Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Panic-driven media fueling pandemic fear

Empower Wisconsin | March 16,  2020

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times

Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic are both warranted and understandable, but the media is increasingly coming under fire for stoking a panic mentality that experts decry as both counter-productive and unsupported by the facts.

In addition to the stock market’s daily roller coaster ride, grocery stores and warehouse clubs in some areas have been picked clean of essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels and sanitizing wipes (or have rationed sales to prevent that) as coronavirus coverage dominates social media and the 24/7 news cycle.

The message from public health and infectious disease experts: It’s important to take the coronavirus threat seriously, but it’s also critical not to overreact.

“There’s been a mad rush to go out and purchase all these items in anticipation of the next apocalypse. That’s not what we’re dealing with,” said Dr. Robert Quigley, regional medical director of International SOS. “We’re dealing clearly with a pandemic for all intents and purposes, but the vast majority of us who are going to contract the disease are not going to be significantly impacted.”

University of California, Irvine associate professor E. Alison Holman, who has published research on media exposure to mass-trauma events, said the toilet paper scare appeared to have originated with articles about stocking up before the virus’ spread.

“A week ago, there were a handful of articles in major newspapers saying, here’s what you should do to prepare for the coronavirus. And one of the top things that was listed on at least two or three websites — major media outlets — was: Buy toilet paper,” Ms. Holman said. “I think some of the freak-out about getting toilet paper has to do with that.”

She described the media-fueled worry as “a little overblown,” while others have gone so far as to accuse the press of sensationalizing the virus to juice ratings.

Celebrity internist Dr. Drew Pinsky said Tuesday that media outlets “really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.”

“I think it was a concerted effort by the press to capture your eyes, and in doing so they did it by inducing panic,” said Dr. Pinsky, who operates a private practice in Pasadena, California, in an interview with DJ Sixsmith on CBS Los Angeles.

Read more at The Washington Times 

Listen to more:

Explore More
Tool of the Week: DNC thinks its Milwaukee party is ‘essential’

Tool of the Week: DNC thinks its Milwaukee party is ‘essential’

The coronavirus pandemic has locked us in at home and shut down everything not deemed “essential.” Apparently the Democratic National Committee thinks its political convention in July is essential. 

Read More »

March 30, 2020
Biden pushes coronavirus as vehicle for Green New Deal 

Biden pushes coronavirus as vehicle for Green New Deal 

Former Vice President Joe Biden learned the biggest lesson from his time as President Barack Obama’s No. 2: “Never let a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Read More »

March 30, 2020
Evers, liberal allies pushing to get around election integrity laws

Evers, liberal allies pushing to get around election integrity laws

Liberal elections officials in Dane and Milwaukee counties clearly overreached their authority in advising all voters that they could apply for “indefinitely confined” voting status and skip the state’s voter ID requirements, according to a memo from the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau. 

Read More »

March 29, 2020
Coronavirus economic casualties mount

Coronavirus economic casualties mount

The economic casualties are piling up in the wake of Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictive orders shutting down business and sending workers home. 

Read More »

March 29, 2020
All Woke Up: Pandemic no match for politically correct police

All Woke Up: Pandemic no match for politically correct police

As coronavirus cases in California topped 3,160 Wednesday, with at least 67 related deaths, the state’s higher education system’s top priority apparently was warning students and staff not to refer to the deadly pandemic as the “Chinese virus.” 

Read More »

March 29, 2020
Leave it to Evers: Tony: Don’t call us, we’ll call you

Leave it to Evers: Tony: Don’t call us, we’ll call you

Republican lawmakers say it has been difficult getting ahold of Gov. Tony Evers during the COVID-19 crisis. Try being Evers’ constituents. 

Read More »

March 27, 2020
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *