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Anthropomorphism Alert: John Harwood Attributes Malicious Intelligence to H1N1 Virus

October 31, 2009

“Why is the virus targeting children?” John Harwood, New York Times reporter and host of MSNBC’s New York Times Friday afternoon show asked as a teaser to David Schuster’s upcoming 2 hours.

This is almost as stupid as the nightly local news ritual of blaming—or thanking—the meteorologist for the weather.

First, let’s dispense with the part that would be obvious to a Junior High school science student.  The virus is not “targeting” anyone.  There are not H1N1 mission briefings, where they gather to discuss objectives, nor does it care who it infects.  The proper question, of course, would be either “Why are children more susceptible to the H1N1 virus?” or “Why is the virus more likely to be fatal in children?”

I suppose that a world view that is based on a villain-and-victim view of both history and current events might unconsciously lend itself to such anthropomorphisms.  You gotta have something to blame, right?  Or someone.

And if George W. Bush were still President, we know exactly who that would be.

Imagine the outcry if there were a couple dozen deaths of children at a time when there is a shortage of flu vaccine—even though the Administration had a year to prepare—and the media still had W to kick around over it.

The question would not be “Why is the virus targeting children?” It would be “Why does George W. Bush hate our children?”

But with Barack Obama in charge of the public health apparatus, the media blames the virus.

So, don’t look to be bombarded at the top of every hour with the irony of the fact that when he appointed former New York City Health Commisioner Thomas Frieden, to be head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Obama hailed him as “an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies.”

Last man on the right, Prevention Czar Thomas Frieden

Keith Olbermann won’t close out his broadcast by reminding us it has been 167 days since the president announced he’s appointed an expert in preparedness.

Kanye West will not be announcing that Barack Obama doesn’t care about children.

The President won’t be forced to fly in for an awkward show of approval and say, “Great job, Freebie.”

Shepherd Smith won’t be standing outside a large health facility, mascara running, crying while hyping rumors that sniper fire have kept supplies of the virus from getting to where it is most needed.

John Kerry won’t be intoning that Barack Obama took his eye off the ball by appointing a neo-com who was too focused on labeling trans-fats and persecuting smokers to fight the real war on mortality, the necessary war against the H1N1 virus.

And I’m pretty sure neither This Week with George Stephanopoulos nor Nightline will end the broadcast with a list of the children who died from H1N1 that day or week.

No, while George W. Bush was pretty much accused of issuing an engraved Global Warming Party invitation to Hurricane Katrina to come to New Orleans; and for the corruption in levee building contracts that had been going on since his father was a Navy pilot, (and which structure he may, or may not, have personally dynamited in the middle of the storm); shortages in the federal vaccine program are NOT Barack Obama’s fault.

It’s amazing what being inoculated with the MSM1 vaccine can do.

  1. Harmon permalink
    October 31, 2009 8:33 am

    I suppose you can quibble with the language Harwood used in his ‘teaser’, but the swine flu was here in 1976 so I would assume those people born before 1976 would have a better chance of building a resistance to the virus than the children born after. I didn’t see the show, so I don’t know what was said on his show.

    Sometimes things are not as stupid as you might think.

  2. October 31, 2009 9:21 am

    I always thought that Shep Smith wore mascara or guyliner or something. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one.

  3. Swemson permalink
    October 31, 2009 5:41 pm


    The actual reason why some perceive that the virus is targeting children, is not that it’s attacking lots of children, but rather that it doesn’t seem to be targeting seniors, who are typically as vulnerable to viruses as young children…. & the answer why is actually quite interesting:

    People who had their initial vaccines before 1950 have developed certain immunities, that those who received their initial vaccinations much later simply don’t have.

    Newer vaccines might be safer in many respects, but there are some bugs for which they’re not as effective.

  4. David Forsmark permalink
    October 31, 2009 8:08 pm

    Which is why I suggested the question “Why are kids more susceptible?” My daughter has her bachelors in biology and is working on her masters and the tag line made her laugh, in a that’s funny but not funny way.

    But of course, the real point is, that if Bush were Prez and this situation were the case, it would be Katrina II, and every new death would be another indictment against him.

  5. Swemson permalink
    October 31, 2009 8:35 pm


    You’re sure right about that !

  6. Soylent Green permalink
    November 1, 2009 2:38 pm

    This is exactly what I’ve been asking my friends lately. Where’s the outrage? It just isn’t there if a liberal is involved. We’re used to it, but it’s just the blatant hypocrisy that is so irritating. It’s been that way with the ‘media’ as long as I can remember and I guess it always will be.

    By the way, I once heard a television ‘newsperson’ ask; “Why are tornadoes attracted to mobile homes?”

  7. David Forsmark permalink
    November 2, 2009 1:23 am

    That is a great example of what I’m talking about.

    BTW, Soylent, since the whole ethanol scam, I’ve wanted to take the final bit of the movie and put it on youtube, but have Charlton Heston gasping out “Corn is food!”

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