CNN Team Perplexed by Calm U.S. Public

     Im amazed that Americans at this point are really fairly unconcerned about bird flu and mad cow disease, the Bryn Mawr alumna confessed, noting that a drop in foreign sales of Tyson chicken has depressed company stock.

     While the National Chicken Council stresses that American poultry is safe to eat, the CNN anchors failed to remind viewers of that fact. Guest panelist Allen Wastler urged investors to wait until Tyson stock pounds down a little bit more before snatching up cheaper shares, because people always eat meat.

     While Cafferty conceded that bird flu has killed fewer than 100 people in the world in the last three years, he warned thats not to say it couldnt change tomorrow.

     Yet the virus has not mutated to allow easy human-to-human transmission, which would be necessary for a worst-case scenario global pandemic.

     In fact, only in rare circumstances that are highly unusual in developed countries and unusual even in undeveloped ones has the avian virus transferred from birds to humans, wrote Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the American Council on Science and Health in a Business & Media Institute commentary.

     The Business & Media Institute has documented the medias hype of the bird flu threat, particularly CNN, which featured Columbia Universitys Irwin Redlener blaring warnings of a global pandemic yielding thousands of typhoid Marys in a country with 46 million Americans who dont have health insurance.

     CNN is hardly the medias lone pandemic pyromaniac. ABC also fanned the flames of bird flu fear in a recent series on Good Morning America and World News Tonight. Experts like Whelan have been left out of much of the media coverage.