting up to 42 days required to be declared Ebola free in keeping with World Health Organization protocols and standards.
The bad news is that so many thousands of orphaned children in the African countries have been stigmatized, shunned and forgotten. And life remains a living hell even for adults treated like the lepers in biblical days because they had the misfortune of living with someone who died of the disease.
And where’s the media?
Back home, meanwhile, I wonder what happened to that controversial “Czar” that Obama, under enormous pressure to do something–to do anything–appointed to deal with Ebola.
The drama surrounding the appointment of that czar guy was like WWII–it was in all the news.
For what? Three “news cycles” maybe????
For sure, the Obama haters got all the ratings and political donations they desired from those few cycles.
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In the U.S., Ebola has entirely dropped off the radar of the fear-mongering media and politicians who took the country to the brink of all-out hysteria over the handful of Ebola cases that killed or afflicted Americans and a few others outside of Africa. And in saying that I don’t mean to diminish the sadness and severity of those few American and Western cases.
The Dallas nurse who is suffering the lingering effects of the disease, which she might suffer for life, recently caught a bit of media attention over her lawsuit against the Dallas hospital where she contracted the sickness in treating an Ebola patient who ultimately died.
That was a double tragedy of sad and very sad proportions, and her speaking out and filing suit was worthy of the updated news coverage for sure.
But it’s to our shame that the lives of those African “lepers,” if you will, who suffered so much widespread death and illness, were never of much concern to the American media and politicians anyway, except to the extent that we so feared the threat of Ebola wiping out thousands of lives in America, which didn’t happen and, in reality, was never likely to happen– except in the minds of politicians who wanted us to believe a pandemic was about the strike us down.
Meanwhile, the fear-mongering media and our self-serving, self-righteous “leaders” in government never run out of fodder for more drama and hysterics, when some sober news coverage and serious discernment about how to address serious problems with solutions will do.