Watching Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, try to school Kyra Phillips of CNN about the misperceptions that are being planted by calling the new flu "swine" flu is truly a headshaker.
After methodically going through point by point that this flu is not food-borne, it is airborne, Vilsack notes that it is safe to eat pork chops, he ate pork for breakfast. That calling it swine flu creates false fears in people's minds.
The minute the segment ended, Kyra was right back to calling it swine flu. As the chyron always did. Every other sentence seems to be swine flu, swine flu. They have their script of the day and they're not budging.
And CNN is not alone in this. After reporting Tuesday that the administration had requested that the flu be called H1N1 flu (admittedly a cumbersome name), Brian Williams and the medical correspondent went out of their way to repeat "swine" flu over and over throughout the newscast.
Is this the way it's gonna be? We're still in the schoolyard with the petulant, lazy media incapable of revising and updating their coverage? Because it's "out there"? Cokie Rules still apply?
You'd think they would've remembered how they got it wrong in the Oklahoma City bombing coverage blaming Arab terrorists.
Give the media Grade D- on this one...until they provide reasonable public health information without the hyperventilating hysterical hoo-hah that they've pegged their reporting to thus far.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette
UPDATE — after watching Wednesday's Nightly News reporting, I'm left to wonder whether we should consider calling this "open lagoon" flu...who knows what's lurking down in those waters running out of the controversial factory farm near La Gloria, Mexico.