By all accounts, Ebola is a deadly disease, now ravaging parts of west Africa and taking a dreadful toll on people there. But for the US media, there is no scare in any part of the world that cannot be made into a scare here. We have seen one media-fuelled panic after another over the past few years, with bird flu, swine flu, SARS, and I forget what else. If ever a real epidemic hits, we have more to fear from being crushed by mobs of people running around wildly in panic than from the disease itself.
Since I do not watch TV news, I was spared the most recent alarmist rhetoric over the possibility of the Ebola virus rampaging through the US. Stephen Colbert brings me up to date on what I missed.
(This clip aired on August 7, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)