Friday, June 27, 2008


Yes, kids, if you had your handy Family Radiation Measurement Kit set up next to next to the radio Friday evening you would have realized that you'd been exposed to more lethal radiation than these dummies at a test site (great source!).

Though it's no news that there is a real risk of non-state terrorists eventually setting off a nuclear device in the US (e.g. Chomsky has repeatedly commented on this issue and the Union of Concerned Scientists has noted this problem, too). So, you might ask yourself why, just as the presidential election election race is heating up, does NPR decide to dedicate a story focused on the "possibility of a single relatively primitive bomb set off by terrorists in a U.S. city that could potential kill hundreds of thousands of people"? David Kestenbaum tells us:
"....the Cold War is over. No one worries about thousands of megaton bombs wiping out the country. No, the concern now is a single much smaller bomb, like the one dropped on Hiroshima. Til Jolly with the Department of Heimat Homeland Security set the tone: 'there are those who would like to do this to us. Is it likely? I don't know'..."
Actually, NPR could have done quite an interesting program on the nuclear threat, including the fact that though the Cold War is over, there is still a grave threat from an accidental exchange as nearly happened in January of 1995. Regarding non-state terrorism and nuclear weapons, they might have looked at how nuclear non-proliferation is a key to reducing the chance for such an event, and how recent US policy is going away from non-proliferation and has undermined the NPT. Another key would be making US foreign policy less violent and aggressive, thereby reducing the conditions that encourage the growth of terrorist tactics and ideologies - something the Bush administration has been exceptionally inept at.

Could have, might have...instead NPR chose to do a simple FEAR! report: "There coming!" "They'll set off a nuclear weapon!" "Oh My God!" "Hundreds of thousands dead!" "The White House vaporized." The hell with FISA! Who needs habeus corpus? No time for inexperience. What we need is a Strong Leader, any suggestions?

1 comment:

Porter Melmoth said...

"Could have, might have..."

Indeed, Mytwords, that's NPR in a nutshell. What NPR could have done, what they might have been, is one of the chief reasons I critique them. Their squandering opportunities, contacts and stories, due to corporate agendas and poorly-chosen talent, not to mention lousy administration and propaganda pathways, adds up to abuse of public and donated monies.

My chorus: sell NPR to Murdoch (though it doesn't really matter who buys it) for a huge amount, and start over. Hell, Murdoch already owns them in all but deed, so we the people might as well make some money out of formalizing the deal. Then Mara Liarson wouldn't have to moonlight.