Filed Under: Food Scares Livestock

ABC Flu Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Didn’t catch the bird-flu panic-o-rama TV movie on Tuesday? You’re not alone. It seems ABC may have counted its chickens before they hatched. The network’s “Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America” proved to be a turkey in the ratings game — the poultry flick brought in a paltry 5.3 million viewers, or about a fifth as many as Fox’s “American Idol”/”House” programming block. The Center for Consumer Freedom had a couple things to say about the movie’s Chicken Little-like hysteria, and a few folks in the media thought them worth sharing.

The Washington Post noted today that we characterized the movie as a “reckless fake-u-mentary ratings grab,” though in light of how badly it bombed, perhaps “ratings fumble” is more appropriate.

Recapping Tuesday’s movie, MarketWatch (published by Dow Jones) reported our observation that “[w]ashing your hands may actually be the smartest way to fight the flu, but common sense can seldom compete with surgical marks and hazmat suits during TV sweeps week.

Meanwhile, a columnist for the Deseret Morning News quoted us today as pointing out that “ [t]his film is no more factual about bird flu than the Wizard of Oz is about tornados.

Unfortunately, tens of millions of ABC viewers saw only the heavily promoted hysterical trailer for the movie during the past two weeks, without actually watching the film to see how awful it truly was.

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