Andrew Speaker, the infamously contagious jet-setting TB patient of a week ago, may have dodged a bullet where spreading his germs are concerned, but he's been something of a media pandemic, infesting..plaguing!...hot zoning!...news coverage left and right. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Speaker's antics occupied twelve percent of the available "newshole" during the week of May 27 through June 1. By way of comparison, this is nearly twice as much attention garnered by the events in Iraq.
We'll be following the influence of "TB Guy" closely to determine if this re-emergence of global health scares in the news has any sort of cultural impact--like, say, a general uptick in the purchases of Robin Cook novels. Suffice it to say, we're completely confident that somewhere, out there, Law and Order executive producer Dick Wolf is ripping up some headlines.*
*Speaking of: We're still sizing up the recently launched interactive media futures market, Media Predict, but we have to suggest "What Story Is Headed for Life as a Law and Order Adaptation" would be a truly killer app.
The Infamous 'TB Traveler' is the Top Story [PEJ]