FEAR SELLS, BUT WHO'S BUYING?

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Apparently Ohioans are becoming less prone to buying into the hand-wringing, head-clutching hysteria that serves as the meat and potatoes for television news. A Quinnipiac poll released today found that 72 percent of Ohio voters are “not too worried” or “not worried at all” that someone in their family will catch swine flu, and 67 percent say that the media’s reaction to swine flu has been “overblown.”

Our refusal to panic is bad news for TV news producers, such as the one responsible for a segment titled “Death on the Soccer Field,” which aired on a local newscast recently. It shared the shocking news about the danger of falling goal posts injuring — or even killing — your little would-be David Beckham, revealing that one — one! — child a year is killed in the U.S. this way. The reporter stuck a microphone in the face of a mom in the bleachers who blandly said that no, she hadn’t heard about this, and didn’t appear inclined to run screaming onto the field to drag her kid away.

The Quinnipiac poll also reveals that if the current mood of the voters holds, Gov. Strickland would kick the ass of potential Republican candidates Mike DeWine or John Kasich in next year’s election, and that either Jennifer Brunner or Lee Fisher would trounce whomever the Republicans put up in the race to fill retiring Senator George Voinovich’s seat (probably Rob Portman). But it’s unlikely that too many people are panicking about, or are even paying much attention to that yet. — Anastasia Pantsios

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