There was a breathless report on GMA this morning (I know -- that show is going to kill me) about a report from a scientist who helped develop the anti-flu drug Tamiflu. He posited that the recent outbreak of swine flu wasn't caused by unsanitary conditions at a hog farm, a lonely farmer just looking for love, or even a homicidal pig bent on bringing about the desctruction of the human race.
No, his idea was that the flu escaped from a lab. He wrote up this nice paper and sent it out. According to GMA, this report is gaining widespread attention around the globe and raises "a very intriguing question". What if the swine flu was accidentally unleashed on the population by a lab?
GMA talked to the WHO and the CDC, neither of which seemed overly impressed. How could these organizations so casually overlook such a provocative theory that could blow the lid off a huge scandal? Well, according to both organizations the reason is simple: the "report" is long on conjecture and short on evidence to back up the claims.
You'd think that would either be mentioned earlier in the story or, you know, cause the producer to say, "gee, there's no story here at all".
Well, after having checked "buy a hooker a razor scooter", "direct a feminie hygeine product commercial" and "eat a live raccoon" off my bucket list, there's only a few things left. One of them is "get reported about on GMA for a completely unsubstantiated 'theory'". Listen up Diane Sawyer:
1. This "Cheerios is a drug" thing is really a plot by oat farmers to increase cereal consumption (and thus raise the price of their cash crop) by equating this important part of a balanced breakfast with hip designer drugs like ecstasy and spray paint.
2. Those people that turn into cartoons in the Esurance commercials are actual living cartoons being converted into people. They shoot the commericals in reverse to fool you.
3. "5-Loxin", "Bifida Regularis" and "L-casei immunitas" aren't made up names for chemical ingredients contained in yogurt and laxatives -- these are newly discovered miracle compounds that can cure cancer, make your immune system impervious to attack, and make you poop like clockwork -- guaranteed!
4. The eyes are not really the windows into the soul. They're actually the peep hole into the ego. You can see the id by looking into one's navel and the superego by looking down one's throat. The only way to gaze into a person's soul is to remove it through trepanning and put it in a jar of formeldehyde.
5. Vampires are real. They are just uniformly unattractive despite how they are portrayed in movies, so you don't notice them.
I'm waiting for your call, Diane.