I know, I know, that’s a macaque, not a monkey. But I love the photo.
Why can’t the news media and health officials just stick to the facts and stop trying to manipulated public opinion and conduct with word games and deception?
Well, it’s rhetorical question: the answer is inherent in the question. They are unethical, untrustworthy, and abuse their position and power.
Take monkeypox, for example.
WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency a week ago. The news media is already beating the drums to brand it the next pandemic, and to raise public anxiety. Both health officials and the new media represent the disease as a universal threat. “Anyone exposed can get monkeypox,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, urging countries to “take action” to reduce the risk of transmission to other vulnerable groups, including children, pregnant women and those who are immunosuppressed.
“Anyone” is more than a bit misleading, and intentionally so. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found that 98% those infected with monkeypox are gay or bisexual men, and 95% of cases were transmitted through sexual activity. Health officials and the news media played the same game with AIDs, making it seem like typical heterosexual sexual relations were as likely to spread the disease as anal sex. Every TV show including AIDS in the plot seemed to have heterosexual female victims.
This is done, we are told, to avoid the “stigma” of having a sexually transmitted disease. “Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus, and can fuel the outbreak,” Ghebreyesus said. So lie to the public about how the disease is actually spread! Scare everyone. Maybe you can get mail-in ballots accepted again! After all, the ends justify disinformation, or so health officials seem to think, and the news media enables them, just as it did to justify a ruinous lockdown in response to the Wuhan virus.
And since we’re on the topic of names…
The WHO Director-General also said during a June press briefing that the agency was working with experts to change the name of the disease from monkeypox to something “less stigmatizing.” Less stigmatizing to who or what, monkeys? I doubt that they care. The disease was originally named because it was first identified after experiments with lab monkeys, but now, the theory is that the name will stigmatize black men who have the disease, because blacks have sometimes been slurred by racists who compared them with monkeys or apes. That’s odd: unless black men themselves identify with monkeys, which they presumably do not, why would the name “monkeypox” stigmatize blacks who have the disease?
Oh, I get it! The idea is that they’ll be embarrassed to admit they have monkeypox because it will be like saying they are like monkeys. You know, like I felt like I was a chicken when I had chicken pox. Except I didn’t. And I don’t know anyone, or have ever met anyone, at least over the age of 11, who would make any connection from the name “monkeypox” and those who are infected by it.
You see, though, that the whole premise behind these various word games, censorship, information manipulation is that people are petty, stupid, and need constant management by their betters.