Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sensationalist Reporting on Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Issues Goes on Unabated… Counter-productive to Anti-Nuclear Movement

The situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plants aren't the cozy situation that the Japanese government want us to believe. The reports are the water is leaking from one of the reactors again and until they get a better look, they can't make any judgements on what to do.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant found that the water level in the No. 2 reactor's primary containment vessel was only 60 centimeters deep when it checked the interior of the crippled reactor using an endoscope, Kyodo news agency reported.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Junichi Matsumoto gave assurances that the melted fuel inside the No. 2 reactor remains cooled through continuous water injection, as the water temperature in the vessel was 48.5 C to 50 C.

But he acknowledged that the lower-than-expected water level suggests that a large portion of the injected water is leaking from the primary containment vessel, possibly via the damaged suppression pool that is linked to the reactor.

This is the kind of reporting we need; Just the facts. If we have the facts, then we can decide the best course of action to take.

But when the reporting gets more and more sensationalistic, it helps no one. In fact, I submit to you that sensationalist reporting is actually damaging to both sides of an argument... It is especially damaging to the reporter as they become like the "Boy who cried wolf." The consumers of such sensationalism and mis-reporting become ambivalent and jaded... Just look at the average citizen who consumes too much TV to see the results of this sort of junk brainwashing: Too much junk in equals a junk public.

Moving a little farther towards the sensationalist side of the reporting - but not quite there yet - is a good example. This time from Gizmodo: Over a Year Later, Fukushima’s Radiation Is Still Fatal

What a difference a year makes: none. Reactor #2 at Fukushima Daichi is still leaking enough radiation to kill you.

Al Jazeera reports "One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant's stability," adding, ominously, that safety workers "will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant. The process is expected to last decades."

Decades. And that's likely an eager estimate. With radiation levels at ten times the fatal exposure level and coolant water evaporating away, TEPCO, the incompetent power firm which owns the plant, still has a giant radioactive mess on its bib. Sending workers toward the reactor will either kill or poison them, and pumping more water into the core will result in contaminated spillage and steam reaching the ocean and beyond.

The tech to repair the reactor doesn't exist yet. Developing that will take time. In that same time, radiation seeps inexorably in a nation of 130 million, and nearly 100,000 people within a 450 square mile dead zone can't go back home. This is only year one—the Fukushima story is far, far from over. 

Do you notice the obvious slant and commentary in the story? First, the use of the word, "ominously" makes me wonder about an agenda of the writer, but I can still live with that. Next? Calling TEPCO "incompetent" is commentary and has no place in serious reporting. Incompetent? Compared to what? The Japanese government? 

I keep hearing that TEPCO is incompetent. Maybe so. And I also hear many saying that the Japanese government should nationalize TEPCO and those power plants. Now that's a big joke. Talk about having the insane take over the asylum! The people who ran TEPCO, before the March 11 disaster, had turned that company into the 4th largest and most profitable energy company in the world; the largest in all of Asia... The Japanese government? They've turned this country into one of the most indebted (to GDP) nations on earth... And people want to replace the "incompetents" at TEPCO with the Japanese government? 

I think the most incompetent people in this picture are the idiots calling for such a nationalization of TEPCO, a private company. It's not needed nor desired at all. And neither is bailing them out with public money. f they can't make it, let them go bankrupt and new, competent management come in and take over. Bailing them out only allows the "incompetents" (if they really are such) to stay in their jobs.

But I digress...

Going farther away from the serious and credible reporting, we go to the dark side. This is where the writers foam at the mouth and total conjecture and paranoia are passed off for reporting. It is the recent trend of news reporting being meshed with political commentary. I find this trend quite disturbing and consider it to be quite counter-productive to finding a solution. In this case, it is bad for both the pros and the cons to the argument. 

Japanese Citizens are left with no further possible recourse besides a revolt to end the gross human rights abuses being committed by the government of Japan.

The Japanese are finally noticing that they are surrounded by the invisible walls.
Since the bubble ended in 1992, Japan has been in a long recession, called Japan’s lost 20 years.
Leaders changed like revolving lantern.

The article claims "tens of thousands of demonstrators"... But even event organizers
only claimed 12,000. Police claimed 7,000... I suspect this photo has been Photoshopped

Japanese citizens became aware that their voice is not reflected in the political situation but they tried to ignore the fact and indulged themselves in the fading prosperity.
However, they cannot ignore it anymore.
Since 311, their government has been trying to kill the people instead of saving them.

In the very first sentence, the writer calls for a revolt against the government? I'm sure that will go over very well with average Joe-Happoshu. Then he says that, "Since 311, their government has been trying to kill the people instead of saving them"????!!!! Now, you won't find me arguing with you when you say the government is incompetent, but to say that the Japanese government's purpose over the last 12 months is the extermination of the Japanese people is just laughable.

You guys don't expect anyone, excepting your comic book reading friends, to take you seriously do you?   

The caption read: "Police Clash With Thousands in Tokyo Protesting Nuclear Lies, Incompetence and Censorship"... You call this a "clash"? You can see more of a scuffle at an AKB48 concert.  

The above is not a clash.... That's nothing... Now here, below, this is a "clash":

The writer then goes on to name a litany of actions by people to change the course of government actions. You know, the usual: Petitions, demonstrations, discussions.... Ho hum... 

Another sentence by the writer that just shows a complete lack of knowledge of Japanese history is this gem:

The Japanese have not felt the necessity of revolt this much since the last Japanese revolution in the mid 19th century. 

Really, this guy seems like he didn't study much in school nor does he have much a grasp on contemporary issues in Japan. The idea that the Japanese haven't "felt the necessity of revolt this much since the last Japanese revolution" makes me wonder where this guy was in the 70s and 80s.

This blather comes from the Fukushima Diary which seems to be a blog clearly written with the purpose of making the owner a name for himself. He reminds me of the Global Warming Believers; they need a crisis. Where there is none they will create it. That Alexander Higgins would repeatedly quote this junior high school level nonsense is not up to par. If this keeps up, I will have to delete the link to his blog at the right side of my blog. Too bad. Alexander was doing a good job reporting these matters several months ago and did a good job on OWS... This is crap reporting...

I commented to this article at Alexander's site:

   You have to realize that there are over 35 million households in the Tokyo area alone. I don’t mean to belittle the demonstrators but a weekend gathering of 10,000 people to protest nuclear power isn’t going to impress too many in the government. Also, there were no “clashes with police.” This sort of news exaggeration doesn’t help anyone.

    When, someday, the people do serious actions like get together, march and then, say, burn their credit cards in a city square then people in power will sit up and take notice. A weekend demonstration for a few hours at a park with a peaceful march through downtown… Then back to home and watching TV is BS…. Happens all the time.

People will say “But the Japanese are docile and don’t revolt.” Quite untrue. Here’s a few video of real Japanese revolts and fights against the government. Some of these riots happened as recently as 1985. Like I said, these fun get-togethers at the park don’t impress anyone.

To belabor the point, the article also goes on with a litany of examples of how bad the situation has become in Japan. One of the claims is that, "People in Okinawa is (sic) starting to claim that they are having nosebleed or sore throat." Of course, there are no links or references to support the claims. 


Marchers in Tokyo. You do the math: 35 million homes in Tokyo Metropolitan area... 10,000 at a demonstration? Sorry... Japanese department stores get more than that when they are having a sale! 

But getting back to my point; it is this kind of "reporting" that is actually damaging to the anti-nuclear movement. Actually, this isn't reporting at all. It is political commentary disguised as reporting and has no place in a serious discussion of the issues. 

Once again, the anti-nuclear people will attack me for this post, but, folks, get serious. This kind of comic-book reporting does your movement absolutely no good at all and makes serious people just roll their eyes when you speak or write.

If you want to do good serious reporting, please do. If you want to write fiction, then there is a much more profitable and hungry market for it in the romantic novel section at your local bookstore or on Kindle.... 

If you do want to write seriously, then do yourselves a favor and please stick to the facts... Doing otherwise and exaggerrating and writing like the article I mentioned is to make a laughing stock of yourselves... 

Unless, of course, your purpose is actually to discredit the anti-nuclear movement as being fools. For some reason I don't suspect that you are merely "acting" like fools.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Okinawa "nose-bleed" story might have come from this "Escape to Okinawa".

All part of the service.

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