The Difference Between The American And British Reactions To Ebola

A Twitter friend from across the pond passes this on example of how the Brits are basically reacting to American panic over Ebola by laughing at us:

As I said in response, this is simultaneously hilarious and depressing

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    BBC vs. Fox News.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Personally I don’t think it’s funny that otherwise strong self-reliant adults like JKB, Jack, John425, Jenos, Florack, Sooper-Dooper, and a host of others have been reduced to bed-wetting by this horrible worst-ever epidemic.
    Wait….no…of course I find it funny!!!! It’s f’ing hilarious!!!!
    Don’t eat any poop fellas.

  3. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You said it somewhere else, but the best sources of news (BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera) are all taxpayer supported. It’s the news service that’s most commercially successful that’s a cesspool of panic mongering and propoganda. Proof #5,178 why free markets aren’t always the best solution.
    Doug, you might want to reconsider libertarianism in the light of that. Myself, I’ve given up on the pure liberal ideal of the “marketplace of ideas.” Good news gathering doesn’t drive out the bad. What wins is what reliably delivers an audience.

  4. lounsbury says:

    Yes, in fact that is the general reaction.

  5. @stonetools:

    NPR isn’t taxpayer supported; less than 5% of its budget comes from the government:

    What distinguishes NPR is that it’s VIEWER supported rather than ADVERTISER supported. It’s not so much a demonstration of “markets aren’t always the best solution” as it is of “if you’re not paying for a service, you’re not the customer”.

  6. stonetools says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    That reminds me, I need to renew my membership.
    Huh, I didn’t know it wasn’t heavily taxpayer supported. To hear right wing media sources tell it, National People’s Radio is 100 per cent financed by the government. I thimk my point stands, though.

  7. Mikey says:


    Proof #5,178 why free markets aren’t always the best solution.

    I think NPR actually represents a triumph of the free market–even more so than the commercial stations. NPR is the only one that must truly compete at an audience level. It doesn’t sell advertising, it must rely directly on the strength of its content to succeed because that’s what spurs the audience to contribute.

    It’s almost a paradox–the so-called “free market” stations rely less on market success than the “public” one. Interesting, I think.

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    To be fair, CNN has been hysterical too. They alternate that with articles castigating us for being hysterical.

    I can’t stand any of the networks. It’s BBC around here.

  9. SC_Birdflyte says:

    In a novel I read some years ago, I read the assertion that Americans are fat, dumb, and happy but prone to panic when something really nasty happens. That’s over the top, but in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I told a number of people that Great Britain endured the equivalent of a 9/11 every month during the Blitz without panicking. Of course, it helps if the alternative to panic is a shrieking fanatic with a toothbrush mustache. Ebola is just another example of succumbing to hysteria when real threats are much closer at hand.