GMAT Test Prep: CR-16805014 GMAT Critical Reasoning

When a major fire occurs in the city of Springfield, the number of media reports about fires increases, a fear-factor response that often lasts many months after the original incident. These media sources also include discussions about fire safety. Emergency response officials in Springfield claim that the fear frenzy whipped up by the media is responsible for the increased number of reports that appear in the city's media outlets, rather than an increase in the number of actual fires causing the reports.

Which of the following, if true, would seriously weaken the claim of the emergency response officials?
Select one of the following answer choices