Thursday, May 7, 2009


A story now being circulated on the net and accredited to the AP, written by Christopher Sherman, is grabbing attention with the headline "First US Resident with swine flu dies". When one reads the rest of the story it becomes apparent that this is just another attempt by media to exploit peoples fears and create more worry and concern when there is none.

The ridiculously misleading headline says "First US Resident With Swine Flu Dies". But notice it says it was a resident "with" swine flu, not that the swine flu caused the death. And In fact when you read the article you learn that doctors are NOT ascribing the woman's death to swine flu, only pointing out that she was already ill with something else and the flu could have complicated the condition. She had it when she died but she did not die from it and Texas health officials have refused to ascribe her death to swine flu.

Which didn't stop the AP from going with the grossly misleading headline. Or CNN from running a crawl that said "First U.S. death linked to swine flu".

In the body of the AP article, Carrie Williams a spokeswoman for The Texas State Department health said, the woman had "chronic underlying health conditions" but wouldn't elaborate. The article also quoted Lionel Lopez, the Cameron County epidemiologist who said the flu exacerbated the woman's condition. "The swine flu is very benign by itself," Lopez is quoted in the article as saying. But "by the time she came to see us it was already too late." The woman was hospitalized on April 19 for other reasons but according to Lopez by the time she came to the hospital her condition had become irreversible from the underlying illness.

In other words a woman in Texas has tragically died of something other than swine flu but because she also had swine flu at the same time, in spite of the statements from officials that the flu did not cause her death, the media believed it has license to write headlines like "First US Resident With Swine Flu Dies" even though the flu didn't cause her death. Yet in the highlights of the article it clearly states, "33 year old Texas School Teacher Dies of swine flu". This, even after Janet Napolitano head of Homeland Security came out yesterday and said H1N1 was no worse than any other kind of flu

This is another example as I have pointed out in earlier articles, where the media is more interested in exploiting the swine flu for their own benefit rather than actually giving people helpful information. It is probably safe to say that the media is making more people sick with what I have called an epidemic of stupidity, than H1N1.

1 comment:

sue said...

In addition to exploiting swine flu, the media exploits all of the information- it has gotten so absurd that I now know any tag line is not to be trusted-

Another great example of this is the coverage of Obama's so-called spending cuts in the 2010 budget- the tag line sounds great- and if the story is at all inclusive- it will include somewhere in the body of the story that the cut is about 0.5% of the total budget- big whoop- if it is VERY inclusive- it will mention that about half of these cuts were also proposed by W but the enlightened congress voted against- if you find that part of the story- you actually have a decent story.

I am a health care provider- I know the exaggerations of the swine flu story- they also neglect to report that the 36,000 people who die of flu each year also have complicating factors- these are people in nursing homes, people w/ chronic illness, neurological illness, old MVAs, etc., etc. The flu doesn't kill healthy people. Not so far anyway.

Just another reason to swear of MSM and get your info from places like this-

As always- thanks Marc- going out to cyberspace to post your words of wisdom