It’s widely accepted in the world of media that panic is always a safer choice than skepticism, because what if you’re wrong? If news outlets took the time to check the veracity of a threat before broadcasting it to the unsuspecting masses, we would lose twenty-four valuable seconds to prepare for each threat, or approximately the time it takes for the average American to eat a steak.
This is why purveyors of the quality alarmist media are safer on average than their better educated, thinner, and predominantly East Coast compatriots. It’s only because informed citizens are aware of the full range of threats that they can sit down and enjoy their breakfasts and their Us magazine. Indeed, skeptical viewers must spend so much time verifying whether looking at your own penis makes you gay that they don’t have time for Us, or for InStyle, or even for People. Would you want to live in a world where you didn’t know about celebrity obesity?
Few prudent Americans would deny that the minuscule chance that bees don’t carry HIV doesn’t mean it’s not worth buying your entire family hazmat suits. Nor can anyone contest that Y2K bugs are only getting worse each year. Before the Y2K08 bug, cats were universally known as man’s best friend. But look at them now! Despicable, ungrateful creatures, hardly deserving of the name ‘pet’. Scientists expect the Y2K09 bug will make your child more promiscuous. In a world where bees carry HIV, is this really something you’d want?
Statistics show that that people least likely to be frightened by scaremongering headlines are the skeptics, a category of people renowned for watching DVD box sets of cancelled 90s TV shows in the basement, like The X-Files, Farscape, and Designing Women. In addition, research indicates that the implausibility of a threat becomes less important the more people dwell on it. If videogames weren’t going to make kids violent by themselves, then by God, good parents were going to manipulate the evidence to make it look that way, because people needed to know!
Anchors resent allegations that their niche news outlets serve corporate or political interests. In one much publicized case, a popular station risked outcry when it warned viewers that homosexuality may be linked to not eating enough red meat. Unfortunately, ninety-six percent of over the counter heartburn medicine is made by companies whose CEOs are rampantly and dangerously gay, so either way, they win! It wasn’t cheery, feel good news, but damn it, they did their journalistic duty and reported it.
Skeptics, of course, don’t want us to be frightened by headlines. They seem to forget that the world is, by its Christian nature, a scary place. They want to be comforted and coddled, and told everything is going to be ok. And then they have the gall to turn around and reject Jesus and the comfort he brings Americans, who need him for protection from the evils of the world. Nor should we forget the economic realities under which the alarmist media must operate. Those responsible for warning the public about incredible threats would go out of business if we ignored them, and who would warn us then?
So next time you drink a glass of water and marvel that it hasn’t been fluoridated by the Soviets, just remember who told you.