“Sophisticated Press Manipulation”: Journalist’s detailed critique of PBS Frontline’s Fukushima program

Published: February 10th, 2012 at 10:48 am ET


Title: Nuclear Damage Control
Source: Who What Why
Date: Feb 10, 2012

What if you were promoting an industry that had the potential to kill and injure enormous numbers of people as well as contaminate large areas of land for tens of thousands of years? What if this industry created vast stockpiles of deadly waste but nevertheless required massive amounts of public funding to keep it going? My guess is that you might want to hide that information. […]

the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has just cleared the way for granting the first two licenses for any new reactors in more than 30 years. The new reactors will be built at the Vogtle plant in Georgia, southeast of Augusta.

Even so, the ongoing crisis following meltdowns in three of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan nearly a year ago has shined an unwanted spotlight on the dark side of nuclear power, once again raising questions about the reliability and safety of atomic reactors.

In response, the nuclear industry and its supporters have employed sophisticated press manipulation to move the public conversation away from these thorny issues. One example is PBS’s recent Frontline documentary, Nuclear Aftershocks, which examines the viability of nuclear power in a post-Fukushima world.

What follows is a detailed critique of many of the issues raised in the program, which initially aired January 17, 2012. […]

Read the critique here

Published: February 10th, 2012 at 10:48 am ET


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31 comments to “Sophisticated Press Manipulation”: Journalist’s detailed critique of PBS Frontline’s Fukushima program

    • CaptD CaptD

      Lots of Nuclear Baloney (NB) in the news!

      What a Nuclear Waste!

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        Hey CaptD, did you see on that LINK about baby teeth wanted http://www.radiation.org/ is an article about Christie Brinkley? She discusses RPHP in the cover story of the June 2010 Ladies Home Journal. As an activist concerned about the dangers of nuclear power plants, she can knowledgea­bly cite facts and figures about the issue.

        • CaptD CaptD

          Yes. I hope the Japanese people are going to start sending in their kids teeth ASAP; enough of this *Nuclear Denial

          The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  • CaptD CaptD

    It is time to call MSM on slinging Nuclear Baloney (NB)!

    The Nuclear Fascists* cannot be allowed to get away with this!

    *Nuclear Fascism

  • or-well

    Good article to pass along. Especially to PBS fans.

  • jec jec

    When their children get cancer..THEN they listen. Then its too late.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Many take great pride in their part of this deception..maybe when their children and grandchildren are born with hands coming out of their shoulders ..they will get it!

  • bleep_hits_blades

    The glaring chief problem with this article is that it does NOT refute the whole ‘global warming’ disinfo.

    There is lots of info available now indicating the anthropogenic global warming is NOT HAPPENING. It actually is MORE DISINFORMATION to manipulate the public and have an excuse to tax and regulate and restrict the public more, and probably to achieve other ends – here in this article, we see that this false “global warming” meme is also being used to provides an excuse, or ‘plausible need,’ to develop nuclear energy.

    Just to mention a couple of things I remember reading – one is that Mars, for instance, has been experiencing some warming. The warming that Earth and Mars have experienced seems to be related to cycles in solar (sunspot/solar flare) conditions/activity.

    History shows us that there have been warming and cooling trends in history. For instance, during one cooling trend, the Thames River in England froze over, for I believe the first time in recorded history.

    The early (pre-Columbian)Scandinavian attempt to start a colony on Greenland occurred during a warming period. The warming was short-lived and temporary, Greenland’s weather reverted to its cooler norm, and the Greenland community was not viable due to the return to its more usual very cool/cold weather which did not permit agriculture.

    Carbon fuel emissions are not healthy or good, but in actual fact, they do not cause any rise in global temperatures, is what I have read.

    One also needs to keep in mind that other cleaner and cheaper energy sources/technologies have been developed and are promptly squashed (by powerful interests like the oil industry – and maybe the nuke power industry, as well, these two probably being controlled by the same or overlapping interests) – inventor dies mysteriously, or, I have read that promising patent applications are given a ‘military use’ designation, which results in their being permanently shelved, not approved.

    • GoFrodo

      Good catch. The greater deception of the global-warming/nukes-are-green still looms.

    • Too bad global warming haS been tied to taxes…still that does not negate it’s existance …nuclear is clean energy a monkey’s arse

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Sorry bleep, no matter how long you are blaming Mars for rising temperatures or are against taxing the ones who cause big pollution to our atmosphere….it’s still incorrect.
      It’s not a tax issue. It’s about life being possible for us in conditions we can handle. We’re about to lose that.

    • ion jean ion jean

      Global Warming…Scientists R in Disagreement about this.

      Just saying!!

      Nobody loves the planet and all her creatures like I do…yet I must agree that this Scientific Theory is not yet Fact…

      My theory is…look at the Van Allen Belts…did we create, enhance, amplify the earth’s radiation fields by injecting fission products into the ionosphere??? Could global temperatures be rising because of nuclear atmospheric contamination? Does Strontium 90 fractionate (multiply) in the upper atmosphere? DOES PLUTONIUM HEAT WATER? Then why wouldn’t it heat air?

      This theory gives credence to certain actions by certain nations…HAARP technology came into use by 1969 (Russia, China, US, the same three responsible for ALL the fallout and ALL the media manipulation) which also messes with the ionosphere!

      The Race to Space occurred at this time…did they need to check something out up there? We’ll never know…there’s stuff from WWII that’s STILL Classified. Only more Whistleblowers and Hackers will pry those documents out of cold, dead hands!

  • Nuclear Damage Control

    What if you were promoting an industry that had the potential to kill and injure enormous numbers of people as well as contaminate large areas of land for tens of thousands of years? What if this industry created vast stockpiles of deadly waste but nevertheless required massive amounts of public funding to keep it going? My guess is that you might want to hide that information.

    From the heyday of the environmental movement in the late 1960s through the late 1970s, many people were openly skeptical about the destructive potential of the nuclear power industry. After the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in central Pennsylvania in March 1979 and the explosion of Chernobyl’s unit four reactor in the Ukraine in April 1986, few would have predicted that nuclear power could ever shake off its global pariah status.
    Yet, thanks to …


  • Do Not Eat Fish

    I somehow missed the Gazette report, but my hunch all along is that hot-particle-ridden fish are not the best thing for your health.

    This one struck me as strange because the business websites have been on the side of the industry up to now (Forbes.com etc.). Also because salmon is not mentioned, the one’s that swim all the way to Japan and back to the West Coast of N America. The Canadian government somehow came up with 12 clean salmon but I think to err on the side of caution might make us live longer. The not knowing is as good as knowing when it comes to radioactive fish: both are telling you not to eat them.

    I’m also (still) wondering if there is a little green Martian hovering above us in his ship with all kinds of sensitive instruments saying to him/herself: “These guys are done, but don’t know it.”

    ——— QUOTE FROM AVOVE ARTICLE —————————
    A report in January in the Montreal Gazette noted that Japanese testing for radioactive cesium revealed contamination in sixteen of 22 species of fish exported to Canada. Radioactive cesium was found in 73 percent of the mackerel tested, 91 percent of the halibut, 92 percent of the sardines, 93 percent of the tuna and eel, 94 percent of the cod and anchovies, and 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark, and monkfish. These tests were conducted in November and indicate that the radioactivity is spreading, because tuna, for example, is caught at least 900 kilometers (560 miles) off shore.

    Read more: http://whowhatwhy.com/2012/02/10/nuclear-damage-control/#ixzz1m1Jl6JHg

  • Sickputer

    The article was good…one major glaring omission was Baker’s use of former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan (and big nuke puke)Kazumasa Iwata’s estimate of $250 billion for the Fukushima cleanup.

    Perhaps Russ did not know Kazumasa Iwata made that estimate May 31, 2011 or that estimates made by far more learned scholars that aren’t nuclear cabal brown-nosers are an order of magnitude higher.

    Fukushima’s “cleanup” costs (or more accurately the cost of the radiation environmental damages that will linger until the end of human existence) will be in the many trillions of dollars.

    There is no “cleanup” possible as decontamination is a myth for extremely long-lived radioactive contamination. The land is lost for millennia in many areas of Japan and that zone is expanding. It’s the ugly secret of the disaster that nobody in the Japanese government wants to admit.

    The article also perpetuated the 10% of Chernobyl releases which learned scholars of the nuclear disaster know is a complete fabrication. Although not a nuclear scientist I estimate Fukushima is in common radioactive isotope comparisons 10 times worse than Chernobyl releases (may eventually be 100 times worse) and with the plutonium factor it is incomparably worse by a factor we can’t assign.

    If 50% of Fukushima Daiichi’s fuel vaporizes unto the jetstream there will be serious loss of life in the Northern Hemisphere. We can only pray that the fires can be halted before that happens.
    The ocean contamination is equally enormous and predictions on how bad those toxins will be to carbon forms is going to create a new branch of environmental scientists. Wild tuna fish sandwiches, Alaskan king crab and salmon will suffer a serious public relation backlash when the word gets out (and it will).
    If they thought tainted Tylenol and agar in apples was bad….by 2013 things will be a nightmare in the fishing industry…a virtual economic collapse in populations who can afford alternative…

    • CaptD CaptD

      Then consider Japan as a test case; they are a major nuclear “user” and now they have a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster that is affecting their entire Country, how would California (and or the USA) pay for a similar event? Where would people relocate to and what would they do for housing, since their home owners insurance has a nuclear exclusion? If this happened in San Onofre, the “coastal” real estate loses alone would be more than a trillion dollars and the rest of the USA is downwind.

      If people really knew the true cost of Fukushima, the people would demand CHANGE and that is something that some of those in Government and the entire Nuclear Industry want to avoid at all cost!

      What will determine the total cost of their “Trillion Dollar” Eco-Disast­er?

      Please feel free to add your comments and or estimates to this list:
       Decommissi­oning costs
       Loss to all other radioactiv­e decontamin­ation caused by this Disaster.
       Loss of revenues by Tepco
       Loss to TEPCO’s share holders caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss of Japanese personal income caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss to Japanese businesses caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss of all Japanese health costs related to radioactiv­ity
       Loss due to unusable Japanese Land related to radioactiv­ity
       Loss due to Japanese housing caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss of Japanese Property Values caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss of fishing grounds caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss of manufactur­ing caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss to the value of the Yen caused by radioactiv­ity
       Loss to other Utilities caused by Fukushima’­s radioactiv­ity
       Loss to Japans credit rating caused by Fukushima’­s radioactiv­ity
       Loss to the Japanese peoples Lives because of radiation

  • Sickputer

    ….alternative foods.

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    A round of applause for all the enenewsers who saw through that Frontline doc from the get go! Here’s to us!

  • StillJill StillJill

    Here’s my favorite line in the whole gosh darned piece! 🙂

    “shined an unwanted spotlight on the dark side of nuclear power”.

    Let’s keep our batteries charged, shall we? 🙂

  • This sort of public manipulation has been going on for years.

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

    streetcars were replaced by the less efficient and more dangerous private car decades ago. electric motors need only have there bearings replaced every ten years vs athe servicing required for a deisel engine with many more moving parts. no tires engine oil etc to buy with street cars. Big business has been looking after itself for years. Can make a similar analogy with nuclear vs solar or wind or tidal or hydro etc power. Insurance companies won’t insure nuclear, years of dealing with nuclear waste not accounted for. How many houses could be equipped with solar panels especially in the sun belt of Georgia for the 8 billion dollars public money is going toward that new plant?

  • Sickputer

    The next time we hear the 10% of Chernobyl lie…hit them with a couple of broadsides:

    “Japanese estimates rely primarily on data from monitoring posts inside Japan, which never recorded the large quantities of radioactivity that blew out over the Pacific Ocean, and eventually reached North America and Europe.”


    I am going to have some more word ammo for Maija before her Salem conference…go get’m girl! You rock!


    • Same old story, every accident, same thing happens..

      There is NO black box when it comes to nuclear power plants.

      No actual readings from downwind are ever used. They use only ‘estimates’ based on faulty data, nominalization and statistical averaging, rounding, with computer software programmed to find ‘no harm’ solutions..

      No one can argue with a computer, so the industry and the authorities who report this ‘officially’, means that they win every time… No one harmed, no ‘unsafe’ radiation levels… computers cannot lie..

      If you pr your kids die or get sick, the industry is NOT liable, responsible or at fault, EVER.

      The computers say so…

      Move on, nothing to see here… the officials have spoken.

  • CaptD CaptD

    Solar (of all flavors) is now less costly and far SAFER than nuclear; here are the links
    (The hand writing is on the wall):
    10 strikes: http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/climate/dirtyenergy/nuclear.cfm
    Energy Options: http://wp.me/P1YIeo-fi
    Nuclear Down despite connections: http://is.gd/wGsIWS
    The End of the Nuclear Renaissance: http://is.gd/61Z8KF
    Nuclear power plants too expensive for Croatia: http://is.gd/FYyldW
    Gambling on nuclear power: http://is.gd/4qMpgK

    The industry is pushing “New Nuclear” but it is like the ice men telling folks to buy new ice boxes instead of the new fangled refrigerators that put the ice men out of business! If people have a real choice and are not made to swallow Nuclear Baloney (NB) by the Industry and or their powerful lobbyists then America and the world will be a much safer place by starting to Shift to Solar (of all flavors) ASAP!

    Remember N☢ Country can afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster…

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    It would have been more of an “investigative” examination of the Frontline (CIA) disinformation piece on Fukushima Dai ichi if the analysis was about Frontline producers, their backgrounds and associations, funding sources and it’s role in perpetuating disinformation that looks documentary. Ah, but no…that’s not what we got. Looks more like pathetic damage control–yet another sleezy layer of lavender. Tra la la.