And I could stop writing now, because the negligence and utter lack of coverage concerning this continuing news story is criminal. But I won’t, because we’ve got an awesome example of media farce from The Washington Post’s website over the weekend.
Chico Harlan wrote a charming little piece, On Japan’s school lunch menu: A healthy meal, made from scratch. For the normal news consumer, it’s a blistering piece against the type of school lunches American children must endure. But from jump street, it’s a bare faced lie. Here is his opening salvo:
In Japan, school lunches mean a regular meal, not one that harms your health. The food is grown locally and almost never frozen.
Yikes! If awards were given out for journalistic malpractice, Mr. Harlan would be in early contention for the 2013 award. Of course, he means to slam the proliferation of GMO foods in the American diet. Regrettably, he does not seem to grasp exactly what’s going on in the Pacific. JUST LAST WEEK, The Independent in Britain reported on murasoi fish with (brace yourself) over 2,540 times the legal limit (whatever that means) of radiation for seafood. This is not a report from 2011, no, this is from the middle of January, 2013. Right now. Today. As in, this is a continuing global problem that nobody seems to recognize or care about.
Chin up, folks. At least Japanese children are eating well in schools! That’s fresh, local food they’re eating, not processed food (ew!) like American school children are subjected to in schools nationwide. Disregard the fact that last year, Michael Collins at Enviroreporter.com reported a doubling of radiation levels in nori seaweed wraps (that would be a doubling from his previous test), so popular with the sushi crowd. Disregard France24 reporting 40% of children in Japan tested have shown thyroid abnormalities, because the school children get fresh, local food! Rejoice!
Since the conventional press has gone collectively silent on the matter, it has been sites such as Enviroreporter and Enenews.com that have picked up the slack. And since most of the news reading public does not frequent these sites nearly enough, a continuing environmental disaster is cast off to the dust bin of history. Tourists to Japan are proving wiser than the news media, as they’re staying away. In large numbers. This is wise. I wouldn’t eat a sushi wrap off Scarlett Johansson’s fine, bare ass. That’s just me, though.
The major problem here is most folks (not just Americans, but everyone on Planet Earth) are just ignorant to the fact that Fukushima is a continuing environmental disaster. People like Chico Harlan, in glossing over and obscuring the on the ground facts, do nothing to curb this trend. I have to admit, it would take a lot of guts for a reporter at MSNBC or The New York Times or Fox News or The Washington Post to expose this nasty fact. Courage unseen in the news anymore.
For a person to learn these kind of hard facts, they need to seek them out actively. This is one of the grand flaws with internet news: when a case of journalistic malpractice does arise, unless you know what you’re seeking out, you will never know. On the bright side, 50 years from now Godzilla will be a documentary and this guy will be an Olympic weight lifting champion.
Until then, we’re going to have to endure the journalistic malpractice we’re seeing more and more with every day. And most people won’t even know they’re being lied to, because the lie of omission is the toughest to recognize.