Fear is arguably the most dangerous emotion we face. Why? It never exists in a vacuum. And as long as fear hangs around, those caught in it rarely make good choices. Fear prevents the use of logic when facing decisions of any kind.
Sadly, many people use fear for the control of others. Doing so is one of the greatest of evil tools ever perpetrated on humans. Adolph Hitler controlled a nation and then a good part of Europe using one primary tool: fear. Stalin and Lenin did the same thing in Russia, as did Mussolini in Italy. But those 20th-century dictators were far from being the first to wield the “control tool” of fear.
Alexander the Great conquered the World as it was known then. His primary tool? Fear — fear of death. Ghengis Khan was probably the most ruthless conqueror in World history. He cut a path through the Middle East and Asia taking lands and people as he desired while slaughtering millions. Everyone was fearful of what he would do to them. Numerous kings in Africa’s various nations and tribes through centuries have controlled their people by fear.
Despots discovered long ago that fear as an emotion, when stoked with fires of uncertainty and threats of life-altering travesties beyond anyone’s comprehension, worked well in conquering and controlling others: villagers, tribes, nations, states, and even continents.
The role of the media goes a long way in explaining significant divisions in the United States today. Fear prompts people to take action and to speak their minds. Research shows that the politics of fear fits well with communication formats that are personal, instantaneous, and visual. We are barraged with dramatic and provocative messages that danger and threat are imminent even though numerous studies show that Americans face little risk from terrorist attacks.
It is evident that the media uses fear as a resource to draw in an audience and consumers, even ABC News states blatantly that they and other public media sources use fear tactics by saying:
“We at ABC are as guilty as any other media outlet of rushing out to cover every new threat that arises. And the reason we scare people is simple…. For broadcast media, eyeballs equal ratings. For politicians, eyeballs equal votes. For activists, eyeballs equal support for their causes. For corporations, eyeballs equal sales. The bottom line: Worry and fear sell.”
The bottom line is that yes, they are a company, their objective is to make money, they may have other purposes, but without money, the company will not exist to fulfill those purposes. Our job as consumers is to be smart about the information we are absorbing. It may be scary, and it may be accurate, but we need to think critically about situations at hand, and not fall into the trap created to trap us.
Sunday March 1, 2020 Major News Headlines
Almost every morning I first thing scan the headlines of local, state, national and international news stories to see what I may have missed while I slept. Sunday when I awoke, I did my usual scanning. I pulled up one of the best and most comprehensive news websites to see their headlines. www.DrudgeReport.com is that site, and Sunday it was full of the most fearful headlines I’ve noticed in a long time:
◊◊ “Local Spread of Virus Marks Turning Point in the USA…”
◊◊ “Cases Jump to 71…”
◊◊ “West Coast on Alert…”
◊◊ “Death in Washington State…”
◊◊ “Fear at Nursing Facility: 50+ Sick…”
◊◊ “Suspected Patient Isolated in NJ…”
◊◊ “Wall Street Preps for Possible Shutdown of Trading Floor…”
◊◊ “Trump: Don’t Panic…”
◊◊ “Inside White House’s Frantic Attempts to Minimize Crisis..”
◊◊ “Surgeon General: STOP BUYING MASKS!”
◊◊ “Hand Sanitizer Hard to Find…”
◊◊ “Grocers Prepare for Surge in Demand…”
◊◊ “Empty Shelves in Target, Walmart Early as April”
◊◊ “French Urged to Stop Cheek-to-Cheek Kisses…”
◊◊ “China Officials Knew of Coronavirus, Ordered Cover-up…”
◊◊ “Spreads in Prisons…”
◊◊ “Psychosis in Milan…”
◊◊ “Empty Streets, Economic Turmoil as Virus Alters Daily Life…”
◊◊ “Americans are canceling Domestic Travel…”
◊◊ “What End Game Will Look Like…”
◊◊ “Empty Stadiums and no More Selfie Lines? Coronavirus becomes 2020 X-Factor…”
These were Drudge Report’s Top 21 Headlines for Sunday morning. There are several similarities in these headlines and subsequent stories: One is Coronavirus. The other is FEAR!
Each of those headlines is a hyperlink: readers can click on that headline and transfer immediately to a full-length story with details which support elements included that headline. One can imagine there are quite a few people who feel immediate fear grip their minds when reading these headlines. Imagine the anxiety and worry that swells in them as they read the 21 stories behind these hyperlinks that are all full of ugly warnings of “death, doom, and destruction” at the hands of coronavirus.
Let’s put that fear from these 21 stories in perspective with the numbers of Drudge Report readers:
27,462,966 Past 24 Hours
881,000,283 Past 31 Days
10,181,045,237 Past Year
That’s Ten Billion readers in the past year! And that means 1,144,291 readers have clicked these headline hyperlinks, gone to and read the 21 coronavirus stories represented by these headlines.
Politicians Stoking Fear
Isn’t it interesting how a large segment of the media publish stories (like these 21) that include dire warnings of horrible things ahead for Americans and seldom offer a truth to support those “things” ahead? What’s even more amazing are all of the politicians — those already in office and those running for office — who pick up on these 21 stories and further stoke the fires from the stories and add a little hot sauce of their own!
Of course, that “hot sauce” is President Trump and the Republican Party and any Conservatives.
They use the “fear factor.”
But here’s how smart the media and politicians are in America today. They have to lead the nation into a 24/7 news environment that lives on “instant news on demand.” With satellite, internet, and social media, one can blast a story out to millions in a matter of a few minutes.
And with the barrage of similar news stories, who has the time to fact-check a single one? If that were tried for just these 21 Drudge Report stories, it would take days to complete. And there will be another list of another 20 or so similar stories that appear within 24 hours of these!
The Doctor’s In
I’m thankful there are now wise people who are taking the bull by the horns to address this weaponization of fear for political purposes. They have been calling-out those who are marketing their concepts on coronavirus using fear as the fuel for the spreading of their “propaganda of the day.” If you looked or listened-in to Sunday’s story or podcast, you heard Dr. Drew and Dr. Anthony Fauci both warn Americans to stop listening to the garbage about coronavirus they are being told by the media and politicians. Dr. Drew said this: “If there IS a pandemic, I will never know for sure. Because the media report that EVERYTHING is a pandemic, and no one will be able to tell the truth from the lie!”
(If you’d like to hear that clip of Dr. Drew from yesterday’s story/podcast, click on this link: https://truthnewsnet.org/is-coronavirus-taking-over-earth-dr-drew-weighs-in/)
Then there was Anthony S. Fauci M.D. who is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The media had voraciously reported that Dr. Fauci — who is known as the world’s foremost specialist of infectious diseases, especially those involving respiratory illnesses — had been “muzzled” by President Trump and had prevented from speaking the truth of coronavirus to anyone in the media. Dr. Fauci added this: “I have never been muzzled by any Administration and never WILL be muzzled. And I’ve been doing this for administrations all the way back to Ronald Reagan.”
Dr. Fauci made it clear for all that there is now NO need for any panic or fear of any kind. He likened protective measures for coronavirus to those used to stop the spread of other respiratory illnesses like influenza, which kills millions around the world annually even though there has been for decades flu shots for the public.
He made clear that a vaccine is being tested right now that appears will be effective for coronavirus. But timing is unknown. He did make clear that never in medical history has a vaccine been found this quickly for any other virus.
Dr. Fauci confirmed something that I had heard on which I was unclear: the commonality of coronavirus. I thought it was this brand new phenomenon. It’s not! There are quite a few versions of coronavirus and people “catch” coronaviruses regularly already.
Common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives. This information applies to common human coronaviruses and should not be confused with coronavirus disease in 2019 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus). That version is a “relative” of our current coronavirus.
The U.S. is lucky so far — if having only a single coronavirus death can be termed “lucky.” One victim — a Washington man who had severe respiratory illness before his coronavirus infection — passed away early Sunday morning. It was reported by Illinois authorities that one new case appeared in Chicago early Sunday. The numbers are so far thankfully really small. But that does NOT indicate there’s no need for caution — even EXTREME caution.
But those professionals who include many experts on this and other diseases, their treatment, and their prevention have weighed in in vary demonstrative fashion saying this:
Coronavirus is real and it’s deadly. It cannot be taken lightly. Healthcare professionals with the significant support and assistance from the Trump Administration are diligently working with those to minimize the impact of coronavirus in the U.S. and then the World.
Though the New York Times excoriated President Trump’s January 29 action to stop U.S. entry by anyone from China, multiple medical experts have stated emphaticially the President in doing so certainly prevented coronavirus cases from getting into the United States. That’s a wonderful thing, but this puts an underline below this very strong statement:
The weaponization of fear by politicians and the Media could possibly create a faux pandemic atmosphere among the people of the U.S. If that should happen, panic combined with frantic runs on food and medical supplies could easily cripple the process well underway to find ways to stop coronavirus. The U.S. infrastructure is not in a place where it can handle the desperate demands from 350 million people at one time. Certain chaos would ensue.
I had a conversation with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Friday. We discussed the state of coronavirus in the U.S. as it was that day. He is certain that there are those diligently trying to spin coronavirus for political purposes. He and I shared the sadness that we so far during this election season have failed to lay our differences aside, find common ground around this horrible virus to support those who not only can and will eradicate it, but in doing so will keep our lives as we know them from being torn asunder.
There should be NO political differences thrown in the face of any political candidate or any medical professional during this time. There should be NO Democrat and NO Republican sitting at the coronavirus table. There should be only “Americans.” And we all should put our petty political ambitions and perspectives to the side for one thing: eradicate this virus immediately! Get that done, and then let’s have an election.
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