A term coined by George Will to describe a media driven knee-jerk reaction to a public policy debate designed to increase public interest, and hence, ratings (and government funding for the various entities established to confront the "problem") by framing an issue in eschatological (i.e., biblical, end-of-the-world) language. Examples would include the current effort to raise the debt ceiling as well as global cooling , DDT, the population explosion (1970's), acid rain, nuclear winter, radon and dioxin (1980's), Y2K and global warming (1990's). Eventually, even the dimmer bulbs on the marquee sense that they are being taken for a ride.
Telling us that failing to raise the debt ceiling another couple of trillion dollars (that our grandchildren will have to pay back) will be the end of the world as we know it is guaranteed to produce apocalypse fatigue.
by PBSPinchback July 10, 2011