To hear Good Morning America tell it, “The city of Dallas is in a state of panic.” That piece of stupidity was how the show started one morning at the beginning of the media-driven Ebola panic and is the reason I no longer watch the show.
Here’s some of the things that went on in the city in a state of panic.
The State Fair of Texas — which this weekend ended its run, roughly corresponding to the 21-day quarantine period for the family and neighbors of Thomas Duncan — set a record. Coupon sales were estimated at $41 million, up from last year’s $37.
Sounds like the city’s in a state of panic to me.
During the last three weeks, Southwest Airlines increased the number of cities it flies to from Love Field by 15 and increased daily flights to the city by 30. At the same time, Virgin America began flying from both coasts to Love Field.
That’s what happens during a panic — businesses expand and travel to the city increases.
Another good thing that happened over the past three weeks was just as an Ebola case was reported in Dallas, Gov. Rick Perry left the country. He spent the “Ebola crisis” in Europe, but that’s good news. Instead of having to deal with stupidity coming from the governor’s mansion, Mayor Mike Rawlings, County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dallas County HHS Director Zach Thompson only had to deal with stupidity and misquotes coming from national and local broadcast media.
The Dallas Morning News has done a good job covering Ebola. They’ve devoted quite a bit of space to getting out actual facts. Jacquielynn Floyd’s column on Ebolaphobia is brilliant.
But here’s something they did that seemed, well, peculiar: “Dr. Seema Yasmin answers Ebola questions on Twitter.”
If people have questions about Ebola — how you can catch it, how to prevent it, what precautions to take, why we should or shouldn’t panic while taking this dangerous and deadly virus seriously — how can anyone answer in 140 characters? If pages of articles don’t answer the questions, a tweet certainly won’t.
But I guess her column served a purpose. If people won’t read an article, maybe at least they’ll read a tweet — like this one: Hey, @MarkDavis, a travel ban won’t work. Happy to explain to you in person why it won’t work & how bad it would be for public health.
I guess her tweets do serve a good purpose — she’s using them to call out stupid. (Mark Davis is a local right-wing shock jock).
Here’s Rawlings’ message telling the rest of the world Dallas in not in a state of panic.