Mainstream Media Buries the Lead, Again

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

 

The headline in yesterday’s USA Today read “The World to the Rescue.” It was followed by the sub-headline, “Japan crisis showcases social media’s muscle.” When I saw this, I immediately thought that the nuclear crisis was under control and folks were using the Internet to help the island country recover.

The story said, “Japan’s disaster has spotlighted the critical role that social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, You Tube and Skype increasingly are playing in responses to crises around the world. They may have been designed largely for online socializing and fun, but such sites and others have empowered people caught up in crises and others wanting to help to share vivid, unfiltered images, audio and text reports before governments or more traditional media can do so.” (Click here for the complete USA Today story.)

On the following page, this headline, “Powerful aftershocks rock Japan, kill teenager.” It was about evacuations around the crippled power plant and a 7.0 aftershock that killed a 16-year old girl. At the end very end of the article came a quote from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano who said, “The nuclear accident is not stabilized” and that “We cannot deny the possibility the situation could get worse.” WHAT?! This is a quote on page 2 of the paper buried at the end of a story about evacuations and the death of a teenager. Why in the heck was this not the lead story? I worked at ABC and CNN for 9 years as an investigative correspondent, and this kind of news judgment is baffling to me. Social networking is cool and all, but the situation is still dire and out of control. The quote was not from some faceless confidential source but a very high ranking member of the Japanese government. This is not over by a long shot, but the front page story leads me (and I’ll bet a lot of other people) to believe the most important part of the story now is Facebook? But, buried on the next page, a high ranking Japanese official is saying, “The nuclear accident is not stabilized” and that “We cannot deny the possibility the situation could get worse.” You have got to be kidding me.

In my opinion, the USA Today editors are brain dead, missed a big front page story, or are just trying to spin the news to not scare the public too much. Granted, there is not much of a health problem from the nuclear meltdown here in the U.S. (yet), but this accident is already being compared to Chernobyl in 1986. That is the worst nuclear meltdown on record, and now we have a contender to take the crown. Why that was not a front page story is beyond me. To the paper’s credit, in the online version hours after the newspaper hit the streets, USA Today did report, “Japan regulators raise severity of nuclear accident.” The story went on to say, “Japan ranked its nuclear crisis at the highest possible severity on an international scale — the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster — even as it insisted Tuesday that radiation leaks are declining at its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant. . . . The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant is the second-worst in history. It does not signal a worsening of the plant’s status in recent days or any new health dangers.”

Oddly, the story contained a quote from the Prime Minister of Japan that contradicted the Chief Cabinet Secretary. USA Today reported, “Japan’s prime minister, Naoto Kan went on national television and urged people not to panic. “Right now, the situation of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant has been stabilizing step by step. The amount of radiation leaks is on the decline,” he said. “But we are not at the stage yet where we can let our guard down.” (Click here to see the complete USA Today article.)

Well which is it? Is the nuclear situation under control, or is the newspaper allowing spin doctoring from the Japanese government? I frankly just do not know, but I do know more and more people are turning away from mainstream media (MSM). The MSM doesn’t really lie; it just leaves out information or chooses not to cover a story. People are turning to the Internet to fill in the blanks.

Robert Hamburger of Hamburgersstand.com echoes the frustration the public is having with the MSM. Hamburger said recently, “Today’s news is not investigative reporting; nor does investigative reporting make the news. Today’s mainstream news is the American People being told what they should think. At the bottom of the news food chain is Fox News. Fox is the distraction that has succeeded in getting the “have nots” to support policies that benefit the rich, the Christian Right to believe in the need to bomb others, and patriots to ignore our Constitution. Similarly CNBC and Fox Business are Wall Street’s networks. They tell us what big business wants us to believe.” (Click here to read the complete post from Hamburgersstand.com.) I could not have said it better myself.

Comments
  1. John Bernard

    Greg
    I don’t get the last part of this article. Do you mean to support the idea that Fox News is less reliable than ABC, NBC, et al ? I agree that Fox has lately become more liberally biased, socialist leaning, and generally a happy time issue avoidance mechanism but not the bottom of the News Food Chain. Murdoch has been swayed by his sons’ opinions, enamored of Obama, and infected by the CNN clones he has hired. There is practically nowhere now to get a real handle on what is happening.

    With regard to the Japanese crisis I was disappointed with Fox’s coverage which kept making the comparison to Three Mile Island;an incident that was controlled with no deaths.

    It seemed that sensationalism ruled the day.

    • Greg

      John Bernard,
      There are plenty of stories that FOX News ignores. For example: the $127 billion forgiveness of sour mortgage debt from Freddie Mac. Niel Cavuto was asked about it by a friend of mine at a local radio station and Cavuto said I was correct but of course never covered it. $127 billion for one bank and that was not a story, but fighting over a $60 billion in cuts is? If the Republicans really want to cut the deficit then let’s start with the forgiveness of $127 billion in bankster fraud pushed on to the taxpayer through Freddie. I don’t know if FOX News is any less reliable but its no better than the rest of them. FOX is useful in that it will bring up political issues the left wing media will not. Thanks for weighing in today.
      Greg

  2. Art Barnes

    MSM’s continued spin as to the news is mind boggling. CNBC is the worst of the bunch on the economy. Mr. Hamburger’s statement was especially astute. Why the media has chosen this path can only mean that high up in the media’s organizations they know we are a “sunset
    empire” and are fading fast. They understand that the destructive policies of yesterday have now arrived, remember the titanic, the band played on after the iceberg with the announcement all is well, don’t worry. They simply are proptecting their own positions and wealth as long as they can; and, of course, the elite are all for it as well. I truly believe that the elite and its allies are secretly moving to gold & silver, other currencies, and offshore havens as fast as they can do so without being found out; all the while they preach a “chicken in every pot” so as to not sound any alarms. Conspiracy you ask? Maybe the MSM did not get together in some hotel room and make it an offical conspiracy to spin the news, but when two people have the same interest they don’t have to discuss it formally inorder to arrive at the same conclusion and to decide on the same course of action.

  3. James M

    MSM is a total joke at this point. The only reason to watch it is to know exactly what the powers that be are trying to get you to believe or think so you can plan to do and think the exact opposite of what they say lol. It is 90% disinformation and propoganda and can be useful information to figure out wht they are up to by figuring out what they are trying to get you to believe. For example if they say the problem in Japan is under control you can bet the farm the place is going into a total meltdown. Russia Today is a far better news network than anything in the US, who would have thought that 20 years ago? For info on the Fukushima crisis, http://www.infowars.com/ has some pretty good storys about it, along with http://www.drudgereport.com/ I found this video of a journalist in Japan that drives his car right up to within 1.5 km of the power plant, talk about creepy, all that is left are some dogs and cows walking around, the devistation is unbelievable and his radiation counter shows the rising levels as he approaches the plant. It is straight out of a horror movie! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp9iJ3pPuL8 Do not believe a thing you see on TV, it is almost assuredly a lie if they let it get through the censors and gatekeepers. Take what you read on the internet with a grain of salt also but it is far more likely to be real investigative journalism on the internet than on the TV for sure. Thanks Greg

    • Greg

      James M,
      Thanks for your contribution and content!!
      Greg

    • Francisco Almeida

      staggering to realize that it is plain truth , as you said :

      – ” … Russia Today is a far better news network than anything in the US”.

      This is the signaling of a MAJOR trend shift of Western democracies in general, regarding the core meaning of civilization itself in its values and principles.

      in short words – sad to say – this is utmost decadent of ethics, as the West turns its back to what made it great, strong and dominant.
      .
      Similar to Rome, which corroded itself from inside.

  4. nm

    Everyone should read this story in Rolling Stone by Mark Taibi. The wives of a couple of wall street bankers received bailout money!

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-real-housewives-of-wall-street-look-whos-cashing-in-on-the-bailout-20110411

    For those who don’t have time to read the entire article, here is a snippet on JP Morgan CEO, John Mack’s wife & her receiving $220 million in bailout money:

    Christy and her pal Susan launched their investment initiative called Waterfall TALF. Neither seems to have any experience whatsoever in finance, beyond Susan’s penchant for dabbling in thoroughbred racehorses. But with an upfront investment of $15 million, they quickly received $220 million in cash from the Fed, most of which they used to purchase student loans and commercial mortgages.

    The loans were set up so that Christy and Susan would keep 100 percent of any gains on the deals, while the Fed and the Treasury (read: the taxpayer) would eat 90 percent of the losses. Given out as part of a bailout program ostensibly designed to help ordinary people by kick-starting consumer lending, the deals were a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose investment.

    • Greg

      Thank you NM, this was really good info!
      Greg

  5. Edward Ulysses Cate

    You’re right on target, Greg.
    The media does not print lies, but lies-by-omission.
    Think back to wagon train days of heading west.
    The scout doesn’t report areas of quicksand.
    Some wagons are driven into the muck and lost.
    The scout declares he’s not to be blamed.
    “I didn’t lie.”

    • Greg

      Thank you Mr. Cate.
      Greg

  6. CC

    “…At the bottom of the news food chain is Fox News. Fox is the distraction that has succeeded in getting the “have nots” to support policies that benefit the rich, the Christian Right to believe in the need to bomb others, and patriots to ignore our Constitution.”

    I read this yesterday from the Hamburgerstand. All was going fairly swimmingly until I lifted the bun off of the hamburger to reveal the tainted meat underneath the ‘greens’…

    Unfortunately, when one reveals his hate for a certain group/s (read: ‘the rich’ and ‘Christian Right’), one immediately diminishes his ability to project rational and credible thought. Also, to use such cliche’s as the aforementioned, reveals that he is more of an adherent to the Hillary Clinton school of Democrat talking points, than an adherent of truth seeking.

    When one’s political ideologies cloud one’s ability to be objective, rational and ‘fair’, one is more easily dismissed and relegated to the ‘kook’ heap, where regaining credibility is next to impossible. This holds true for both the ‘Neo-Con’ and the ‘Liberal’.

    If Mr. Hamburger wishes to increase (or even maintain) his credibility quotient, he would be much better served to leave His ideological bent at the door, and keep his views centered on Liberty – how to gain it back and prevent BOTH sides of the political isle from taking even more of it from us…

    Other than that, I agree with the Hamburglar’s premise of the mainstream media – in GENERAL.

    Peace -

    • Greg

      CC,
      Fox is not without sin. Earlier this year at the CPAC convention FOX played a fast one with editing the applause at the convention to make it look like Mit Romney came out one top with applause from the audience when in fact most people applauded fro Congressman Paul. It was no simple mistake or accident. Don’t take my word for it see for yourself by checking out the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwo0Iyrh1Zk Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

  7. Tom H

    I believe they are colluding to hide the truth. No one reports on the Comex fraud, no one reports on the fact that China called US treasuries a Ponzi scheme, no one is shouting from the rooftops that crimes have been committed at the highest levels and not reported, let alone prosecuted. No one is reporting about the daily violations of our Constitution. No one is demanding to see Barack Owebama’s real birth certificate. No one is reporting what always happens to fiat money. No one is reporting that inflation really is already here.

    Do you know why? Because if the press started telling the truth about what is going on behind the curtain today, there would be a revolution by morning.

    Gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants, BUT DEBT IS THE MONEY OF SLAVES! How does one believe they are free when they use the money of slaves? Propoganda from the MSM.

    • Greg

      Tom H
      All good points. Thank you for adding to this post.
      Greg

  8. M SMITH

    New at http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/writings/hellow world/4/2011 fits this article of Greg’s to a tee! This from a man that just lived through hell because he would not give away his own private property for the fed to use! New writings from Armstrong at http://www.scribd.com/doc/behind the curtain II, a must read about GS & others that the MSM will dare not cover, read it ASAP.

    Folks, Harvey Organ blogspot each night tells you the world news from the best of the best web sites. I like the way he puts in plain talk to where us non Harvardites can understand the difference between the bull shit the MSM & banksters trolls on the many blogs talk down PMs.

    Lets see some one in congress demand the corps that skip out on paying taxes on trillions of tax free profits by staying off shore, will there be a person in congress besides Ron Paul to address the rest of congress.

    Look for dips in PMs, over in India they are selling gold to the bigger gains in silver & it’s all coming from scrap silver.

  9. bruce

    The major media outlets are a JOKE, a mere inuendo of reporting the news. They all have the same stories, no heavy investigation. It is a control thing. FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC are not even amusing. If they really were news organizations they would report on these threats to our health, the polution that still exists in the Gulf, the failure to report the death of the middle class, how the ration of Executive pay to worker pay has gone from 38:1 to over 1000:1 in 25 years. THEY ALL NEED TO BE TARRED AND FEATHERED.

  10. Bud Wood

    In college, I volunteered as a photographer for the school year book. I had been trained in the Army in photography, so I had experience. Most of the others on the yearbook staff were journalism majors; I was in engineering. I haven’t thought about it much, but I somewhat felt out of the group.

    My ideas were at odds with what evidently was being put out by journalism instructors. Now, thinking about MSM, it seems to me that it’s probably populated by people who got indoctrinated by left wing journalism instructors. I guess it made sense for people who want to change government policy to gravitate into areas where they can mound opinion of future “news” reporters.

  11. OTE

    None of this media drivel is new. Many assume it is a new paradigm of reporting, but it is only more visible due to the alternatives available through the internet.

    Want evidence? Look into the drivel presented by William Randolf Hearst through the Hearst publishing empire. The only difference is the complete lack of investigative research nowadays. Canned propaganda is far cheaper than true investigative efforts. Asking the man on the street for their opinion is complete nonsense. Oh well, pander the to lowest common denominator and what do you expect?

  12. Mitch Bupp

    HI Greg, I spent 18 months working at one of the Fukshima sister plants at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Plant. I will try to explain to you from my perspective about how bad things really are at Fukushima complex. Here is a link to a good picture of the layout of the plant.

    http://www.nucleartourist.com/imagemaps/rx-bldg1.jpg

    Ok, remember when they talked about the “torus” blowing up at reactor #2? If you look at the picture in the link the torus is the containment around the core vessel. The containment got so hot that the water separated at an atomic level creating hydrogen gas which exploded. The spent fuel rods were stored in pools of water (for shielding) on the top floor. Nuclear fuel rod remants were blown up to a mile away according to news reports. If I remember right unit 2 at Fukshima had 7% plutonium in the fuel rod mix. Any way I was using Newton’s Inverse law to calculate the radiation exposure

    http://www.ndt-ed.org/GeneralResources/Formula/RTFormula/InverseSquare/InverseSquareLaw.htm

    Several weeks ago and I found levels of 300 sieverts per hour at 10 from the source. And the radiation levels hundreds of feet away were still dangerous. Here in the USA at our plants 100 millirem per hour or 10 millisieverts is considered a “high radiation” area. At one point TEPCO reported that the exposure level 1 km (3280 feet) west of the plant (not the direction the wind was going at the time) was 292 microseiverts or 29.2 millirem per hour. Outside of the plants admin building the levels were 3700-4000 microseiverts or 370-400 millirem which is four times the exposure level of our high radiation areas. The workers who got the water on them will get cancer because the water was absorbed into their bodies.
    To put the risk in perspective here in the USA the average yearly dose of radiation a nuke plant worker received was only 180 millirem or 1.8 millisieverts according the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). I believe this is low number from the NRC. The yearly whole dose for a worker is 5000 millirem or 50 millisieverts per year.
    Remember the exposure rates at the plant are based in hours of exposure and that radiation exposure has a cumulative effect based on whole exposure over time.
    The sad truth is that this disaster was and still is being under reported by the authorities. I have read where there was only 1 stretcher and a few dosimeters for measuring personal radiation when the quake happened. There are crews working that have or had only one dosimeter for the whole group so TEPCO doesn’t really know what doses a worker is getting.

    If this nuclear disaster had happened where I had worked in SE Pennsylvania the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay would be conaminated all the way to the Atlantic. There would be a 20 mile or more mandatory evacuation and crops for a hundred miles downwind would be inedible. I don’t see an earthquake that size but a plane terror attack … a possibility

    • Mitch Bupp

      Several weeks ago and I found levels of 300 sieverts per hour at 10 feet from the source.

    • Greg

      Mitch,
      Thank you for the information and links.
      Greg

  13. Bill M

    “Granted, there is not much of a health problem from the nuclear meltdown here in the U.S.”

    What? What?

    not MUCH of a health problem?

    how MUCH?

    What have I missed?

    • Greg

      Bill M,
      I guess I should have said not much of a health problem “YET.” You are correct to raise a concern here my friend and I have revised the post to reflect the YET. Thanks man.
      Greg

  14. RANDRAND

    THEY ARE FECKLESS TO STOP THE EVENT SPREAD;SCARED SPITLESS AT THE POTENTIAL LOSS OF PROPERTY,LIFE AND COMMERCE-AND LYING AT EVERY TURN TO THE POINT WHERE EVERY SECOND SENTENCE CONTRADICTS THE FIRST ONE! THIS REPRESENTS, NOT A MEDIA BIAS-BUT A SHOCKING CREDIBILITY GAP—–BECAUSE-MANY MORE PEOPLE ARE GENETIC-COMPROMISED BY THE RADIATION CONTAMINATION—-AND NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT “THE POOCH GOT SCREWED” (IT DID-THE DIRTY DEED IS DONE-!)

  15. RANDRAND

    WHY DO WE, AS A SOCIETY, MURDER EACH OTHER-AND THEN REFER TO IT AS “AN UNFORTUNATE LITTLE INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE”?! WE ARE SUCH LIARS AND FOOLS-AND FOOL NO ONE AT ALL!

  16. PatriotWatchUSA

    The BIG DOG is on coast to Coast RIGHT now and sounds GREAT. 12:30 am central. Turn it on they are at commercial

  17. CC

    Hi Greg –

    First, I’m no defender of Fox news – or any mainstream news organization for that matter, but that wasn’t my point to begin with.

    My point – perhaps more succinctly this time is: When a person must resort to using cheap, ideologically-oriented ‘talking-points’ (read: ‘Rich’ and ‘Christian Right’) in an attempt to support his argument, objectivity and credibility are lost –

    P.S. I don’t give a damn about Mitt Romney or any other status quo political hack, and I have been an active donor to Ron Paul’s causes and campaigns well before up & comer tag-along internet sites even knew he existed…

    Thanks -

    • Greg

      CC,
      I think we have similar points of view. I am happy you read and support this site with your comments. Thank you.
      Greg

  18. George

    Greg,

    Great job on C2C last night. As always, quite a riveting hour.
    When the lady called and said she was on a fixed income and basically getting by with just being able to pay housing and food, she asked your advice on what she can do to survive the coming economic difficulties. Your answer was of course correct, but you hesitated a few moments before telling her. Were you about to tell her how bad you believe things could get, but out of compassion didn’t? I think our situation is going to spiral out of control and become far worse than anyone can imagine. I sincerely hope i’m wrong.

    • Greg

      George,
      Yes, I hesitated because I had no good news for anyone on a fixed income. I hope you are wrong too, but I fear you are right on target.
      Greg

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