Even the TV columnists are getting into the "panic" actgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Pax TV preys on year 2000 fears of the naive, gullible
It's fitting that a show like Millennium Fears would air on Pax TV, whose agenda is heavily tilted toward people who try to conduct their lives based on what they glean from the Bible. Much of the apprehension about a Year 2000 apocalypse is a product of biblical prophecies, even though they are open to widely varying interpretations. For example, one biblical passage is cited as forecasting "trouble as never before." This could cover anything from what happened to the Marlins last season to the explosion of the planet.
Millennium Fears trades in worst-case scenarios. Citing predictions from Daniel, Ezekiel and others, the hourlong program warns of potential earthquakes, meteor showers, martial law and, of course, The End.
The program uses every scare tactic at its disposal to terrify its audience. Even the bumpers in and out of commercials are depictions of raging fires, an effective visual for people who subscribe to the existence of little red men with pitchforks.
If it weren't for the likelihood that the audience will be heavily populated with the easily led and misled, the frenzy the program tries to whip up would be almost comical.
However, the lone segment with any scientific validity is on potential problems from Y2K computer malfunctions. Thanks to programs like this, the doomsday predictions could become self-fulfilling. Scaring viewers into thinking there will be shortfalls of food, as well as a monetary crisis, could prompt the hoarding and runs on banks that are suggested.
If TV meterologists used the hysteria-inducing tactics in advance of a potential hurricane that Millennium Fears does to alarm its audience about the turn of the century, they would be thoroughly and justifiably castigated for their irresponsibility. Pax deserves no less scorn for this program. Actually, Millennium Fears isn't so much a program as it is an infomercial for this hour and a companion tape, which is pitched at the end of the show. Again, typical Pax.
What isn't mentioned in Millennium Fears is that Jan. 1, 2000 looms significant for only a small minority of Earth's inhabitants. Most of the predictions mentioned were transcribed before the Roman calendar, as we know it, came into existence. Even now it is only one of several in use. The others are not approaching any kind of landmark date. Just last week, the lunar calendar, which is observed by billions of Asians, welcomed the year 4697. For Jews -- Judaism being the religion of Jesus and the biblical prophets -- it is the year 5759. They got through their Y2K a long time ago.
What's more, if Jesus was born on Dec. 25, as it is observed, wouldn't this be the momentous date marking 2000 years later? We could have a week less than we think.
On the other hand, as strange as it might seem, the era known as B.C. -- Before Christ -- actually spilled over into Jesus' life by as much as 30 years, according to some accounts. So we might have gotten past the 2,000th anniversary three decades ago. Maybe that's why the '60s were so goofy.
However, the only number that seems to matter to Pax is $19.95, the price of the tapes.
-- Online2Much (hard@work._), February 23, 1999
I wouldn't say this columnist is getting into the "panic" act. Seems more like another dose of the mainstream media "Christian bashing" act.
He describes Pax TV, a network trying to avoid the filth regularly found on virtually every other station, as having an "agenda" which is "heavily tilted."
He describes the Christian audience as "heavily populated with the easily led and misled."
(Based on his photo on the webpage, this guy must have some deep- seated issues about the word "heavy.")
The column headline, which he may or may not have written, says that Pax "preys" on the fears of the "naive" and "gullible."
It's best to ignore bozos like this guy.
-- rick blaine (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 23, 1999.
I saw this a while back, it was sick. Between that and infomercial scare tactics on some local radio stations, I almost never GI. I think people who prey upon peoples darkest fears are digusting.
I was just at NBC.com trying to find a transcript (I couldn't) for an interview from this morning's Today Show (7:15 a.m. central time). The male co-host (yes, it's embarrassing but I don't know his name) was interviewing Sen. Horn about the latest y2k gov.report card. At one point the interviewer became incredulous and was like 'do you mean planes WON'T FLY Jan. 1, 2000 ??!!!!!' My husband told me about this, he said it looked like the guy was having a GI moment on National Television.
Senator Horn said he was 'confident in the people doing the work, however yes, if they weren't ready that is what would happen.'
I wish I could provide proof of this. Did anyone else here see this? Does anyone know how to find a transcript? I had 0 luck.
-- Deborah (transcript@where.???), February 23, 1999.
I guess I should have expressed myself better, but posting from work doesn't give me much time to expound. What I meant by "panic act" refered to this line:
"Thanks to programs like this, the doomsday predictions could become self-fulfilling. Scaring viewers into thinking there will be shortfalls of food, as well as a monetary crisis, could prompt the hoarding and runs on banks that are suggested."
No one seems to think that the public is capable of deciding for themselves what course of action to take. Implying that we dare not "scare" viewers into thinking that there could be shortfalls of food is obviously worse then the problem according to this writer (and you're right - he sure doesn't look like HE'S missed many meals).
It's hard enough to listen to a news reporter spew this crap, let alone a TV columnist.
-- Online2Much (hard@work._), February 23, 1999.
Panic is going to increase because that's what's been planned all along. All those who are so proud of being "GI's", and repeating the government fear monger's cry of TEOTWAWKI, are being used to create a panic that may well end freedom in America.
Vladimir Lenin had a name for those who helped install communism to their own detriment... the term he used was "useful idiots."
-- think (email@example.com), February 23, 1999.
Have heard that "easily lead and misled" stuff before - it's become part of the lexicon for folks who are spooked by the "Religious Right" bogeyman. What's the difference between an "agenda" and an "approach"? Probably the same as that between "hoarding" and "stockpiling"...
If the interview spooked Matt Lauer, that's excellent. If it then got passed along and scared the starch out of Katie Couric, that's even better. The talking heads need a good scare right about now...
-- Mac (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 23, 1999.
Freedom in America ended years ago.
From now on refer to me as a USEFUL IDIOT.
-- Mike (email@example.com), February 24, 1999.
Well we all know what Lenin did to those who were not useful idiots. This man was demented, his opinion means less than nothing.
"Panic is going to increase because that's what's been planned all along. All those who are so proud of being "GI's", and repeating the government fear monger's cry of TEOTWAWKI, are being used to create a panic that may well end freedom in America. "
-- think (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 24, 1999.
Think: "proof" does not exist outside formal systems (logic, mathematics). You may have been using the word in its informal sense of "evidence", which is all we have in the real world (even in physics, there's nothing but evidence, all the way down). Please be precise when thinking out loud.
-- Blue Himalayan (email@example.com), February 24, 1999.