Ed Driscoll

The MSM's Fearmongering Technophobia

“DNSChanger hype reveals media’s fearmongering technophobia,” Jesse Martin of Canada’s Maclean’s magazine writes:

I don’t know about you, but I had a relaxing summer Monday, some of it spent online. The DNSChanger malware may indeed have inconvenienced some people, but for 99.99999% of us, yesterday was just another day on the Internet. Unsurprisingly, few news outlets publicized the absolute normalcy of life online yesterday.

The problem with virus and malware news stories is that they typically originate with press releases distributed by computer security companies like McAfee and Symantec, whose business models rely on keeping the world in a constant state of digital paranoia. Many newspapers simply re-write these releases and call them articles, but some go to the trouble of contacting an “Internet security expert” or two. Of course, Internet security experts also rely on keeping the world in a constant state of digital paranoia.  Ask them at any time whether or not we should be afraid, and they will assure you that we should be very, very afraid.

It’s time for the media to grow up about computing. Technology plays too big a role in public life for news organizations to behave like bipolar lunatics, forever bouncing between uncritical praise for Apple’s Next Big Thing and untempered hysteria over the Next Big Threat.

Baby steps; baby steps. The legacy media would have to first grow up about electricity and where it comes from before they grow up about computing. And even then, they’d still be suckers for the latest doomsday scenario.

(Via Rand Simberg, who adds, “I love the picture in this story.”)