In the rush to whip the planet into hysteria the media clung to a CDC statement early in the H1N1 frenzy that this new strain of flu had some traits associated with "swine flu".
And the world went nuts. Zoos (Baghdad) killed their wild boars, Egypt ordered the slaughter of all 300,000 head of hogs in the country. This week China...that paragon of virtue (melamine in dog food, lead in paint...) banned the import of US pork. It seems they and Russia and others "think" humans can contract H1N1 by eating the stuff. Meanwhile, according to Bill Northey the Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa this panic is costing US pork producers $2 million...a day.
And...the media? With eyes wide open and in their best Eddie Haskell voice say, "Who? Us? We were just reporting."
But, is there the rush to correct the story? No. Oh, to be sure there was, here in Des Moines, an article in the Des Moines Register on May 6th by the farm editor an impact story...but the article didn't carry the same excitement and weight as bold headlines declaring a national pandemic caused by hogs.
Too little....too late for pork producers that have already seen tough times in the markets. Too little too late to impact world view. Too little too late...when just yesterday in an ABC radio news program there was yet another mention of "swine flu"..somebody just didn't get the memo.
Meanwhile the "anti-meat" crowd is loving it. Bloggers are having a field day pushing the story and the false link: "Meat...kills!"
So little guys like us write about it or we'll do radio interviews about the truth... But it's a big hill to climb. One that is littered with the rush to sell papers and spin audience numbers...after all it's rating season. A little more help here folks?
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or our radio show @RuralLifeRadio our site: www.InsightCubed.com