“National Outbreak Toll 67 and rising”
Last Saturday I read that sentence and it scared the sh*t out of me!
I could have handled it better if it hadn’t come as such a shock.
I mean, if some unknown homeless man had been wearing the sentence as a sign while raving at the top of his lungs that the end was nigh then sure, I’d have handled that pretty well.
But this was different.
It was just before 10am on a Saturday morning and I was turning my TV over to watch the NRL Nines when this most horribly irresponsible and downright idiotic headline sprang out at the screen at me above the words The Today Show.
They were talking about lettuce.
Rolling coverage crossing live to an expert about the rising, national threat of a water-based vegetable.
Scrambling for the remote, I just managed to change it across to Fox 1 just in time before my wife and young children entered the room.
My fear became palpable as I peered into the future my kids will grow up in.
Gods know what might have happened had their young ears been exposed to such stupidity.
Someone wrote those words. They typed them into a computer knowing people would see them.
Deliberately. Knowing full well they were tailored to incite fear and panic and distort fact.
Why would someone do that?
I just couldn’t live with myself.
As we sat huddled together in the lounge room enjoying what (according to the Today Show) might well have been our last Nines tournament on our soon-to-be lettuce-infested earth, I remember thinking to myself ‘surely there will be a public outcry at this irresponsible journalism’.
There was none.
Imagine if every industry was as broken as the fourth estate.
Imagine is we had to filter for ourselves what was and wasn’t important at school, or in a court room, and while doing it were periodically bombarded with ads disguised as important content or false or heavily distorted information designed to cause fear and panic.
How is it that were not allowed to carry a butter knife on a plane but our so-called reputable news is allowed to incite mass fear every morning and afternoon?
How and why are they getting away with this stuff?
It was lettuce.
Dodgy, make-you-sick lettuce.
Not one person died.
Less than 100 people have complained about it which means probably only a handful were even more than slightly sick.
National outbreak. Toll. Rising.
Scary stuff indeed.
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