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Death by media circus

24 May 2009

Is it just because I’m getting old, or are the media really getting more and more circusy?

A fortnight ago it was swine flu. Last week it was British politicians expense claims, and now this: Blatant — Make Velociraptor Attacks a Thing of the Future

By now you’ll know everyone knows that at last someone has found the missing link. Finally. Well actually “Ida” was dug up by some amateurs in 1983 and was only more recently, when the University of Oslo bought it, discovered that this, “the eighth wonder of the world”, was in fact a 47 million-year-old primate. The wider scientific community is far more subdued about the “missing link claims”, whereas anyone related to the discovery is already starting to cash in that “missing link” merchandise cheque. There’s a book, a documentary and you bet your very last shekel that there will be a t-shirt and mug combo on its way to you for Christmas.

and The “Missing Link” in Evolution — Fr. Ted’s Blog:

There was a huge media blitz about the fossil find which also promoted among other things an upcoming television, soon to be published book and the Museum of Natural History in New York. So the sensationalism was not purely (mostly?) the fossil find itself but all of the media promotion going on with other media products related to the fossil.

But don’t worry. No sooner than they clone a dinosaur, we’ll be extinct ourselves. Though the media may have forgotten, some of us remember that they told us that swine flu is going to kill us all, and in a few million years the velociraptors will be examining our fossils and wondering what cataclysmic event caused us to disappear from the earth. And maybe some bright spark among them may even try to clone us.

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