As a seasoned veteran of the mass media, I knew from decades of experience that one must always take with a huge grain of salt what is broadcast on the mass media as "news." On this very blog I reported about many past exaggerations. On March 18, in the midst of the disaster, and while events were unfolding, I warned people not to believe the mass media sensationalism. In the post entitled: Japan Nuclear Disaster Update and Strong Criticism of Western Media Sensationalism I wrote:
The western media is having a field day with the nuclear accident in Japan. If you believe them, you'd think all of Japan were underwater and that we are all about to die. This sort of crass sensationalism is a damned disgrace and you should be very skeptical of what these idiots are telling you. The guys working in the news are wishing for big stories. If they can't get them, they make them.
Remember my Golden Rule about TV: "90% of everything you see on TV is bullshit; the other 10% are commercials."
Actually, it astounds me that people do accept what what the media says as gospel truth. Don't forget that this is the very same media that told us 3 years ago that Swine Flu was going to kill more than 50 million people worldwide. This was the same media that told us that the USA had to invade Iraq because of Saddam's nooklar weapons. This was the same media that told us that SARS also was a killer virus that was going to wipe out entire populations. This was the same media that told us that Bird Flu was going to do the same.
As of today, worldwide deaths from Swine Flu: 82. No nuclear weapons for Saddam (if he had any, do you really think we would have invaded Iraq?). Worldwide deaths from SARS: 100. Worldwide deaths from Bird Flu: 80. Don't even get me started on Man Made Global Warming!
Fact of the matter is that this is the same media who constantly exaggerates stories in order to sell advertising space to an extremely gullible public. When will people ever learn? If history is any example then the answer is: Never. They'll never learn.
Even so, that some people - especially those with pregnant wives or small children - decided to send their families away just to be on the safe side, these people deserve no criticism. The ones who deserve strong criticism are the foreign management who left their positions of management all the while claiming to take business trips while leaving their Japanese staff to hold the fort.
If they thought it was so dangerous that they had to leave then, as management, they had a duty to take care of their Japanese staff first. The captian is not the first to abandon ship.
Besides deserving scorn and ridicule those people don't deserve their jobs.
I wrote about this sort of poor management in Tokyo Crisis Update: Nuclear Meltdowns, Drama Queens, TV News and Coca Cola