Monday, June 23, 2008

Inventing boogeymen

OK, is WOAI-TV just trying to scare us now? It's not ratings month, is it? Or is there another motive?

Look at this brilliant reporting:

With local gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, going to the Texas coast a for [sic] summer trip is even more attractive. But there's something in the water you need to know about before you go.

Sea lice are akin to the jellyfish and are about the size of ground pepper. They're fairly common in the Gulf of Mexico, but not in numbers that can make people sick. [emphasis added]

Then, four paragraphs later:

Carleigh and Layne apparently ran into a cloud of floating sea lice that stung them countless times, leaving them with an awful rash and feeling very sick. [emphasis added]
Ridiculous. Someone's lying, or whoever is responsible for this copy cannot see basic contradictions in the written word. This sounds like a story manufactured to make people nervous about going to the beach.

Oh, then they close with this:

So, what can you do to prevent sea lice from stinging you and your family? A product called Safe Sea Lotion protects against ocean stingers like jellyfish or sea lice. The lotion isn't available in most stores, but can be ordered on the internet for about $15 a bottle.

Now I get it. WOAI even has a convenient link to Safe Sea's Web site.

I wonder how much that link cost.


Kels said...

lol So they create mass hysteria so they cash in on the advertisment on their page! Well, I guess they need gas money just like the rest of us... they just don't care how they get it! ;)

(I've never heard of "sea lice" before... and I would think, even if the numbers weren't high.. it would be something that's spoken of... I mean EVERYONE knows what Red Tide is...even though you don't always encounter it...)

Albatross said...

Consider this, too. According to WOAI's own slideshow, the sea lice look remarkbly nothing like jellyfish. I fail to see how they can be related.

Oh, wait -- they're not.

Unless you mean this. But that seems to have nothing to do with what WOAI is reporting. Or selling.