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Flu: Partial proof of fear-mongering by media?

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posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:27 PM
Earlier, I was reading an article, courtesy of The Independant. It basically stated that the worst of the flu was now over in the UK. Though the total official death count more than doubled last week- rising from 50 to 112- the article points out that these victims will have caught the virus some time before, and only passed away after several days of suffering with it. The article also clearly states that the number of patients in intensive care as a result of flu has fallen from 783 to 661, and is gradually declining- these are the words of Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s interim Chief Medical Officer. You can see the article here:

However, much to my surprise, a few hours later I noticed a freshly published article by The Guardian. The title of said article says it all- "Flu death toll rises as millions at risk remain unvaccinated." The link for that article:

So, the article, which was published only just over 1 hour ago, plays on these deaths, when, as the original articled I cited clearly stated, these deaths are only a kind of knock-on effect to figures from cases which originated in previous weeks. This second article actually does go on to say this, but after an exaggerated title tried to push the reader into a certain mind frame. In fact, the quote cited in the article says many of these deaths may have actually occurred weeks before, but were only added to official figures recently because of a back log.

However, the article then produces a quote saying that these deaths are only a portion of the actual figures, again, instilling more fear. This is normal though, isn't it? Flu kills thousands every year during winter..yes, the paragraph after this quote, the Health Protection Agency say this is an annual occurance- so, they admit this is normal, then stress we must all get vaccinated this year via scare tactics.

The shadow health secretary, John Healy, then goes on to say "The big jump in deaths and the high numbers seriously ill in hospital suggest we're still not through the worst of this flu outbreak.." - Both articles admitted that the death figures are not directly proportional to how bad the infection is at that current time- that's just common sense- yet, he sites this as proof it's getting worse. He also references the high numbers of seriously ill in hospital- which the first article stated, with official figures backing it up, that the numbers are falling- so again, a false statement by him. He then uses these false, unproven statements as vindication for a possible new advertising push for vaccines!

Now, I don't know how old the quotes from the second article are, maybe they are slightly out-dated- however, this article was "printed" approximately an hour ago and therefore the very reputable Guardian are implying they are most recent. This may not be a mega-conspiracy, but I find it pretty shocking that two of the UK's best known broadsheets can produce such contrasting stories- one saying though there is still a threat, the worst has passed, the other saying that we're all at risk and it's getting worse.
edit on 13-1-2011 by ScepticalBeliever because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:32 PM
What, do you still need "proof"? Everyone, at all levels of society, knows that media outlets engage in fear-mongering and sensationalism. Even the media admits that it does this. This is because the 24/7 on-demand media outlets need to keep people's attention and thus have good ratings, to justify the existence of 24/7 on-demand news outlets. So they take a story that is maybe slightly scary, and inflate it to apocalyptic proportions. You see this in everything from politics, to science, to the freaking weather reports - how many times have you seen like "Blizzard of the decade!" or "Hurricane season '09!" or "The Midwest heatwave crisis!" or something like that?

You'll also notice that local news, the stuff that coems on for an hour at 6 and 10 PM on your local affiliates, generally don't engage in this sort of thing, or at least not to the same degree.

You're looking at an artifact of the 24-hour news business, nothing more.

posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:35 PM
reply to post by TheWalkingFox

I know, but it doesn't usually happen to this plain a degree, and yet somehow it still seems apparent that a lot of people are buying into said fear, even here. These aren't two crazy tabloid media outlets, either- they're probably the two most reputable papers in the UK- they should be above this (I'm an optimist).


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