The top dailies are too upbeat about the coming flu pandemic.

Media criticism.
Sept. 11 2009 8:02 PM

Burying the Swine Flu Lede

The top dailies are too upbeat about the coming pandemic.

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Addendum, Sept. 12: The New York Times reports today that the swine flu vaccine won't arrive in time to "blunt the peak of this season's epidemic" in a story titled "Vaccine Supply May Miss Swine Flu Peak." It also steers away from—without acknowledging—its previous assertion about the flu's "expected midwinter peak" by quoting a Harvard epidemiologist who says, "It would be bizarre for it to peak in January or February, the way seasonal flu does."



Of course not. Cohen is a Gloomy Gus, too! Maybe he's infected me. If there's a doctor in the house, please send medication to and take my temperature at my Twitter feed. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

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Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at