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The ITT List

Monday, Jan 3, 2005, 4:47 am

Happy New Fear

By Jessica Clark

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Just in time for the post-holiday commute, last night FX served up a paranoia-inducing mockumentary on a terrorist-driven smallpox outbreak, complete with a cameo from Al Sharpton.

The film's Web site, oozing with red-tinged pus bubbles, offers up a "bioterrorism" page which asserts rather vaguely that "credible concern exists that the virus was made into a weapon by some countries and that terrorists may have obtained it." The film's tagline, "It's All True. It Just Hasn't Happened Yet" might as well be the marching orders for our next ill-documented preemptive strike.

Who needs The War of the Worlds when we've got the never-ending war on terror?

Jessica Clark is a writer, editor and researcher, with more than 15 years of experience spanning commercial, educational, independent and public media production. Currently she is the Research Director for American University’s Center for Social Media. She also writes a monthly column for PBS’ MediaShift on new directions in public media. She is the author, with Tracy Van Slyke, of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (2010, New Press).

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