Bill Maher slams media’s ‘panic porn’: ‘Optimists tend to win American elections’

by WorldTribune Staff, April 21, 2020

The corporate media’s constant “gloom and doom” reporting on the coronavirus crisis has become “panic porn,” comedian Bill Maher said.

Bill Maher: ‘You know the problem with nonstop gloom and doom is it gives Trump the chance to play the optimist.’ / YouTube

“If this insanity happens, again, news sources have to rein it in. Everyone knows corona is no walk in the park because you literally can’t walk in the park. But at some point, the daily drumbeat of depression and terror veers into panic porn,” Maher said on last week’s “Real Time” program.

“Enough with the ‘life will never be the same’ headlines.”

Maher said he worried that the “panic porn” would cede any optimism about the crisis to President Donald Trump.

“Now that we’re starting to see some hope in all this, don’t hope-shame me,” Maher said. “You know the problem with nonstop gloom and doom is it gives Trump the chance to play the optimist. And optimists tend to win American elections.”

Maher cited Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” then said he worries that “as s— as he is, I can see Trump riding that into a second term. And then there will be no hope left for you to shame.”

Maher then took on the major media’s constant barrage of negative headlines on the virus. He noted the recent Washington Post headline “It Feels Like a War Zone,” which included a photograph of a supermarket stocker unloading boxes in a store’s eggs and deli meats section. “This is not a war zone,” he said. “This is a man with a box of eggs. And I’ve never seen a war zone with this much bacon.”

Maher also highlighted a recent news story on “Inside Edition”. “Two weeks ago, ‘Inside Edition’ said 76,000 in the world had died so some are making comparisons to the apocalypse. The apocalypse? Really? Because most of us are sitting at home smoking delivery weed and binge-watching a show about a gay zookeeper,” Maher said. “Unless you’re a front-line health care worker for whom the phrase ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, this is not the apocalypse.”

Maher continued: “And I know, I know, you expect ‘Inside Edition’ to be over the top but The New York Times? They used the same word last week. ‘Braced for Apocalyptic Surge, New York Avoids Worst So Far.’ ” (That headline was later changed to “Virus Deaths Mount, but N.Y. Avoids Predicted Surge at Hospitals So Far.”)

“And this was an article about how much better the city was doing than expected… Still bad, but you don’t have to put hot sauce on a jalapeno.”

Maher cited another New York Times headline, “ ‘It’s Terrifying’: Millions More Out of Work,” adding, “What the f— is ‘it’s terrifying’ doing in a headline? Granted, it’s a quote, but who are they quoting? Trump? Fauci? Stephen King? No, they’re quoting an event planner in North Hollywood. No offense to the event planners of the world, it’s amazing what you people can do with pine cones and silver spray paint.”


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