Whilst distraught hacks looked on, a spokesperson for All Media today announced that "the grotesque and disproportionate panic about Swine Flu which so many of us have worked so hard to generate in the last two weeks has now receded. But we are confident that we will again be able to inflame a country-wide epidemic of fear in the autumn".
The shock statement came after a new report revealed that media coverage of stories like this 'tend to turn into nothing and are chiefly all about selling newspapers or ratings, whatever the cost. However, once infected with the story, News Editors often seek to return to it and whip up hysteria once more given half a chance'.
The author of the report, An Expert, revealed that many media organisations were still in fact 'carrying Bird Flu' and that there was still a chance that this virus could 'reemerge in sensational articles and pieces to camera at any stage, potentially blended with uninformed comments about Swine flu to create a Really Really Scary Story'.
'The public', noted the report, 'should stay vigilant for doom laden and idiotic predictions accompanied by large diagrams of spiky viruses that ridiculously over simplify everything. Newspapers carrying this kind of story should immediately be put in the bin and great care should be taken not to share the rubbish in them'.
On the steps of A Big Media Organisation, the media spokesperson was surrounded by weeping Feature writers and a visibly shocked group of 'Commentators' as the news was announced. The situation for graphic artists, he added, was particularly desperate. Many had already been hired to produce stupid maps with big arrows showing the spread of the disease, or absurd pie charts illustrating how many people would die.
Openly upset, he addressed his colleagues with the words, "Fear not. For now, we still have the economy, imminent mass death caused by anonymous terrorists, and global warming. And I am very confident that the mass extinction of honey bees gives us great hope for the future."
Fiona Bruce is 73.