Category Archives: media

No, Random Mt. Juliet TN Woman, You Do Not Have Ebola

[UPDATE AD NAUSEUM]:

Let the games begin:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An American Airlines flight from Dallas was quarantined in Nashville after medical scare. Health officials said there was no risk for Ebola.

[...]

The Metro Public Health Department said the passenger with the medical issue had no history of contact with anyone with Ebola in Dallas and had no travel history to Africa. Officials added there was no concern the passenger had Ebola and there was no risk to other passengers on the plane.

This was the second Ebola scare in the mid-state in the last 48 hours. First responders in Hazmat suits quarantined a Mt. Juliet gas station late Saturday night.

————————————-

Oh fer crissakes. With the arrival of cold and flu season, expect to see more stories like this one:

MT. JULIET, Tenn. – A Mt. Juliet gas station was closed for several hours after a woman called emergency dispatchers with what they described as Ebola-like symptoms.

Wilson County officials said the woman was complaining of chest pains just after midnight Sunday. After dispatchers began questioning the woman for additional information, they determined she could have symptoms of the Ebola virus.

EMTs responded to the Mapco gas station at the intersection of Lebanon Road and Mt. Juliet Road wearing full protective gear. The gas station was closed while crews worked.

The woman was transported to TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, were medical crews had already been alerted to the possible Ebloa threat. Nurses met the patient at the front door wearing masks, gloves and protective masks.

After evaluating the woman, the situation was “cleared,” according to officials. No Ebloa protocol was activated.

A spokesperson for Summit Medical Center said doctors have cleared the woman, and she does not have the Ebola virus. No threat remained at the hospital.

Here’s a quick meme to determine if you might have ebola:

ebola-quiz-you-dont-have-ebola

There is a rampant, overriding, highly politicized culture of fear in America. It’s been with us for about the past 30 years, maybe more. It used to thrive on the fringes of American society, where people afraid of the coming zombie apocalypse would stockpile their canned goods, guns and ammo. Hell, I remember in the mid-70s my mom kept a stash of canned food and 50-gallon bottles of water in our garage “for the revolution,” and we were not a nutso survivalist family.

But since 9/11 this culture of fear has been mainstreamed. It’s been aided and abetted by talk radio — mostly right-wing radio, but I’ve heard my share of fear porn on left-wing radio, too. The news media has fear as its default position (Missing white women! Shark attacks! Immigrants! Terrorism!) and political entities exploit it for profit.

I have this theory that fear sells so easily here because we are such a prosperous country. People who have a lot, have a lot to lose, and thus tend to be more fearful. Fear is an easy sell, but it’s also incredibly damaging. It’s turning America into a ridiculous parody of modern civilization.

When I read stuff about random people thinking they have Ebola all I can do is laugh at them.

[UPDATE]: And another one, in Birmingham, Alabama. This one was at an airport so the “abundance of caution” makes slightly more sense.

[UPDATE] 2:

The only thing more depressing than this story are the search engine terms WordPress tells me has brought folks here today: “ebola scare in mt. juliet, tennessee,: “mt juliet ebola,” and this one: “is it true that a woman has ebola in mt juilet.” Seems like the full-court fear has begun.

I am slightly encouraged by “george zimmerman is an asshole,” however.

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Filed under fear, media, Tennessee

More Follow-Up Questions, Please

This is why I watch Aljazeera America:

Ah, those pesky “follow-up questions.” Don’t see them too often from the likes of Chuck Todd or David Gregory.

The fact of the matter is, when you ask the follow-up questions it becomes apparent that Republicans are not only legislating shit they don’t understand, they’re legislating shit they never bothered to think about. “Why would a woman want to get an abortion?” “Well gee now, I’ve never thought about that …”

Maybe you should, asshole. This should be asked of every anti-choice politician. If they can’t answer it they need to get to the end of the line.

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Filed under abortion, feminism, media, Republican Party, women's rights

Did GA’s Liberal Gun Laws Enable A Hate Crime?

Starting to look that way:

Araim, who was Muslim, and her three female companions were wearing hijab, the traditional Islamic head covering that symbolizes modesty for women in public, her nephew, Omar Araim, said Monday.

Whether Lampien saw Araim and the other women before the shooting was not clear. Neither the Helen police nor the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which took over the case Sunday, responded to requests for information Monday. The Helen police deleted information about the shooting posted Sunday on the department’s Facebook page.

Information is still sketchy at this point. But it explains why Lampien was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Usually these things are written off as “tragic accidents.”

It would be nice to get a little national attention to this case. The scrutiny afforded by the glare of a national spotlight would help make sure the investigation is thorough and nothing is being swept under the rug.

Of course, our national news media is unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, and right now they’re focused solely on Ferguson, Mo.

And yes, it’s really hard for the gun loons to defend these liberal “guns everywhere” laws, when someone can potentially use them to perpetrate a hate crime. More guns = more shootings. Plain and simple.

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Filed under gun control, media

The Battle Of The Editorial Page

The Kansas City Star‘s editorial page editor learned the hard way that the Heritage Foundation is not a real think tank but rather a conservative talking point factory populated by charlatans and cranks. She won’t be publishing any more editorials from Heritage nitwit Stephen Moore, but I hope she takes a closer look at everything else coming out of that shady outfit, too.

The link has the deets, but in a nutshell, Moore submitted a piece rebutting a Paul Krugman piece about the sorry state of the Kansas economy ever since Gov. Numnutz decided slashing taxes would create an economic boom. It didn’t — it never does — but Moore begged to differ, offering a piece full of recycled supply-side ideas and cooked with some incorrect statistics.

As an aside, I really don’t get people like Stephen Moore. He’s writing a piece where he has to fudge his data to make his point work (and he didn’t even do that correctly), yet he’s still going to the mat on a discredited economic theory? Again: he can’t make the theory work without fudging the numbers and he’s still spouting it? Who does that? Not a real economist, but a fraud. How does someone like that look themselves in the mirror every day? What a pathetic loser.

Anyway, as the CJR pointed out, the blame rests on the newspaper, not the propagandist:

Of course, the responsibility here is not Moore’s alone. As Silverman says, “each of these outlets bear responsibility for the op-eds they publish. There are so few stats in this piece that it would seem reasonable to expect someone on the op-ed page to check them before accepting the column. That would have prevented this issue.”

Pepper acknowledges this responsibility. “We did not factcheck his BLS figures that we found out later were incorrect, and that was a failure on our part,” she says.

Indeed. This whole scenario reminds me of our own Gannett fishwrap, The Tennessean, which repeatedly ran op-eds from the corporate sockpuppets at Rick Berman’s House of Propaganda. For some reason newspaper editors seem to be the last to get the memo that conservatives are using the media to advance their political agenda. As with Stephen Moore, they either know it and don’t care, or they’ve drunk so much “two sides to every story” Kool-ade that they’ve forgotten their first job is accuracy.

Anyway, score a point for the Kansas City Star, at least. One fewer paper publishing one right-winger’s bullshit. At this rate our media will be cleaned up around the time the very last newspaper folds.

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Filed under media

The Market Has Spoken

I do not for the life of me understand why cable news outfits (cough*cough*MSNBC*cough*cough) continue to bring Ken Pollack on to discuss Iraq. Do they not understand what fools this makes them?

Pollack, of course, famously wrote the 2002 book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq:

Examining all sides of the debate and bringing a keen eye to the military and geopolitical forces at work, Pollack ultimately comes to this controversial conclusion: through our own mistakes, the perfidy of others, and Saddam’s cunning, the United States is left with few good policy options regarding Iraq. Increasingly, the option that makes the most sense is for the United States to launch a full-scale invasion, eradicate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and rebuild Iraq as a prosperous and stable society—for the good of the United States, the Iraqi people, and the entire region.

Hmm, yes, that went well, didn’t it. BTW, you can buy the book on Amazon now for a whopping 0.01:

pollack2

The market has spoken.

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Filed under Iraq War, media, MSNBC

Can CNN Be Saved?

Oh, CNN. Whatever happened to our cable news pioneer? Now the once groundbreaking news channel has been relegated to trolling for page views with unbelievably offensive stories like this one:

CNN

Can the Klan rebrand? Seriously? This is a question you needed to ask marketing experts? Why? This takes CNN’s “both sides of the story” ruse to new heights.

I grabbed a screen shot because I felt sure the story would get pulled. From the link:

Ancona, who lives in Missouri, insists there’s a new Klan for modern times — a Klan that’s “about educating people to our ideas and getting people to see our point of view to … help change things.”

He said he and those like him can spread that message without violence — a sort of rebranding of the Klan.

The idea may sound absurd, but is it conceivable?

No, say top marketing experts, brand gurus and historians — and for many reasons.

The Klan could change its name, get a smooth-talking spokesperson, replace the robes with suits and take off those ridiculous hats, but underneath, people would recognize its message is the same.

Just, stop right there. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that CNN’s reporters actually asked marketing experts whether a reviled hate group can rebrand — you know, way to legitimize the group’s existence in the first place, guys!

Why not just ask, is there a way to make anti-Semitism more palatable? Is there an upside to White power? Should we bring back town square lynchings? I mean, for crissakes. That’s what you idiots are really asking. There are not two sides to racism and bigotry!

Here’s a thought. Has CNN, recently mocked on SNL for its ridiculous missing airplane coverage, outlived its usefulness? Is there any point to its existence? Is it time to pull the plug?

Guys: this should be obvious, but you don’t rebrand a hate group. It’s sorta by definition un-rebrandable. Kinda surprised you asked the question in the first place.

[UPDATE]:

Story was not pulled, but by Monday morning the headline had been tweaked:

CNN3

The content of the story is the same, i.e., the question asked of marketing experts was not, can this Klan leader rebrand, but can the Klan itself rebrand.

Again: No.

SASQ.

{dusts off hands, removes CNN from channel list … }

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Filed under CNN, media

Today In Unfortunate Headline Placement, Gun Loon Division

It’s almost as if someone was trying to make a point or something:

UtahNewspaper

The story of the Utah toddler can be found here. He was shot by his 3-year-old sister, who found the rifle lying around in the house:

Cache County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Peterson said the gun has been used earlier in the day by the children’s father, who set it down after returning home. The firearm was unloaded but did have live rounds in the magazine, he said.

So, enjoy your Second Amendment rights, people. Kinda pathetic when they’re more important than your own kids. I read stories like these on a daily basis and I promise you, every single one of these parents thinks they are being safe. Every single one.

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Filed under gun control, media