Over in Europe, rightwing xenophobic politicians are copying the GOP playbook.
West African travelers and immigrants to Europe and the US are facing the full brunt of media-sanctioned hysteria, as the ugly stench of racism wafts in the air disguised as “health and safety protocols.”
Ebola suvivor Dr. Kent Brantly is applauded by President Barack Obama
Healthcare professionals listen as President Barack Obama speaks about the government’s Ebola response
With her children sleeping by her lap, Amber Brantly, wife of Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, listens during an event attended by her husband and other American health care workers fighting Ebola as President Barack Obama speaks about Ebola
President Barack Obama speaks to the media about Ebola after a conference call with USAID workers in West Africa before leaving the White House en route to Wisconsin. The president said the US can’t be seen as shying away from battle against Ebola. President Obama did not directly criticize quarantine policies for returning health care workers implemented in New York and New Jersey. But he says the response to Ebola needs to be sensible and “based on science,” while supporting health care workers going overseas to fight the disease.
President Barack Obama shakes hands after arriving at Gen. Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee
Democratic challenger for Wisconsin Governor Mary Burke is greeted by President Obama at a campaign rally at North Division High School
President Obama hugs nurse Nina Pham, who was declared free of the Ebola virus after contracting the disease while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas, during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few weeks—and if you have, you may want to skip this and stay there where it’s safe—you may have noticed the media has a shiny new toy.
The Ebola outbreak which has reached our shores—infecting less than ten people—has our failed media experiment in a veritable apoplexy. CNN, looking for something to replace it’s 24/7 coverage of MH370 and recapture those golden days of summer, has joined MSNBC and Fox in providing a constant stream of information on the breakout. And by “constant stream of information”, I mean dialing the panic button up to 12 and reporting as if half of the country has been infected with the virus. Rather than a contained outbreak, this Ebola infestation is a new Black Death, scything through the population with grim glee.
Now, I know that it’s hard filling in the time between commercials. A news producer’s job is never easy. But there seems to be something disreputable about media organizations latching on to a very minor outbreak and building it up to be an existential threat to humanity. And, of course, the coverage was nowhere near as manic when the Ebola pandemic was restricted to west African nations. Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are facing real catastrophic consequences to their economies and social fabric; but, they’re far away, and in Africa, so not worthy of foaming at the mouth coverage.