Two of broadcasting's worst nightmares -- FEAR FOR FREE!!!
"Never let a good disaster go to waste." We remember that as Rahm Imanuel's creed when he served as Barack Obama's Chief of Staff as how to take emotionally charged issues and use them to rush through ridiculous overreaching laws and policies. The same holds true for fire breathing talk show hosts who feed on the publics' fear and mistrust to pump up their audience ratings.
The Japanese nuclear disaster very well could be worse than reported and the worst could be yet to come, but there is NO scenario that would create harm for the United States. Yes, radiation detectors will make little blips. Some particles will cross the ocean and possibly circle the globe, but SO WHAT?
We expose ourselves to more radiation than we ever realize. Maybe it's those arches we walk through entering and leaving retail stores, maybe it's some electronic device we use, it could be lots of things. While the safety zone might exceed the 12 miles the Japanese are enforcing, thousands of miles away, we're just fine.
However, talkers like Nancy Grace and Alex Jones don't want you to think so. Nancy Grace interviewed a climate specialist someone who knows far more about all the issues on the subject, but she couldn't keep herself from shouting over this expert brow beating him to death on a subject she has no credentials to second guess him. Alex Jones, perhaps the biggest blowhard on talk radio, stirs up the boogie men as the U.S. government and Japanese conspiring together not to let the truth get out. Jones feeds little bits and pieces together, exaggerates them, uses the to play into his greater fear campaign and leads his audience to draw conclusions for themselves we're in deep trouble.
As we have posted earlier, our country is way too self-obsessed with the Japanese tragedy seeing the horrors of what beset Japan mainly in terms of how it might (but won't) hurt us. The nuke plant is serious for the Japanese not us, but death and destruction is the overwhelming problem we're just too insensitive to see clearly.
We are surprised at CNN to resorting to cheesy sensationalism to boost up its ratings perhaps because there is an element of radical environmentalism and anti corporate thinking there, but the more intellectual aspect of the issue is not conveyed in the shadow of Nancy Grace's bitchy yapping.
Alex Jones has no umbrella to tone him down and stand accountable for his nonsense. His program does not make it to the major stations and few major markets carry his nonsense. Outside of Texas, probability Norfolk, Virginia is the largest market to carry his foolishness. His following comes more from satellite radio and the Internet.
How we're reacting to the Japanese disaster and thinking back to how quickly Katrina digressed into blamestorming and finger pointing, we must be very concerned when the big earthquake finally hits the west coast. Scientists suggest that day is long over due.
It's time for America to grow up and also trivialize the fear mongers for what they are. Such behavior cannot go unchallenged.