On the Media (WNYC/NPR)
Stop, Drop and Roll
While some news outlets have been trying to put the H1N1 flu virus in perspective, others just can't resist a good panic story. They've been contacting New York University Sociology Professor Eric Klinenberg asking him to talk about the widespread panic in reaction to the flu. Only problem, there is no widespread panic. Klinenberg explains.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford authorized the National Influenza Immunization Program to inoculate every American against an impending swine flu epidemic. But despite government predictions of one million dead, a single confirmed fatality was recorded by the end of the year. Science writer Patrick Di Justo remembers the last time the media developed a fever over a mild case of the flu.