In Cable Ebola Coverage, It’s the Story vs. the Facts | TIME:
So Thursday night, the facts were: Someone in New York City had Ebola.
Dr. Craig Spencer, who had been volunteering with Doctors Without
Borders treating patients in Guinea, had come back to Manhattan. He’d
followed the accepted guidelines for self-monitoring, checking his temperature twice daily, and watching, per the medical organization’s guidelines,
for “relevant symptoms including fever.” When he detected a fever that
morning–before which, he would not have been infectious–he went to the
But then there’s the story! The story was that the day before Spencer
went to the hospital, he went bowling! He rode in an Uber vehicle! He
went jogging and ate at a restaurant and walked in a park. He rode the
subway–the crowded subway! None of this, according to medical science on
Ebola, presented a danger from a nonsymptomatic person. But it felt wrong in people’s guts. And that makes a better story.
is charismatic, popular, widely beloved. He has, until this point,
faced strong criticism only from the church’s traditionalist fringe, and
managed to unite most Catholics in admiration for his ministry. There
are ways that he can shape the church without calling doctrine into
question, and avenues he can explore (annulment reform, in particular)
that would bring more people back to the sacraments without a crisis. He
can be, as he clearly wishes to be, a progressive pope, a pope of
social justice — and he does not have to break the church to do it.