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You don’t often hear a Fox News Channel host defending CNN and MSNBC, but Greta Van Susteren does just that in a sharply-worded defense of Ebola coverage on cable news: “It was the media torch that has ramped up the government’s attention to this predictable crisis and, if further unchecked, catastrophic crisis.”
In a post on Van Susteren’s “Greta Wire” blog, the FNC host (who just reported from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, interviewing three doctors working on the first Ebola vaccine) suggests critics of cable’s expansive coverage of Ebola–and particularly its arrival in the United States–of deliberately missing the point:
We should have done this so called ‘overboard reporting’ months ago. Maybe if we had, the Texas Hospital would have been ready to deal with Mr. Duncan and maybe two nurses would not be in isolation units, one at Emory, and one at NIH – and others quarantined. Maybe even our government would have been ready?
Just consider this: without the media all over President Obama about ebola, he would not have canceled his fundraising trip to Connecticut to stay home and convene a meeting about ebola at the White House. You can credit the media for that.
Of course the reporting is not perfect but it is getting traction with our government.
And as for the oldest trick in the book? The critics of current ebola reporting are using it themselves! They are criticizing those who are putting a giant spotlight on the crisis and thereby drawing attention to themselves. Some may really need the attention….sagging sales?