UGA Cancels Speaker Over Ebola Fears

The University of Georgia has cancelled a speech by FrontPageAfrica Newsroom Editor Wade C. L. Williams after several people, including parents, expressed concerns that the speaker could expose the campus to the Ebola virus.

UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication had invited Williams to speak on Oct. 22 for the prestigious McGill Lecture.

FrontPageAfrica reports that Williams, a Liberian journalist, met the news with mixed feelings:

“Despite my disappointment, I’m not angry with the University of Georgia. They felt they could not wear the barrage of criticism that would be directed at them if they allowed a Liberian journalist who covers Ebola on their campus and on a U.S.soil.” She partly blamed the level of misinformation in the U.S. press that led to the University administration being paranoid and canceling what could have been a very educative lecture.

“But the hysteria in the U.S. media about the virus and the possibility of it spreading is counterproductive and must stop,” [s]he said. “I worry that my fellow Liberians and Africans traveling abroad will be treated like pariahs and unfairly discriminated against as the region and word tries to battle this deadly virus.”

Williams is not alone in her criticism of the media-driven hysteria over Ebola. Just this week, Syracuse University rescinded an invitation to participate in a journalism workshop from Michel du Cille, a photojournalist from the Washington Post, because he had been in Liberia over three weeks ago.

But du Cille, unlike Williams, didn’t mince words:

“It’s a disappointment to me,” du Cille said. “I’m pissed off and embarrassed and completely weirded out that a journalism institution that should be seeking out facts and details is basically pandering to hysteria.”

9 comments

  1. View from Brookhaven says:

    Whatever your son/daughter did in Athens last night was more hazardous to their well-being than this woman, you pearl clutchers.

    • Will Durant says:

      Perhaps Mr. Buckley would have described it this way?

      Histrionics due to media generated hysteria partially fueled by the maniacal circumlocution from pompous politicians. This all could be considered hysterically humorous if not for all the collateral damage of paranoia in these attempts to prosecute the other party’s policies rather than remaining rational.

  2. saltycracker says:

    Pearl clutching – Protestant rosary beads……

    Kinda cavalier to ask a Liberian journalist who covers Ebola to UGA to talk….
    So ask him to wear a wireless body temperature monitoring device……

    How do you find hypocrites among the hosts ?…..ask if they buy lottery tickets…..

    One more tip, do not stand in the doorway in the fat chance the bells go off !

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    Good call. It’s another example of Georgia leveraging assets, like its doing with its highway transportation infrastructure, to keep Georgia No.1 for business.

  4. Charlie says:

    Sigh:

    Perdue Commends University Of Georgia’s Ebola Precautions

    ATLANTA, GA – The University of Georgia recently cancelled the visit of a Liberian journalist out of concern for the spread of Ebola. Regarding the University’s decision, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, David Perdue, made the following statement:

    “The Ebola crisis continues to be a serious concern here in Georgia. The President’s lack of leadership on the matter is putting American lives at risk. The national response to Ebola must be a comprehensive, well-coordinated effort that includes a travel ban from Ebola-stricken countries. I’m encouraged to see The University of Georgia take additional precautions to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our students and communities. Our federal government must follow their lead and enact a travel ban immediately.”

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