The sad punchline is that, because of the publicity around Vinson's visit, and the subsequent mindless terror, Coming Attractions announced it was going out of business.A woman named Terri Crispin -- who's never shopped at Coming Attractions -- heard the story and decided to set up a gofundme page to keep the store from going under. Akron has offered some vacant properties to help Coming Attractions relocate; Anna Younker, who owns the store, is considering that option.
"There's a lot of stigma that's going along with Ebola and we still get calls, 'is it safe to come in there?'" said Kayla Litz, store manager at Coming Attractions. "You can't Google the word 'Coming Attractions' without the word 'Ebola' coming up. A lot of people wanted refunds. They didn't want their dresses." Customers are still coming in now, but the store was closed for most of October and November. The business never recovered after Vinson's visit. "We tried very hard the last few months to bounce back, but it's just not happening. So the decision was made last week to cut our losses and close."This blows so many goats in so many different ways. But it is a measure of what fear can do even in the smallest places when it is fanned vigorously enough by the institutions that profit from it.
Maybe that's the solution. But I think the people who owe restitution to Coming Attractions are the media outlets that fanned Ebola hysteria and then walked away when it proved unfounded.
The networks and cable outlets -- Fox and CNN in particular -- should send high-priced talent to Akron to personally try on bridal gowns at Coming Attractions. Yes, I'm talking to you, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Media stars should show up along with the kindly TV doctors from their network crews, and they should discuss the fact that Ebola lives on inanimate objects only for a very short time -- certainly not for months -- and, besides, the store and its mrchandise have undergone ultraviolet decontamination.
I'm putting this in a way that might stir up more fear than it quells, but I'd leave it up to the on-air talent to find a way to say all this in a reassuring manner. Don't they pay those folks the big bucks because they know how to do that?
The key point should be famous people trying the dresses on. Show us it's safe. Make amends for the panic you spread.
Fox certainly isn't going to do that, of course -- at Fox, nothing can be broadcast that threatens the advancement of the Master Conervative Narrative. Something like this would be an admission of error, which would suggest to viewers that other elements of the Master Narrative could be erroneous. Can't have that!
But other TV news outlets could step in. They won't, though, and it's outrageous, because they owe.