CNN to Viewers: Why Aren't You Scared Yet?!

Following shortly after a segment discussing a poll showing 59 percent of Americans believe the economy is doing well, CNN's "In the Money" crew wondered why Americans were not scaring easily with fears of a bird flu pandemic. [For article, click here.]

“We’ve fanned the flames of fear about this stuff,” said CNN’s Jack Cafferty on March 18. He was talking about bird flu, and his admission just confirmed the Free Market Project’s ongoing analysis of media coverage.

The “In the Money” co-host’s comments came as the show’s panel looked at “Stock of the Week” Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN), which has seen a 20-percent loss in value recently from overseas bird flu scares. Co-host Jennifer Westhoven marveled at the American public’s apparent nonchalance about the H5N1 avian flu virus.

“I’m amazed that Americans at this point are really fairly unconcerned” about bird flu and mad cow disease, the Bryn Mawr alumna confessed, noting that a drop in foreign sales of Tyson chicken has depressed company stock.


CNN is hardly the media’s lone pandemic pyromaniac. ABC also “fanned the flames” of bird flu fear in a recent series on “Good Morning America” and “World News Tonight.” Experts like Whelan have been left out of much of the media coverage.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.