It’s something that I noticed right after the election. The Ebola scare dissipated. So has ISIS. The media hype ended, and the public has moved on to the next thing. Some of us returned our attentions to Ferguson, while others broke the internet with concerns about Kim Kardashian’s assets.
The folks over at Mediamatters.org have done the research and found that “evening broadcast and cable news aired nearly 1000 segments on Ebola in the four weeks before election day.” The report goes on to say that “Ebola coverage dropped dramatically” after the midterms with “only 49 total segments” following the election.
Many of us have goldfish-like attention spans. Not all of us, but enough for politicians to use the media to manipulate masses of people into short-term hysteria. They managed to make citizens think the president was incompetent for not handling the situation better; caused medical professionals to trip over their words in their efforts to quell the country’s irrational fears (because it’s quite difficult to rationalize with irrational people); activated quarantine laws and had a healthcare worker quarantined in the most inhumane way possible, and damn, if it wasn’t a success.
The politics of Ebola had the perfect blend of racism and xenophobia, guised as a health concern, to allow Americans to feel comfortable with [yet another] blatant demonization of Africa, Africans, and the diaspora of Africans (including, but not limited to African-Americans). It was brilliant.
Ebola should not be forgotten by the way. Just because the outbreak is not in America, doesn’t mean we should pretend that thousands of people are not dying from it. People who have been adversely affected by American political fury, specifically that of the GOP.
Huge thanks to Mediamatters.org for doing the research and posting it. It’s politics 101: whip the American populous into a frenzy about a real issue that won’t necessarily affect citizens, then post-election, replace the story with ultra-sensationalized entertainment.
Evening Broadcast And Cable News Aired Nearly 1,000 Segments On Ebola In The Four Weeks Before Election Day. Between October 7 and November 3, the four weeks before the midterm elections, evening broadcast and cable news collectively aired 975 segments on the Ebola virus. CNN focused on Ebola-related coverage the most, with 335 total segments before the elections. Fox News followed with 281 segments, and MSNBC aired 222. CBS led the broadcast networks with 54 segments. NBC followed with 44, and ABC aired 39 segments.
Ebola Coverage Dropped Dramatically Following The Midterms. In the two weeks following the elections, evening broadcast and cable news have only aired 49 total segments related to Ebola. CNN’s 335 segments in the four weeks preceding the election dropped to just 10 segments in the two weeks after the elections. Fox News’ 281 segments dropped to 10. MSNBC’s 222 segments dropped to 13. CBS’ 54 segments dropped to six, NBC’s 44 segments dropped to five, and ABC’s 39 segments dropped to four…” read more…