Really CNN? Complaining About Twitter?

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There was a lot of craziness on Twitter yesterday and the internet in general with regard to the dreaded swine flu outbreak of 2009. I read that the swine flu literally turns people into human/pig hybrids that allow them to hoof across the globe looking for slop…and love.

I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do know that the news networks ran just about any bit of information they could 24/7 because inquiring minds want to know freak out.

So, today, I see this story on about how Twitter is apparently incubating the craziness like the hot hot heat of your luscious blood stream incubates the swine virus.

“This is a good example of why [Twitter is] headed in that wrong direction, because it’s just propagating fear amongst people as opposed to seeking actual solutions or key information,” said Brennon Slattery, a contributing writer for PC World. “The swine flu thing came really at the crux of a media revolution.”

Of course, there were six stories on CNN’s Twitter feed about the virus in the last 24 hours – six times more than any other story including hard hitters like how the First Lady’s arms or dresses or whatever look fabulous.

But, yes, Twitter is certainly the source of all the problems in media today. Sigh.

The best part was this:

That information needs to be put in context by journalists, especially given the fact that so many deaths from the common flu occur each year and go underreported by the news media, said Al Tompkins, who teaches broadcast and online news at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. Follow CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta on Twitter

About 36,000 people die from flu-related symptoms each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fast pace of new swine flu cases and their relevance to global public health policy makes the situation newsworthy, Tompkins said.

Tompkins said there is a tendency for television stations to hype health emergencies to boost their ratings, but so far coverage of the swine flu outbreak has been responsible. Coverage of the story is just ramping up, though, he said.

Oh, CNN reporting on…CNN. Of course they would find someone to say that there hasn’t been any hype and the coverage has been responsible.

Fortunately, there’s Jon Stewart to soldier us on through the…whatever, just watch.


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