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Your Stance On Ebola Depends On Your Politics, Because Of Course It Does

by Nate St. Pierre on October 16, 2014

If you had a sneaking suspicion that conservatives are freaking out about Ebola more than liberals, you’re right – and here’s why:

I noticed it this morning when I watched the first piece of responsible reporting I’ve yet seen on this topic – Shepard Smith reporting for Fox News:

After my initial surprise at anyone in the media eschewing sensationalism and keeping a level head about this whole business, I got a further surprise when I glanced down at the comments section (not of YouTube – on the original page). The vast majority of people on the conservative site itself, for whom Mr. Smith is usually a trusted anchor, were blasting him for being a left-wing crony, a no-talent hack, an opinion-shiller instead of an unbiased reporter, and on and on.

I don’t frequent any news sites, but from what I’ve seen, this seemed way out of character, even for comment trolls. But then I thought about it some more, and I think I realized the end game (though it’s probably obvious to those more schooled in political rhetoric): it’s in Fox News’ best interest to break down confidence in Democratic leadership in general, and Obama specifically. The more things they can criticize about our government’s (perceived lack of) leadership on Ebola, the more content they can sell to their consumers, the Conservative Right. And Mr. Smith was stepping outside the acceptable limits of the company line on the topic.

I’m not saying they’re trying to promote FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the general public, but, um, here’s the Fox News homepage right now…



Yeah, okay.

Now don’t get me wrong, everyone is using the ebola scare as free rein to throw around ridiculous headlines, but Fox News and other conservative outlets get the added bonus of being able to call into question Obama’s leadership as well – a nice little ancillary benefit for them.

Here, check out the results from their own poll yesterday:


Imagine my surprise.

Would it also surprise you to know that almost this exact situation happened in reverse back when George W. Bush was president? That time the Big Snarling Menace was avian flu, and the media was all “OMG HIDE YO KIDS, HIDE YO WIVES, AVIAN FLU IS COMING,” except at that time it was the liberal media that was taking it to ridiculous extremes and inflating the danger in order to question W.’s ability to handle it.

Here, check out the only graphic you’ll ever need to see on this topic, from the best article I found today:


If you needed any more proof that American media and content distribution corporations are completely biased, and sell exactly what they know their consumer base will buy, look no further.

Bottom line: It doesn’t really matter to most people what they know about contagion protocol (which is next to nothing), but it really matters what kind of coverage they’re being spoon-fed, and their natural bias toward or against the party in power.

Stay classy, ‘Murica.

Related Thoughts: The Outrage Economy: Go Ahead, Get Angry | I Don’t Watch the News – Why Do You? | We Carry Too Much

(Image source: The New York Times)

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