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Petition Tag - scare tactics

1. Boycott History, Discovery Channels for 2012 Prophecy Scare Tactics

It’s a well-known fact that since we first learned of the end of the current Mayan calendar on December 21st, 2012, there’s been much adieu of what will happen to the world. Many people believe that the world will come to an end in a “doomsday” fashion, destroying all of the worlds and plunging it into chaos. This is very similar to what would’ve supposedly happened if the Y2K bug shut down computers and caused widespread panic on January 1st, 2000 – a bug that never came into fruitation.

Many people who’ve fallen for this “end of the world” hype, and other related prophecies, including an alleged “Large Hadron Collider” that would cause a “big bang or create a large hole to destroy the world (this cited by the website, www.2012hoax.org,) have either have fallen into a depression so deep that they can’t eat, sleep or focus on school, work or other life priorities. Even worse, these same people, many of them young children and teenagers, have either thought of, attempted, or committed suicide. A note-worthy example was a 16-year-old girl in India, who drank insecticide when she heard of the aforementioned LHC hype, courtesy of poorly-made and overhyped reports in the media.

The truth about 12/21/2012 is that is the world as we currently know it will come to an end, and will bring in a new era of perspective and (hopefully) a peace-loving future. However, according to 2012hoax.org, people such as Jose Argulles, Nancy Lieder and RJ Stewart, and websites as www.2012warning.com, continue to feed many people this disgusting lying nonsense for profiting purposes. “First they scare people to death that something terrible is going to happen, then publish books and videos on how to survive the apocalypse”. This is nothing more than a money-grabbing scam.

What’s shocking is that educational TV stations such as History and Discovery Channels, and National Geographic, are airing shows and specials that are backing up the claims to put more fear – using theories and false “evidence” rather than credible research – into the minds of those who already believe, or the more gullible who know nothing about this. This includes young children who watch these stations for educational purposes, in which many parents come to sites like 2012 Hoax for advice on how to tell them the truth about it. When these parents do, these children become confused until the truth sinks in after some time. It’s very unlikely they will stop this on their own, as this hyping is bringing in ratings and profits.

It’s unbelievable that networks such as History and Discovery Channel, which have earned reputations of educating students on history, nature and science with facts, would act so irresponsible with their target audiences.

I call on everyone reading this to sign this petition, telling them we will limit our time watching these stations, or stop watching them altogether, until they cease and desist with these lies and hokum about 2012.

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2. Medicare Scare-Mongering

The text of the petition you see directly below is exactly the same as the one supplied for signature at the bottom of this page. The only difference between them is that this background version provides links, as well as two footnotes, for anyone desiring more information.

P E T I T I O N

To: The New York Times

As with many of the other NY Times editorials on Health Care this year, "Medicare Scare-Mongering" on September 27 appeared to be heavily biased against Republicans. Not only did it accuse them of "cynicism and hypocrisy," but it ended by concluding that:

"... Republicans have done far too good a job at obscuring and twisting the facts and spreading unwarranted fear. It is time to call them to account. President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have to make the case forcefully that health care reform will overwhelmingly benefit Americans -- including the millions of older Americans who participate in Medicare."

While we fully agree that anyone "obscuring and twisting the facts and spreading unwarranted fear" should be called to account, we believe it is irresponsible for a major news organization such as yours to single out Republicans -- especially when there are recent examples of "scare-mongering" by Democrats, including President Obama:

1. A Democratic National Committee advertisement accused Republicans of voting "to abolish Medicare." This was determined to be "NOT TRUE" by FactCheck.org, which published its full analysis on September 8 under the heading of "Senior Scare, Yet Again."

2. During his remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on September 9, President Obama stated that, "One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found that he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about. They delayed his treatment and he died because of it." This was determined to be FALSE* by the St. Petersburg Times' PolitiFact web site, which received a Pulitzer prize earlier this year for (among other accomplishments) "separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters."

In the future, we hope that you will make a special effort to be less biased in both your editorializing and reporting.**


*This was just one of a large number of half-truths and outright falsehoods that have been documented by PolitiFact in its two year coverage of our ongoing national debate about health care. It is only natural that those who are passionately concerned about this issue would tend to exaggerate on occasion, and there is ample evidence of that from advocates of both Democratic and Republican reforms -- including, unfortunately, those who appear to be opposed to any major reforms at all.

And while we the people are fortunate to now have nonpartisan online resources such as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com to help us separate fact from fiction, they have obviously not proven to be much of a deterrent for the age-old political habit of spreading "misinformation." That's why the author of this petition believes it's more important than ever for concerned citizens (especially political Independents) to speak out whenever major news organizations become as biased as the New York Times apparently has.

** A good example was set in 2007-2008 by the Washington Post's effort to "truth squad the national political debate" leading up to the presidential election. Numerous articles were written on Health and other issues, without preferential treatment appearing to be given to either Democrats or Republicans. This was evident in the significant coverage given to presidential candidates Obama and McCain, as well as vice presidential candidates Biden and Palin.

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