Quotes / You Can Panic Now

Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no.' The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and donít actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.
Betteridge's law of newspaper headlines

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    Comic Books 

EVERYTHING AWFUL: Oh God Somebody Do Something
Daily Bugle headline, Hawkeye

    Film — Live-action 

"What we need right now is a clear message to the people of this country. This message must be read in every newspaper, heard on every radio, seen on every television. This message must resound throughout the ENTIRE InterLink! I want this country to realise that we stand on the edge of oblivion!"
Sutler, V for Vendetta

"Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a 7 1/2 foot long.. 54 inch wide.. GORILLA? IS - THAT - WHAT - YOU'RE - TELLING - ME!?"


Has it ever occurred to you how astonishing the culture of Western society really is? Industrialized nations provide their citizens with unprecedented safety, health, and comfort. Average life spans increased fifty percent in the last century. Yet modern people live in abject fear. They are afraid of strangers, of disease, of crime, of the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them. They are in a particular panic over things they can't even see—germs, chemicals, additives, pollutants. They are timid, nervous, fretful, and depressed.

    Live-Action TV 

Russell Howard on the British press, Mock the Week

Newspapers have been doing their bit to calm motorists with headlines like:



"WILL *pound* FUEL *pound* STOCKS *pound* RUN *pound* DRY?!"

Glenn, the Nazis are everywhere. And you're not safe! So here's what you do and take it from me, my people have been through this before: First, you've gotta find an attic. Then hide there for the next three years, and whatever you do, don't make a sound. We'll let you know when it's safe to come out.

    Newspaper Comics 


    Video Games 

The Future of America — Threatened Again! And this time we mean it.
I Say, You Say, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

    Web Original 

Honestly, what brings more anxiety and 'terror' to your day to day life? A few thousand Americans murdered by scum bag extremists? Or the people that remind you that you could be next, every day of your life...that civilization is about to end because 2 men want to get married? Or because some lame school stopped singing Christmas songs. Who cares? Apparently Bill O'Reilly does.

Paul Elam, in his rabid overheated prose, chimed in saying John was met by 20 to 30 crazy feminazis coming at him with box cutters! (I SHIT YOU NOT!!! HONEST!!!) Turns out John's story was bogus (as expected). The feminazis were just tearing down his posters. It's pretty run of the mill for activists for their posters to be torn down, but it seems like too much for brave strong conservative white men.
Encyclopedia Dramatica on Men's Rights Activists

When you apply for a job as an airport screener, you are shown a jar containing three jelly beans and asked to guess how many are inside. If you guess correctly, you are placed in a holding cell and tortured until you give up the bomb's location (nice try, Muhammad)... If you throw the jar of jelly beans into a wall safe and scream for everyone to clear the airport, you are immediately hired.

Trannies! Will! Molest! Your! Daughter! So be absolutely terrified and keep me from the tyranny from a life where I canít write off my exorbitant gay porn bill as 'work-related expenses'!
Sadly, No! rebuts "íLGBTí: The íTí is for Tyranny"

I think that some of my fascination with the news comes from a basic fearfulness, a neurotic belief that the world is a threatening place, but that if I know enough about what is going on, I will be able to avoid the most horrific of disasters.
John Haggerty, "My Personal Fox News Nightmare: Inside a Month of Self-Induced Torture"

Because soy contains "feminizing" estrogen compounds and hence when you feed soy products to your little girl she will menstruate by age 7 and if you feed it to your little boy his testicles might not fully develop until he enters college and if you feed soy milk to your baby (Heathen! Sinner!) your tot will, according to Jimbo, receive the equivalent of five birth control pills per day (italics his) and doing so could actually kill your baby, oh my God, who will save the children from the gay (plant) agenda!
Mark Morford, "Tofu Will Make You Gay"

Through their individual media empires (which cover the media of print, radio, TV, the Internet, and penis-powering vitality serum), (Alex) Jones and (Glenn) Beck alone rake in up to $10 million and $45 million a year, respectively. Hell, they should be thanking the Illuminati for that kind of revenue stream.

Caboose, Red vs. Blue Fire Safety PSA

    Web Video 

A year or so ago, my mom asked by grandad, 'Would you like to be young again now?' And he said, 'No, I wouldn't! Not at all!' I said, 'Why the fuck not?' And he said, y'know, 'I don't like the way the world's gone.' And I'm sort of thinking, 'Jesus, Grandad, when you were my age, World War II had just finished and we were facing nuclear annihilation in the Cold War. And you're saying now is worse?' And that is the effect that reading the Daily Mail had on him, reading it daily. It convinced him that the world was a shit place and getting shitter.
Martin Robbins, "Why the Daily Mail is Evil"

    Western Animation 

It is my professional opinion that now is the time to PANIC!
Child expert, Monsters, Inc..

Kent Brockman: Hordes of panicky people seem to be evacuating the town for some unknown reason. Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
Professor: (soberly) Mmm, yes I would, Kent.

Hermes: Professor, sprinkle us with wisdom from your mighty brain. How scared should we be?
Professor: Somewhere between not at all and entirely.
Zoidberg: I call entirely!
Futurama, "The Beast With a Billion Backs"

    Real Life 

...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Hermann Goering

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken, In Defense of Women (1918)

'Ninety-seven out of one hundred people can be saved,' if they would only get out those shovels, and take Civil Defense seriously. Jack knew, of course, that this was nonsense, but the White House film critic and historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. assured his master that, if nothing else, this was one way 'of making foreign policy less abstract or remote.' Arthur thought that the idea of being blown up would strengthen the fiber of the American people; he did fret that an appeal only to those with backyards might be too narrow an electoral base, since most of those who traditionally voted Democratic could not afford houses, much less backyards.
Gore Vidal on Kennedy administration, Palimpsest

Where FDR once told Americans that they had nothing to fear but fear itself, Ashcroft was delighted to play the part of Fear Itself, an assignment in which he let his imagination run riot.
Frank Rich on U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, The Greatest Story Ever Sold

There have been periodic episodes of this sort right through the 1980s. There's been repeated, huge propaganda efforts establishing some awesome chimera about to destroy us, and then we're miraculously rescued at the last minute. International terrorists, we bomb Lybia and we're saved; narco-traffickers, you smash up Panama and we're saved; even Grenada, y'know, a hundred thousand people were set up as a major threat to our existence.
Noam Chomsky in 1991

We bang on about Islam. Why? Because to the ordinary public out there it's the thing they can understand. It's the thing the newspaper editors sell newspapers with.
Nick Griffin, President of the British National Party