Can we trust the media?
Germany’s massive public funded radio and television demonstrates to us that the answer is: not always. Yesterday many media outlets reported on the 2-year anniversary of Japan’s “earthquake/tsunami/Fukushima” disaster. The way some German public television and radio outlets are presenting the disaster 2 years later would probably make even North Korean state media officials blush.
For example, (hat-tip EIKE) flagship German public television ARD presented the story yesterday, claiming:
Japan remembers the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami catastrophe of 2 years ago. A scale 9 earthquake had shaken the northeast of the country and caused a tsunami. This caused a reactor accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Almost 16,000 people died. Thousands are still missing.”
I heard the very same deception earlier yesterday morning on German public NDR
DisInfo radio. The reality, of course, is that so far not a single death has been attributed to the Fukushima accident. But that’s the last thing Germany’s manipulative public media want their audiences to believe.
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Today Japan is remembering the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami catastrophe of two years ago. A powerful earthquake of 9 had shaken the northeast part of the country and unleashed an up to 20-meter tsunami. A reactor accident resulted at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Thereby 16,000 people were killed. Thousands are still missing.”
Even bolder and misleading about it was anchor Thorsten Schröder (see video and quote above) of the ARD Tagesschau, early yesterday morning.
In a functioning democracy, a good public media editor would make sure that the facts are presented clearly and accurately. But a slimey, manipulative editor might take the chance to intentionally mislead the people, and later defend his action by saying: well, you can’t prove it! and that “there is no reason to be talking about a blatantly false report or the like“.
German reporting by ARD and ZDF public television and radio on climate change is no less manipulative. Climate change is real and is happening right now. Never mind the all the cold winters we’ve been having, they keep telling us, ignoring the real data.
Germany’s green public media have long been on a mission to upbring citizens on responsible energy use, climate, and environmentalism. So we suspect here they just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to remind viewers and listeners that nuclear is bad and kills thousands.
Germany’s now famous Energiewende – energy transition from fossil and nuclear energy to renewables – is coming under increasing fire from the public due to its trillion-euro and still rising price tag, and the media are desperate for a story to convince the public that it is still “the right thing to do”. Fukushima was an opportunity to help do just that.