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Throughout the phony flu pandemic I warned that health officials would lose credibility because basically everything they were telling us was false and, unlike with some phony predictions which are safely years away, these quickly be shown false.
Turns out I was right - depending on what part of the world you live in.
A Tale of Two Flus
A combined Scientific American/Nature magazine poll shows that of the 15 issues people were asked about, they trusted scientists the least regarding flu pandemics. Ah, but there's a big asterisk. It was a poll of both Europeans and Americans. And only 31 percent of the Americans expressed serious distrust, compared to 69 percent of the Europeans.
Why the difference? The very media I was constantly criticizing. While a number of journalists and publications in Europe were critical of the WHO and their own governments, the American media acted as a mouthpiece for anybody - official or otherwise - willing to say something scary about swine flu.
More to the point, they've continued to do so. Nobody in this country has issued a mea culpa and nobody ever will, anymore than they did with heterosexual AIDS, SARS, avian flu and so many other hysterias they either perpetuated or outright fomented. Most recently it's been Toyota. The motto of the American media, originally uttered in a John Wayne movie, is: "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness."
Pack journalism is so pervasive in America we've practically got the equivalent of a state run media. And because of that, eventually it WILL BE a state run media.