Whatever happened to the “killer bees?” Not all that long ago, we were issued repeated warnings that gangs of uber-nasty killer bees were arming themselves and heading north from Mexico. Listening to some tv reports, one would have thought the sky would be clouded over as the bee-gangs came our way, ready to attack innocent Anglos at will, for no reason whatsoever. If attacked, you were advised to RUN! Or, if you had a pool, you could dive in and hold your breath – although the bees would probably be there waiting for you when you came up for air. Clever devils. These were some seriously nasty critters, and they were coming for us. Whole swarms of the damn things. It was clearly bee Armageddon, and there was NOTHING WE COULD DO ABOUT IT. Eventually, there might be nowhere left to go as the killers spread out to threaten the entire nation.
With the passage of time it became clear that the threat wouldn’t be nearly so bad as we were led to believe by a ratings-hungry media that repeatedly sounded the alarm. Kinda like Condi Rice and her illusion of mushroom clouds. Maybe the bees were no match for our professional exterminators? Or maybe they’re fooling around, crossbreeding with our honey bees, resulting in bees that are irritated but short of being outright killers? Whatever is happening, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as we were led to believe it would be. Time after time after time. I remember being sent out to Malibu on a killer bee scare. It turned out to be nothing but common yellow jackets. No bees at all. Pretty scary though, being told there were killer bees in Malibu. The kids on the assignment desk were crushed when I called in to report that there was nothing there. Not deterred, they kept sending us all over L.A. County in search of killers. Every time a bee swarm was discovered a crew would be dispatched in the belief that the killers had finally arrived. Maybe they’d take off after a reporter. Now that’d be a story. Alas, the sightings were usually nothing more than plain old European honey bees.
I have to wonder to what degree the same sort of media exaggeration might not be happening now with repeated warnings that we are about to go over a “fiscal cliff.”
I’m increasingly watching Euro News and France24.