When something as terrifying as Ebola finds its way into the United States, the TV media certainly will respond, and respond in the only way it knows how: With relentless, obsessive, 24/7 coverage that pushes the story forward even when the story grinds to a halt, awaiting fresh facts or angles. The plight of an infected nurse, then another, and her travel from Dallas, has led newscasts over much of the last week, and has topped “Good Morning America," "Today” and “CBS This Morning” as well. Cable? Constant ...
Has national panic ensued? Maybe the better question is: Has TV panic ensued? That's why Shepard Smith's plea to Remain Calm, People — on Wednesday's edition of “Shepard Smith Reporting" on Fox News -- continues to get picked up, cited and remarked upon, with this post as the latest evidence.
If you haven't yet seen, it's certainly notable: A major anchor not simply asking for calm, but demanding calm, in the face of TV's (including his own network's) fixation on something no one really seems to understand.
It's Smith at his best, really: That steely, cold glare, that just-the-facts delivery, that calm-in-a-raging-storm demeanor that shouts “shut up everyone, just shut up ..." He almost scares you into not being scared... And, when you stop to think about it, he's even telling his own network to shut up, or at least get the story right.