I think I have seen everything in terms of media mendacity and in terms of media gullibility and then, something happens to make me realize I haven’t seen s…!
Today, as I am stepping high on the elliptical as I do several days a week (thank you for asking), CNN announces that debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan is reaching North America. The announcer switches to the CNN special envoy on a deserted un-indentified Alaska beach.
The special envoy is dressed in Alaska- suitable foul-weather gear although the sun is shining brightly on the beach. One shot shows him dramatically as if holding in his arms about twenty large objects. They are meant to identify the kind of garbage torn off the Alaskan coastline by the tsunami and floated to the western hemisphere. (But there is more, wait a minute).
I have a problem with what’s shown by CNN as washed off debris from Japan. Every item of that debris could have come off a fishing boat; most of the items shown had to come from a boat.
First, boats, including Japanese fishing boats, can operate 200 miles or less from the Alaskan coast. I am not denying that some coastal debris could float from Japan. I just dislike false reports especially when they come from a news organization.
Second, if the debris come from a fishing boat, it’s difficult to accredit the idea that it’s carrying radiation, deadly radiation to be precise. The debris has to come from the vicinity of the damaged nuclear reactor to be useful in that regard.
CNN is either trying to contribute to the paradoxically widespread sentiment of insecurity among our overfed yet extremely healthy, long-living, super-entertained contemporaries, or it’s really, really stupid. Knowing CNN, I can’t categorically reject the second explanation.
Let me be specific: There is to-date no report of radiation sickness in Japan or elsewhere following the tsunami coming from a scientifically valid source. It’s none, zero. If you think otherwise, send a comment to this blog. I will publish it immediately. Of course, I may comment on your comment. You may use a pseudonym. Come to think of it, perhaps you should.
And by the way, I have bad news for those who believe the world will end December 21 of this year. It’s not the date the old Maya gave for the end it’s just that they did not know how to count beyond that date. That’s according to a Boston University archaeologist who discovered a later Maya calendar a couple of months ago inside a pyramid.
[Editor's note: this essay first appeared on Dr. Delacroix's blog, Facts Matter, on May 22nd 2012]