Friday, October 12, 2007

Somebody's kidding, right?

You'd think that, if you'd spun one bogus article out of a hoked-up bit of political puffery, you'd have the good sense to cash in on your winnings and shut up. Not, say, to compound the error by running two more articles the following day:

GOP: Vaccine advice insults NASCAR fans
What's catching at races? Patriotism and values, says party chief

Pardon me? Who decided to let the Party of Infectious Diseases for Tots Lincoln turn this into a nationwide opportunity for grandstanding?

Being around NASCAR fans requires no inoculation.

That's the word Thursday from Republican officials after learning a Democrat-controlled congressional committee advised staffers to get vaccinated for hepatitis and other diseases before visiting NASCAR events in Concord and Talladega, Ala.

"Democrats should know that there is no preventive measure yet designed to ward off the blue-collar values and patriotism that NASCAR fans represent," said Linda Daves, chairwoman of the N.C. Republican Party. "If they aren't careful, they just might catch some of it."

...The brouhaha began when the House Committee on Homeland Security decided to study public health preparedness at events of mass attendance.

No, the "brouhaha" began when some clown couldn't tell news from flackery. But it gets worse:

Swappin' paint -- but germs?
CONCORD --I like to take big risks in life. So I went to Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday without getting my shots.

Maybe you saw that story in our paper. It was the talk of the speedway Thursday. Some congressional aides on a fact-finding mission were advised to get immunizations before traveling to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord this weekend.

So now NASCAR has cooties?

Sigh. No, Scott, NASCAR doesn't have "cooties." 150,000-some of anybody, sampled twice in a week, might well have among them some people with "influenza," which actually is catching and actually is a good idea to protect yourself from. Doesn't matter if Humpy Wheeler says, gosh, there's never been an outbreak at the track in 50 years! That's not the issue. The issue is what you take home to your family, friends and officemates. As anybody who's planning a little light bioterrorism for the weekend could have told you.

The story is just bizarre enough to get national play.

Well, no. If somebody had seen Brave Sir Robin Hayes off at the door, it would have been just worthless enough to die the quiet death of bad stories. Hard to see how this one could get much worse, but -- hey, there's always that big Saturday paper.



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