Recently, one of the large supermarket chains had difficulties getting supplies of petrol and diesel delivered to a couple of its locations. It was announced to customers that this was caused by a shortage of lorry drivers, because many European drivers had left the country after Brexit.
The next morning, the tabloid newspapers were splashing stories all over their front pages that petrol stations were going to run out of fuel very soon.
Of course, the TV and radio news latched onto this ‘breaking story’, even though it didn’t actually exist. With the result that panic-buying of fuel started, and continued into this morning. Every fifteen minutes on the rolling TV news channels, a sombre reporter showed images of huge queues outside some petrol stations, and that has resulted in a scramble to buy fuel, bordering on mass hysteria.
So now some petrol stations have actually run out, after selling as much fuel in 24 hours as they might have done in a month. So the real story that didn’t previously amount to much was blown out of all proportion, becoming a reality in the process.
Yes, stupid sheep-brained panic buyers have some responsibility for this chaos.
But the irresponsible media are the real culprits, and should be ashamed.