Friday, January 19, 2007

Stop the scary presses!

Who doesn't love a good dose of irony, especially when it is delivered with so little appreciation of the irony itself? That's usually the best part of it.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff (or as he's known in his own galaxy, the Skullbeast of Warlock 9) is now warning the media about hyping threats:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told newspaper editors Thursday they should use caution and context in reporting about threats or emergencies.

"We owe you information that's accurate," he said, "and you need to resist the temptation to just get something fast."
Got that media? Stop scaring people!

But wait, there's more:
Even a threat of limited credibility still has to be run down and investigated, Chertoff said, but it shouldn't become public during that stage. If threat information is made public too soon, he warned, there is a danger the public will become either desensitized in a "cry wolf syndrome," or over-sensitized, in a "constant state of hyper-anxiety."
Chertoff worries that the public will blame the government for a development of a "cry wolf syndrome," when, really, it's been the fault of the media.

Backing up his cautionary remarks, Chertoff cited two recent examples, one was an actual advisory issued by his own Department about "cyber attacks on banking and financial institution Web sites." The other was a blog rumour about dirty bomb threats to NFL stadiums. And who was humping what was later pronounced a hoax? Why, those ever lovin' terror freaks at Fox News, of course.


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