Media headlines are like the drunk girl at a party. They don’t care why everyone is staring at you while you puke into the cheese plate, they’re just glad they have your attention and they’re going to keep it by any means necessary. Even if it means sleeping with Tim. I know, gross.
And in this case, Tim is a metaphor for scaring the shit out of you. Repeatedly. For money.
Media companies care about attention and the easiest way to garner that is the feed our fears:
Fear is what makes people mean to each other, divides us, fuels racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. It makes us petty, defensive, conspiratorial, and individualistic. It also makes us susceptible to a LOT of cognitive and logical biases, such as:
Ad hominem, moral equivalence, straw man arguments, the false dilemma, circular arguments, the bandwagon, appeal to authority, the domino theory, hasty generalizations, anecdotal evidence, the correlation/causation fallacy, and many, many more (this is my favorite roundup of Logical Fallacies, if you’d like to geek out, courtesy of PBS).
Point is: You can’t think straight when you’re afraid.
Aaron suggests that if the media were serious about their civic duty then the focus would be on settling everyone’s nerves and emotions as this impacts our immune system and therefore our ability to fight the virus.
Like, Aaron suggests that during this time we need to turn away from the media as we are never as informed as we think we are.