An unsigned editorial in the Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press–and carried in Gannett newspapers across the country–blasts Fox News, CNN and MSNBC of “ramping up the fear” over Ebola “in order to carve out higher ratings.”
The editorial accuses the networks of “manufacturing a bogeyman” in Ebola, and ignoring a far more real threat to Americans–flu:
When are CNN, MSNBC and FOX going to mount their round-the-clock coverage of the plague of influenza stalking our nation and particularly our senior citizens? Don’t hold your breath.
In the race for ratings and market share, the exotic, foreign killer will nearly always beat out the mundane. And speaking of exotic foreign killers, when the cable news networks take their eyes off the Ebola ball for a moment, it’s only to pick up the ISIS ball and tell us of the imminent threat of those barbarians at America’s gate.
It turns out that fear-mongering translates not only into dollars and cents for news-gathering organizations, but also allows talking heads to politicize the issue. That’s certainly true with ISIS as criticism mounts about just how badly the administration misjudged its threat.