Fumento knows what I’m talking about. Twenty years ago, his book, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, challenged another reigning orthodoxy: that is, that HIV/AIDS would “break out” into the general heterosexual population. Then, as now, he pointed out the inconvenient facts. Fumento argued that ideology and group-think, not science, lay behind the dire AIDS predictions; and then, as now, he was attacked for his truth-telling. Eventually, Fumento was vindicated, although his critics still do not admit it.
Now, the flu concerns need to be taken seriously. And it’s a good thing the government is working hard on vaccines. But that’s no excuse for ignoring inconvenient facts and attacking those who point them out. Yeah, sure, we live in the age of media hype: This makes a great story, in living color on our TV sets. But it is our job to help neighbors see things in perspective and not be carried away by fear.
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Michael Fumento, “Fuss and Feathers,” Weekly Standard, 21 November 2005.
Wendy Orrent, “Chicken Little,” New Republic, 4 September 2005. (Available to subscribers.) See Orrent’s correspondence with Marc Lipsitch of Harvard and Carl T. Bergstrom of the University of Washington.
Charles Krauthammer, “Life-and-Death Flu,” Townhall.com, 14 October 2005.
Jo Ciavaglia, “Avian Flu: Is Hype for the Birds?” Courier Times, 16 October 2005.
Mick Farren, “Disconnect the Panic Button,” Los Angeles Times, 28 November 2005.
Gilbert Ross, “WHO’s Afraid of Bird Flu?” National Review Online, 14 December 2004.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 040303, “Scaring Witless: How the Media Distorts Reality.”
C. John Sommerville, How the News Makes Us Dumb (InterVarsity, 1999).