The tendency of old(er) media to lash out at new(er) media apparently involves passing the buck on the worst of old(er) media’s excesses. Happy to push the canard that bloggers and Twitterers are merely unrestrained and unsubstantiated gossipers, CNN has either not been reading its own headlines or has an uncanny ability to swallow irony.
Some observers say Twitter — a micro-blogging site where users post 140-character messages — has become a hotbed of unnecessary hype and misinformation about the outbreak, which is thought to have claimed more than 100 lives in Mexico.
“Swine flu” is currently first on CNN’s list of “hot topics.” This is fair enough, because it’s a major topic and a cause for concern, and therefore worthy of media attention. But CNN takes it decidedly over the top. Perhaps following the Time magazine model of cool and rational stories on potential nuclear annihilation, the CNN page devoted to the entirely necessary and carefully measured information about swine flu includes sober headlines like the following: