Katie Couric’s Terrorphobia Inc.

To be fair, most of the corporate media float these sensationalist red herrings almost to the exclusion of all else. Nevertheless…

Tonight on CBS News, Couric plugged an upcoming segment promising to examine the presidential candidates’ positions on what she called “one of the most serious threats to this country, Islamic extremism.”

My immediate reaction:

NO, Katie. “Islamic extremism” IS NOT “one of the most serious threats to this country.” Statistically, by your own logic, such “serious threats” should include, as equally dangerous, the likelihood of allergic reactions to peanuts, and auto accidents involving deer on American roadways [1]. A much bigger threat — indeed, a genuine “existential threat” — is posed by deceitfully alarmist rhetoric peddled-for-profit by the corporate media, power hungry politicians, and the all-consuming National (in-)Security Industry.

Now I’m searching in vain to rent a billboard, as I always want to do when this bogeyman gets trotted out. As usual, I’ll just have to settle for breaking things instead. Gah!

[1] A False Sense of Insecurity, John Mueller, Ohio State University – Department of Political Science, Regulation, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 42-46, Fall 2004 PDF

See also:

Terrorphobia: Our False Sense of Insecurity, by John Mueller

Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them, by John Mueller. (more)


6 Responses to Katie Couric’s Terrorphobia Inc.

  1. alyric says:

    Just don’t break anything you happen to be fond of:)

  2. Ed says:

    I can understand your frustration.

    I really don’t see the strategy of airing that now. I never see the mainstream media as unbiased anymore but I can’t see where the bias is leaning on this one. With few undecided voters at this point (I would think) feeding fears to raise ratings is all I can think of. Katie is no Walter Cronkite.

  3. Laura says:

    *offers David a breakable vase* Hope this helps.

    Did you see Bowling for Columbine? The juxtaposition between Canada nightly news and US nightly news was both humorous and tragic.

  4. dkmnow says:


    I saw Bowling For Columbine years ago. Overall, I was a bit disappointed, just as a matter of style. But I agree, the contrast between popular “wisdom” in the US versus Canada has been (until recently) both jarring and sobering. The one thing I found most compelling in the film, however, was the progressive sequence of war footage, showing the seldom-seen savagery of so many US wars-for-profit, and culminating in the 9/11 attacks. I’ve never seen any kind of media representation of geopolitical cause-and-effect that was anywhere near as powerful and unambiguous as that.

    The impact of that will be with me for a very long time.

  5. Laura says:

    Your post reminded me of the US news coverage of “SHARK ATTACKS!” and “africanized bees!” as presented in the movie. Same idea – alarmist, hysterical, stokes fear, etc.

    btw, I added a quote by you in the sidebar of my blog. I added it a while ago, and have been meaning to give you the fyi.

  6. dkmnow says:

    Oh. Thank you. :-)

    I think the very worst display I’ve ever seen from the US corporate media was in the Spring of 2003. The US had been bombing Iraq non-stop for twelve solid years. Due to US-dictated “sanctions,” innocent Iraqis had been dying by the thousands from malnutrition and preventable diseases. But when the “official” Gulf War II bombing campaign began, NBC had the gall to headline their story by calling it “A NIGHT OF PAYBACK!” Yeah, shame on you for letting us kill your children and exploit your resources for decades. “Payback,” GAH!

    I can’t imagine being more appalled, disgusted, ashamed and outraged than I was upon hearing that particular bit of pernicious Orwellian skullduggery. “Liberal media,” indeed!

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