Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


JayV said...

Group warns EPA ready to increase radioactive release guidelines

How will NPR cover this?

Anonymous said...

They'll probably interview MIT scientist/clown Joseph Oehmen to say on air that You can stop worrying. The radiation won't be any worse than taking a plane ride or drinking a glass of beer

When companies like Goldman Sachs are underwriting NPR, is it any surprise that NPR has become such a dishonest, whorganization?

The Senate should follow the lead of the House of Representatives and cut all direct AND indirect funding for NPR -- ie, prohibit member stations from spending a single public dime on NPR (for member dues or NPR programming) -- precisely what the bill that the House just passed would do.

geoff said...

The Temple of Doom is torturing Paul Revere's horse and whinnying is terrifying. AQAP is being given free reign of the AP because Ali Abdullah Saleh has recalled his US-trained anti-tourist forces to protect him. Call out the drones!

One official says what the U.S. is facing in Yemen is nothing but bad options. If Saleh stays, there will be increasingly violent protests. If he goes, there could be anarchy or, another possibility, a government that doesn't want to be helpful in hunting down al-Qaida tourists.

Anonymous said...

Viv sanitizes the record.

Anonymous said...

Media Matters is such crap in general.

The Vivian Schiller "This I believe" is no exception.

You gotta love it when Vivian Schiller says that "NPR gets very very little...and NPR member stations slightly more than very little" in the way of Federal dollars, and in the same breath tells us that "even 1 dollar of federal money changes the dynamic" (ie, implying that federal money is critical).

Whatever else may be true, that's simply an illogical stance.

But let's humor Schiller, shall we?

If it's true that "even 1 dollar changes the dynamic" as Schiller says, by all means, let Congress literally give NPR ONLY "1 dollar" -- to divide up as they see fit.

Can't you just see Steve Inskeep and Michelle Norris wrestling for that dollar on the NPR newsroom floor? (with Norris winning, of course) Maybe they could broadcast it on All Things Considered.

The reality is that some member stations get a third or more of their operating budgets from public (federal and state) funds. Among other things, they now use these public funds to pay member dues to NPR and to buy NPR programming.

It's important to note that the bill that the House just passed would not defund the member stations entirely, just keep them from spending federal dollars on NPR.

The latter distinction is important because the far more usual claim made by NPR folks is that "We -- here at NPR -- don't really need the federal dollars and would not really be hurt if they were cut -- but YOUR poor local stations would be devastated if federal dollars were cut."

That's quite a different claim form the illogical one Schiller makes, but it nonetheless UNTRUE in several regards.

First, though it might survive, NPR WOULD be seriously "wounded" if funds to member stations were cut.

And if member stations were not defunded outright but simply prohibited from applying public funds to pay for NPR dues and programming, it would actually be the worst of all worlds for NPR.

Anonymous said...

NPR is STILL "disappearing" stories (because they report "inconvenient truths"?)

Do an NPR search on "4,080 becquerels per kilogram" and it returns this page, which has a story with that very text in it.

It's from an AP story that NP previously had on their site and you can see that the full text is actually "The Health Ministry said that iodine-131 at a level of 4,080 becquerels per kilogram"

but when you click the link, which formerly took you to the article entitled "Japan Nuclear Plant Still Spewing Radiation Into Sea", it takes you to a NEW article
"Radioactive Leak Stopped, Japan Plant Operator Says" (by NPR Staff and Wires)

There is absolutely NO valid "excuse" for simply "disappearing" previous articles and replacing them wholesale with newer ones.

Actually re-directing the link to the newer article is DOWNRIGHT DISHONEST.

And any "updating" (eg, to incorporate newer, more accurate information and/or to make corrections) should be done transparently -- ie, by leaving the old in place so people can still SEE it for comparison.

No legitimate journalist would EVER do this kind of "disappearing" stuff.

Whoever is behind this at NPR should be fired.

Absloutely. Anthing Vivian Schiller might have done is MINOR in comparison.

This is a complete violation of journalistic ethics.

gDog said...

Heard Duncan interviewed on NPR yesterday saying how they're going to bring up the percentages of students pursuing college degrees. The idiot NPR reporter didn't bother to ask him whether the 400000 Californians disenfranchised by reduction in community college funding will put a crimp in those plans.

Anonymous said...

NPR Think Tankery, from Eschatonblog.


Archtype said...

Maybe someone could tell me when Bil Kristol's neocon rag The Weekly Standard became "partner content" on

Anonymous said...


NPR has been "partnering" with all sorts of journalistic-like organizations in order to build their website content. Their new motto should be, "NPR: Just like Google News aggregator only more inefficient and expensive."

Don Q. Public

Archtype said...


Yeah, I knew bout the AP partnership, this is the first time I've seen Weekly Standard.

Anonymous said...

A cynic might say that all the partnering and polishing of the website is aimed at a sale somewhere down the road.

Who would get the money in that case?

maybe that's why NPR managers said a while back that NPR stands for nothing..

cuz if the P stands for public, that would seem to mean that we the public own it.

Do we the taxpayers get check in the mail if NPR is sold?

hey, I'd go along with that.

Anonymous said...


I remember seeing a link on the NPR site sometime back that had a list of their partners. In true NPR form, it was sprinkled with a bit of this and that to show appropriate balance. Though I am not sure which or how many news-like partners NPR would have to enlist in order to balance out The Weekly Standard. I'm sure that, like during NPR's flagship shows, they make sure they balance out the far right with the center right. Right?

Left, two, three, four...
Right, two, three, four...
Right, two, three, four...
Right, two, three, four...

NPR marching in circles.

Don Q. Public.

Kevan Smith said...

FAIR dings NPR regarding corporate funding producing positive news coverage:

Patrick Lynch said...

This morning at the breakfast table there was only the sound of birds outside our kitchen window. Absolutely no NPR at all this morning. Can't say it was missed.

JayV said...

From a post today at the Undernews blog:

How to tell NPR isn't too liberal

This afternoon, discussing the budget negotiations and the possibility of a federal government shutdown, Mara Liasson said it would remain to be seen what the reaction would be on the part of "the voters, and, more importantly, the financial markets." - Pablo Davis

Anonymous said...

a long (?) time ago when athletes were "miffed" at the press they refused to be available. Sportswriters were forced to "report" without quotes which, to me, didn't seem all that bad. But . . . regular newsmakers began the same approach - puff or nothing. So we get an interview with Ban-Ki Moon which turned out to be nothing but a plea for continued support of UN by US.

I might have wanted to know: When does a civilian in Libya become an armed rebel and thus NOT entitled to UN protection? What is the point of an organization that has a built-in mechanism to over-ride any majority vote (Security Council veto)? When will the UN charge the US with waging "agressive war" on Iraq? When will the UN mandate a no-fly zone in Tibet?

You know, the kind of thing this inquiring mind might want to know about.

If NPR is sold I know a guy that might need a gig cause he was too much of a crazy person. Even for Fox. And that would make a perfect fit for any of the "major" news shows. I can imagine Scottie Simon and Glenn sitting around discussing the greatness and wonder of America.


Anonymous said...

NPR's Jon Hamilton, Jason Beaubien and Mark Memmott are looking more clueless with each passing day of low-balling the magnitude of the nuclear disaster and the attendant risks.

Core of Stricken Reactor Probably Leaked, U.S. Says
"The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that some of the core of a stricken Japanese reactor had probably leaked from its steel pressure vessel into the bottom of the containment structure, implying that the damage was even worse than previously thought. "


Got one of my comments deleted for the first time in a long time.

I guess you can't say anything mean about John Denver.

I did push the scatological limits a bit, . . .

He sucked when he was popular, he still sucks.

NPR a faux "News Organization" fawning over a faux country-folk singer.

The Boss of You said...

If you all are on Twitter, @CoweringNPR is rocking criticism with a lot of humor:!/search/coweringnpr

Miranda said...

Below, a tweet from Rachel Maddow. Do see the NPR headline linked:

Who swoons better? David Brooks writing of Paul Ryan today, "Republicans are aroused," or this NPR headline?

Anonymous said...

Meeeshell is a gag hag.

Anonymous said...

NPR has STILL not even reported the assessment (reported by the NY Times) by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that part of the core of reactor 2 a Fukushima may have leaked out of the containment vessel:

"part of the Unit 2 core may be out of the reactor pressure vessel and may be in the lower space of the drywell"

One would think that any serious news organization would consider that significant.

Here's what the NY Times reported:

"It [USNRC] did not say whether the fuel was molten or solid. If molten fuel has left the reactor’s pressure vessel and reached the drywell in substantial quantities, it raises the possibility that the fuel could escape the larger containment structure, leading to a large-scale radioactive release."

But nary a word from NPR.

Another case of propaganda by omission.

Because GE, one of their underwriters would not like it?

geoff said...

Wonkette has some well needed hoohaw humor.

Anonymous said...

NPR keeps assuring us that the Fukushima nuclear reactors are nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, back in reality...

From NY Times

"some of the radiation readings at Reactors Nos. 1 and 3 over the last week were nearly as high as or higher than the 3,300 rems per hour that the commission said it was trying to explain, so it would appear that the speculation would apply to them as well. At No. 2, extremely radioactive material continues to ooze out of the reactor pressure vessel, and the leak is likely to widen with time, a western nuclear executive asserted."

“It’s a little like pulling a thread out of your tie,” said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect business connections in Japan. “Any breach gets bigger.”

"Flashes of extremely intense radioactivity have become a serious problem, he said. Tokyo Electric’s difficulties in providing accurate information on radiation are not a result of software problems, as some Japanese officials have suggested, but stem from damage to measurement instruments caused by radiation, the executive said."

"Broken pieces of fuel rods have been found outside of Reactor No. 2, and are now being covered with bulldozers, he said. The pieces may be from rods in the spent-fuel pools that were flung out by hydrogen explosions."

/// end NY TImes quotes
Remember the NPR article that claimed the high readings were a "mistake" due to a software glitch?

Well, it looks like that ain't so. Surprise! (not)

3,300 rems per hour!

According to the EPA
From the EPA:

Exposure (rem)

400 possible death within 2 months
1,000 destruction of intestinal lining
internal bleeding
and death 1-2 weeks
2,000 damage to central nervous system
loss of consciousness; minutes
and death hours to days

In other words, the 3,300 rem given off in a single hour by reactor 2 (and probably 1 and 3 as well) is MORE than enough to kill a person "within hours to days" (probably within hours, given that it's actually 1.5X the 2000 rem listed by the EPA.

And by the way, spent fuel contains plutonium, which would explain the plutonium found in the soil last week.

And the fuel in reactor 2 has likely "found it's way" OUT of the containment vessel.

But nothing to worry about.

NPR has it all under control -- or at least "under wraps" (for their underwriting "client" GE)

geoff said...

So Joe Palca is a fellow slug. How disappointing!

He comes to journalism from a science background, having received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz where he worked on human sleep physiology.

Psychology is a science? Perhaps not! Nonetheless, his creds in psychology of sleep have burnished his stature as an authority whose pronouncement redound to nuclear phsyics and the effects of radiation on physiology: Fears About Radiation Bigger Than Actual Risk. Great, so when the Union of Concerned Scientists say that Chernobyl caused 68000 excess cancers and leukemia, we should dismiss them as nut cluster of nattering nabobs.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know what REAL journalism is (as opposed to the Fox journalism you find on NPR that keeps denying the risks of radiation), watch Chernobyl Legacy, by Paul Fusco

Paul has brought us a perspective that simply can not be obtained from mainstream news outlets (AP, Fox, NPR, etc).

This is what "public radio" is supposed to be about.

But there are very few people associated with NPR that bring us this kind of thing.

I can only think of one offhand: Scott Carrier (whi is really pretty much a freelancer anyway)

The vast majority of the clowns at NPR (Jason Beaubien, Jon Hamilton, Mark Memmott, Terri gross, Michelle Norris, Steve Inskeep, Scott Simon, Adam Davidson, Robert Siegel, Don Gonyea etc) just download crap from the AP wire service day in and day out (and maybe phone up a few of their favorite "expert" think tank wankers), make a few changes/additions and call it "journalism".

What utter crap.

The public should not be paying a single dime for the garbage that NPR is producing these days

Anonymous said...

"when the Union of Concerned Scientists say that Chernobyl caused 68000 excess cancers and leukemia, we should dismiss them as nut cluster of nattering nabobs."

Of course we should because the omniscient geniuses at NPR (forgive the redundancy) with degrees in such "rigorous" disciplines as "communications" and "journalism" and "psychology" tell us that it is so.

Who are we scientists, engineers and mathematicians to question the superior knowledge and analytical abilities of the NPR intellectual elites like Adumb Davidson, Jon Hamilton and Joe Palca?

geoff said...

It should be noted that the guy that Joe Palca was talking to in that puff piece about radioactive fears (Steve Simon) is an expert on the effects of radiation on physiology. I looked at his paper, Fallout from Nuclear Weapons Tests and Cancer Risks - Exposures 50 years ago still have health implications today that will continue into the future and if they'd given this guy a chance to talk, he might have said something interesting. In the usual NPR style, of course, the experts are barely given a chance to breath into the microphone and then what they say is carefully edited to match editorial strictures.

geoff said...

Booz Allen was paid to do this fiscal analysis for Public Broadcasting. Fiscal outlook: ‘The trend is not our friend’

That's like paying the CIA to see if they can make your lot in life any worse.

And the realated story, NPR and WGBH buy underwriting broker National Public Broadcasting
Revenue gains seen in merger of sales teams

And to add a little poke at Scott Simon: "Just sayin'".

Anonymous said...

booz-Allen-Hamilton is part of California Community Foundation (I'd guess THE biggest part). CCF gave 4.1m to NPR to produce Impact of War series. I suspect BAH funneled the money to NPR in order to avoid the messiness of using public monies to propagandize Americans at home. I suspect the Pentagon simply gave the money and BAH passed it along. They got it back by doing this kind of "work" for CPB.

I'm just sayin also


Anonymous said...

On the Media had a story today on the media's collective news blackout on the Florida Koran burning by the publicity seeking Pastor Jones. Bob Garfield endorsed this news censorship, even though no one can argue based on the reaction in Afghanistan (attack on UN staff) that the story had news value.

When I heard of the attack on UN staff because of the Koran burning, my immediate reaction was also "what Koran burning?" with my memory of how the Pastor Jones story resolved itself last year. When I realized that I hadn't missed the story, but that the news media had collectively chosen not to tell me, my reaction was not gratitude but anger and disappointment.

In my view,it was shameful (and conspiracy-theory inducing) for the "responsible adult" news media not to cover it. (What else isn't being covered?) Unfortunately, my reaction is not the view of media "critics" like Bob Garfield.

Just as Lindsay Graham is wrong to want to make Jones' action a crime, the news media should not be acting as a censor for us because of their fears (even legitimate ones) of the consequences of reporting news.

Despite the negative consequences and sometimes high cost of even stupid First Amendment expression (like the Koran burning, Danish cartoons), a truly free society cannot selectively decide what expressions to allow and not to allow or have its news media selectively decide what news is SAFE to cover.

Anonymous said...

In the usual NPR style, of course, the experts are barely given a chance to breath into the microphone"

and sometimes, their experts are just plain wrong.

See, for example Radioactive milk only a danger after 58,000 glasses, which quoted an RPI "expert"

In my opinion, anything that the so called "expert" from RPI [Caracappa] says is suspect.

His calculations for the dose from a glass of milk were substantially in error.

He was using an incorrect dose coefficient for I-131.

The proper dose coefficient (that he should have used but did not) is for "thyroid" exposure because that is the body tissue that is most susceptible to I-131 (since the thyroid concentrates iodine )

The calculations given in the "58,000 glasses" story are based on an assumption of
"20 million becquerels to yield a Sievert's worth of exposure" (see the NPR article)

That's 20,000 becquerels to yield a dose of one millisievert

Or a "dose coefficient" of 1/20,000 milliSievert per becquerel = 0.00005 mSv/Bq

But as you can see on Table 3 in this FDA report (taken from ICRP publication 56), the proper coefficient for "thyroid" exposure to I-131 is a factor of 9 greater than that (0.00044 mSv/Bq ) for adults and a factor of about 70 greater (0.0036 mSv/Bq) for infants.

As a result, the calculations of the so-called "RPI expert" substantially underestimate the radiation doses.

Worse yet, the dose of "1 sievert" which is used to come up with the "58,000 glasses" figure ( using the expert's incorrect dose coffeicient) is NOT some "minimum" dose below which there is no danger.

Far from it.

There is a reason that the recommended yearly maximum dose (above background) for the general public is set at 1/1000 that dose (1 millisievert).

One should be very careful when taking the word of NPR's "experts" at face value.

Sopme of them have NO CLUE what they are talking about.

geoff said...

I was wondering what the push would be in Goldman Sachs' Long History Of 'Money And Power' As usual, it comes after some mild criticism (the pull) and at the end:

"Goldman Sachs especially has been very, very good at getting right up against that line of wrongdoing. They know exactly where that line is, and they're very careful most of the time to just stay on this side, and they help influence the way regulations are enforced," he says.

Get it? GS has broken no everybody move on. Nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

Goldman stays on this side of the legal line

except when they don't

"SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud in Structuring and Marketing of CDO Tied to Subprime Mortgages"

"The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter."

//end quote

Goldman gets away with it most of the time because they have people in key places actually setting the line (and moving it if it is inconvenient)

Anonymous said...


NPR struck my comment where I said, "Matt Taibbi wrote the definitive work on Goldman," and then I linked to "Griftopia" on Amazon. The comment was struck by the NPR Censors.

Don Q. Public

Anonymous said...

Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5


...NPR's resident Einstein's (Jon Hamilton, Jason Beaubien, Joe Palca) and their team of experts told me the "risk was overblown."

How could this be?

Mytwords said...

I've not quit posting, but it has been a busier than usual week so I didn't get around to a post this week...but the open thread has been lively and informative as usual. I also thought I'd mention that I'll probably take a bit of a sabbatical during the summer months of June, July, and August...I realize my earlier break from blogging was good for me on many levels.

Anonymous said...

Based on actual data -- as opposed to NPR "expert voodoo" (or is it doo-doo?) this compares average radiation release from Chernobyl to peak releases from Fukushima.

"Chernyobyl put out an average of 7.684 times 1015 becquerels per hour of radioactive iodine and cesium during the fire.

In contrast, Fukushima put out 10,000 terabecquerels per hour of radioactivity for at least a couple of hours. 10,000 terabecquerels equals 1 x 1016 becquerels.

Granted, there were other types of radioactivity emitted by Chernobyl – such as radioactive strontium – just as there are other types being released from Fukushima. So the above back-of-the-envelope calculation is not complete.

But the bottom line is that – as even the Japanese government is now reluctantly being forced to admit – the amount of radioactivity being released from Fukushima appears to rival those Chernobyl."

//end quotes

Of course, one has to be careful comparing an average value (for Chernobyl) to peak values (from Fukushima), but there is actually reason to believe (again based on actual data) that the average releases from Fukushima have been significantly higher than previously acknowledged by Japanese officials.

New Scientist has been reporting for some time (eg, based on data from the worldwide monitoring system set up to monitor nuclear test ban compliance) that radiation releases at Fukushima (I-131 and cesium 137, for example) have been roughly comparable (same order or magnitude and within a factor of 2) to daily releases from Chernobyl.

Patrick Lynch said...

Even as they finally concede that Japan will raise the rating of the disaster to Chernobyl level they keep downplaying the radiation still as though it's nothing to worry about. So which is it NPR? A disaster or not?

WEKU is running another fund drive. They've been running this nauseating new beg piece from Inskreep. Nothing makes me turn the dial faster. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

The way that NPR has covered the nuclear disaster is beyond the pale.

They have quite clearly gone FAR over the line of what is legitimate journalism and moved into promoting pure unadulterated opinion on nuclear power (their own).

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is the epitome of a story about which the information is scarce and of questionable nature (because it is happening in a disaster zone and comes primarily from those with an interest in downplaying the risks) and for which the ultimate outcome is very uncertain.

In covering such a story, a journalist should NEVER do what NPR is doing.

It's not only unsupportable but completely unethical.

In most cases, it does not matter, but NPR's downplaying of the risk could actually have DIRE consequences for someone living near those reactors (if, for example, as a result, they failed to evacuate the area or had their infants drinking formula made with tainted water because some "expert" on NPR told them it was OK to do so)

NPR's behavior in this case has convinced me beyond ANY reasonable doubt that NPR should be completely defunded.

No ifs ands or buts.

These folks should be put out of business.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick Lynch,

Indeed! See this comment posted to the Richard Harris piece entitled: "Cleaning Up Fukushima: A Challenge To The Core."


Nigel Tufnel (fishnut) wrote:
Asteroids will hit, earthquakes and tsunamis will happen, governments and civilizations will rise and fall through wars and disasters. Will the worldwide nuclear power industry be able to keep their reactors and waste storage facilities safe through it all? It has already been proven by just an earthquake and tsunami that the answer is NO! Long after the human race has been exterminated by our own hubris and short-sighted stupidity, the legacy of our failed experiment with nuclear power will remain, melting and smoking and contaminating the earth and oceans unchecked.


"Cleaning up" and "As bad as Chernobyl, but not." seem to be the euphemisms of the day.

Don Q. Public

PS I have noticed that many more skeptics are showing up to post to the NPR "news" stories. No doubt, NPRCheck is providing some coherent perspectives.

Anonymous said...

The "journalists" at NPR live in la-la-Land.

Only in such a place could one write the following piece of mumbojumbo:

"The Japanese government raised its assessment of the crisis at the troubled nuclear power plant to the highest possible level.

The rating was bumped up from five to seven on an international scale used to evaluate the seriousness of nuclear incidents."

so far, so good

"The move was based on new data on the amount of radiation released in the early days of the crisis, not on any recent change in the plant's status."


Is it just me or does anyone else see a problem with "New data on the amount of radiation released in the early days of the crisis"?

"New old data"??!

Did they just find it tucked in someone's shirt pocket or something, like you find stuff when you are doing the laundry?

If the repercussions of NPR's downplaying the risks were not so potentially serious, this whole thing would be hilarious.

The folks at NPR seem capable of saying anything, no matter how idiotic it might sound to someone who actually has a brain (and is not afraid to use it to turn off NPR)

Boulder Dude said...

The Ombot takes on Think Tanks, doubtful it will change anything at NPR.

Anonymous said...

More BS from NPR on Fukushima

NPR's Eliza Barclay claims in "Fukushima Vs. Chernobyl: Still Not Equal" that

"Though Fukushima and Chernobyl are both level 7 nuclear accidents, the health consequences in Japan to date are much less severe. In part, that's because far more radiation was released at Chernobyl. So far, Fukushima Dai-ichi has released about one-tenth of the amount of radioactive material that escaped Chernobyl, according to an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency."

//end NPR quote


Actually, with regard to the two most important radionuclides* (iodine 131 and cesium 137), Fukushima has to date released about 1/5 of the total released by Chernobyl.

Chernobyl released 1845 petabecquerels (1760 of I-131 and 85 of Cs 137) as shown in Table 1 of this NEA report.

*"From the radiological point of view, 131I and 137Cs are the most important radionuclides to consider, because they are responsible for most the radiation exposure received by the general population."
//quoted from the above NEA report

Now, NPR reports that

"Some 370,000 terabecquerels of radioactive iodine and cesium have been released at Fukushima"

370,000 terabecquerels = 370 petabecquerels (10^15):

As a fraction of the Chernobly total for those two radionuclides

370 petabecquerels / 1845 petabecquerels

= 0.20 = 1/5

1/5 NOT 1/10 as NPR claims.

And Fukushima is ongoing, of course.

Anonymous said...

As i noted above, NPR claims

"The move [to raise Fukushima to level 7 severity] was based on new data on the amount of radiation released in the early days of the crisis, not on any recent change in the plant's status."

That's nonsense of course ("New old data"??)

The data were not "new" at all.

As I noted weeks ago (on March 26) in this commnet

The reality: Fukushima radioactive fallout nears Chernobyl levels

"Austrian researchers have used a worldwide network of radiation detectors – designed to spot clandestine nuclear bomb tests – to show that iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the 1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl."

end quote from New Scientist

The work of the Austrian researchers is almost certainly the basis for bumping the severity level of the disaster -- and it should have happened WEEKS ago.

Instead, "news" organizations like NPR have continued the meme that "Fukushima is no big deal, little worse than Three Mile Island and everyone knows nobody got hurt from that one".

So, instead of taking this as seriously as they should have, NPR downplayed the risks, which may quite literally have been deadly for someone in the vicinity of that plant who decided not to evacuate based on "Nothing to worry about" reports coming from the likes of NPR.


That report from New Scientist was ALL over the internet WEEKS AGO.

For NPR to claim that this is somehow "New" information is not only ridiculous, it is highly dishonest because they almost certainly KNOW that claim is simply not true.

Anonymous said...

I heard the dreaded word "cumulative" late Monday night on BBC. That's the problem. An x-ray (which this is always compared to) might be ok but what about an x-ray an hour for 30 days?

But here in Dutch WonderLand they have found iodine # whatever in Philly water test sites. It wasn't there in March but it is there now. But hey you would have to drink gallons of this water for centuries before anything bad might happen.

But a month ago we were being told it would not be detectable in US. Now it is all over (and in UK for sure). But now I am being told it is no cause for concern. So if it would not be here and it is and I should not be concerned but I am (not panicked cause what the hell i went hitch hiking after Chernobyl) concerned.

I'm just sayin


Anonymous said...

when i surf and "lurk" at sites and I find a poster that might be suitable for this blog I try to get in touch and direct them here. Who knows but an expansion of this can be a good thing I think. The more eyes and minds at work the better we get.


Anonymous said...

NPR assures us that gas prices don't mean much

"The increase in gasoline prices, even to above $4 a gallon, is not a huge deal," -- NPR "expert" Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS)


"Behravesh says most Americans really don't spend that much money on gas. "Average households spend about 5 percent of their after-tax income on gasoline."

Yeah, only 1/20 their total after tax income.

Nothing, really.
NPR's Chris Arnold continues:

"Prices are up for milk and beef. But overall, Behravesh says, inflation has been very mild for all kinds of other things: flat panel TVs, refrigerators and haircuts."

Great. Who needs gas and food when you can drive (and eat) "flat panel TVs, refrigerators and haircuts"?

Perhaps rather than give us yet another "Everything is fine. No need to worry" report (which seems to be NPR's motto on everything these days -- from the economy to the nuclear disaster), perhaps NPR might look into WHY gas prices (and food prices) have increased so dramatically recently (and why they increased so dramatically just a few years ago as well)

Hint 1: it ain't simple supply and demand.

Anonymous said...

WGBH Boston the new Govenor of Wisconsin?

geoff said...

Apologies in advance for my cynicism, but Libyan Woman Recounts Gang Rape By Gadhafi Troops sounds very much like Journalists have been taken down this dangerous road before.

Anonymous said...

mytwords: it's got to be sustainable for you. this is valuable, so don't burn out!

Anonymous said...

Matt Taibbi's latest on the TARP off:

Anonymous said...

The smug white elites at NPR have gotta just love this kind of stuff:

"Jury Finds Slugger Barry Bonds Guilty Of Obstruction Of Justice"

You can just see them high-fivin each other at the water cooler saying stuff like "Serves Bonds right for trying to game the system"

...when, of course, "gaming the system" is what they do best.

Taking Bonds down a few notches makes them feel good about their own pathetic existence.

miranda said...

So this morning on "Diane Rehm," I hear that Obama is "hard left" and engaging in "class warfare demagoguery" because of his mild, centrist budget speech. This right-wing think-tankery courtesy of Dan Mitchell, senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Also on panel: Foxy Mara. The other day on Rehm, a frequent NPR guest, crazy-as-a-loon Marjorie Dannenfelser, of the anti-abortion "Susan B. Anthony List" getting to perpetuate the lies of the discredited Breitbart Planned Parenthood sting videos -- unquestioned by anyone yet again.

Yup, they is some dangerous lefties at En Pee Are.

Anonymous said...

another "Halter moment" on ATC as a lie was exposed for what it is - a lie. It concerns changes to Medicaid/Medicare and an assertion by a Republican guest Tuesday evening that this will insure that the elderly will have "the same" benefits as Federal employees including members of Congress. Turns out to be a flat-out lie. The interview was not live so it must have been edited before it ran. And no one at NPR checked to verify this statement. I guess NPR has dedcided that any statement uttered on NPR (especially by right wing/tea party people) is not to be considered a "factual statment" as so pointed out by Stewart and Colbert concerning John Kyl's lie about Planned Parenthood.

I knew these people would not face cuts of any kind because they function as enablers for liars, charlatans, and conduits of distractions and distortions.


Anonymous said...

"no one at NPR checked to verify this statement."

Despite their glitzy website, the folks at NPR never learned to use the internet. If they had, they would not repeat long since debunked nonsense on a regular basis.

Instead, NPR is like a big echo chamber where one of NPR's "journalists" says something and another NPR "journalist" hears it and then repeats it (cuz if someone at NPR said it, it must be true)

Anonymous said...

Thank God:

This is one way of looking at it but I think my way is much more accurate. That may only be my ego at work though.


Patrick Lynch said...

Add to the unquestioning granting of full on talking points was the time Renee Monfeign spent giving a Republican congressman time to "rebut" Obama's lame speech without asking the congressman any real questions or calling him on his b.s.

It was as naked propaganda as it gets on ME. Anyone who still thinks NPR is liberal after that stunt has got an IV full of kool-aid jammed in their brain.

I'd post a link to this but NPR has not put up on their site, or if they have, I haven't found it yet.

Fred Baumgarten said...

The budget coverage on ME this morning was straight out of the FOX playbook. You know it's really going to heck when you hear the Creep say in an interview (to the left-learning person, of course), "With all respect...." Code for, "You're full of it."

geoff said...

Yeah, Ed, my pocket protector is safe from being processed by my digestive system.

Anonymous said...

Story on Cuba today and not one mention of the economic blockade that has been imposed on Cuba since before MountFeign and Inskeep were born. Heck, no wonder the cars are so "old". I look at the ability to keep a 1951 Caddy on the road despite that embargo as a real lesson in sustainibility and as a tribute to human ingenuity. I guess that ruins my chance of becoming the next CEO at NPR.

I'm just sayin.


informedveteran said...

NPR talking point number 37: Cuba Bad!

Also in typical NPR fashion they are completely clueless. Detroit had another "heyday" - the 1990s. They sold their souls for the truck and SUV craze. I work in this industry now and let me tell ya, tens of MILLIONS of these "aging", "battered", "gas guzzling" "clunkers" are still lumbering the crumbling roads of America. I guess mentioning THIS might dampen the "We're Number One" tone of this pointless story.

Anonymous said...

"In its lobbying, NPR stressed that the money was for local stations, not for NPR itself."

NPR continues to use the ruse that "We here at NPR receive almost no public funding so cuts by Congress would mean nothing to us... but cutting funding to our member stations will be devastating to them"

It's basically a lie.

As you can see from NPR's financial statement, their revenue from "membership dues" and "station programming fees" for 2010 amounted to about $68 million (combined) out of a total $180 million in revenue -- or about 38%.

Now, here's the key thing: Most of these member stations would simply NOT be able to afford NPR programming WITHOUT the federal (and state) funds they receive. So, it is really no exaggeration to say that nearly 40% of NPR funding is directly or indirectly dependent upon government (federal and state) money.

By the way, with roughly 900 employees, $180 million works out to about $200,000 per employee.

Considering that some of those 900 are undoubtedly fairly low-paid workers (secretaries, janitors, etc) 'tain't bad atall.

make no mistake: NPR is a racket.

Anonymous said...

Who you gonna believe?

A Japanese nuclear physicist?

Or a bunch of clueless clowns at NPR telling you the Fukushima crisis is "overblown"?

Hmm, such a hard choice.

Expert: Despite Japanese Gov’t Claims of Decreasing Radiation, Fukushima a "Ticking Time Bomb"(Democracy Now!)

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that NPR actually interviewed the Japanese physicist Michio Kaku (see Democracy Now interview mentioned above) on ATC on March 16, 5 days AFTER the start of the nuclear crisis but did not ask him a single question about the developing Fukushima nuclear disaster despite the fact that he had been quite outspoken (not on NPR, of course) about the associated risks.

The March 16 interview confined itself to Kaku's new book "Physics of the Future".

NPR is always claiming they strive for "balance" in their reporting and here they had an opportunity to actually provide some legitimate balance on the nuclear issue from someone who actually knows what he is talking about.

But they chose not to.

Very interesting.

As usual, it's usually what NPR chooses NOT to cover that tells you the most.

geoff said...

"Is journalism worth dying for?" oozes Snott (moist flushable wipe) Simon. As if he had any idea what journalism is.

Anonymous said...


Hey, browsing the AP wire releases and NY Times like Scott Simon does every day is a very dangerous job.

You never know when there might be a power surge that might destroy your hard drive holding stats on the Washington Redskins.

Don't make light of it.

Anonymous said...

Check out the comments below this NPR story"Radioactivity Rises In Sea Off Japan Nuclear Plant"

The story is dated April 16 but the comments go back to March 11 (!)

There is even a comment dated April 5 that points out that the comments don't match the story.

Of course, those of us who have been paying the least bit of attention realize that this is due to the fact that NPR keeps changing their story (quite literally) and keeps the link the same, just pointing the old link to the newest story.

It's actually hilarious and makes the folks at NPR look like complete buffoons.

It shows that they are dishonest, lazy and/or sloppy in the extreme.

But apparently, they simply do not care.

Tony said...

Joe Palca piece: "Steve Simon) is an expert on the effects of radiation on physiology."

He's not an expert on sources of radiation. In that interview he said that cosmic rays *come* from the Sun.

Anonymous said...

What's this?

A "fears about radiation-bigger than actual risk" story from NPR?

How unusual.

What NPR has been doing is precisely what the government of the former Soviet Union tried to do when Chernobyl occurred: low-ball the risks.

NPR= National Pravda Radio.

I suspect that in the end, NPR will be about as successful as Soviet officials were. Not very.

It's just too hard to hide the reality when scientists like those in Austria are actualy monitoring the radiation. In fact, such monitoring was responsible for boosting the severity level to the highest level.

NPR and its team of quack experts obvioulsy does not deem that significant, but then who the hell cares? No one in his or her right mind would get their science from NPR.

Poor NPR and their RPI experts just end up looking stupid and foolish when all is said and done.

Anonymous said...

Does the following sound familiar?

It should because what the Soviet Government did in the weeks following the Chernobyl explosion and what organizations like USNRC and WHO have done since (regarding number of people affected) are precisely what the Japanese government and it's geisha (NPR) have been doing: low-balling the risks from radiation (especially from Iodine 131 and Cesium 137)

NPR = National Pravda Radio

Following is from Chernobyl: History of a Nuclear Disaster
25 Years Later, Chernobyl Is Still Linked to Thyroid and Other Health Effects (By Mary Shomon)

"In the following weeks [after original Chernobyl explosion], more explosions occurred, but the risks to the region were denied or minimized. Soviet officials did not even acknowledge some of the subsequent blasts at the plant, and were assuring the public that the situation had totally stabilized and that radioactive levels in the area were normal."

geoff said...

Poll Responses Call Budget Debate 'Ridiculous,' 'Messy'

If anything, this story supports the Pew Research Center's finding that Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low. It starts with NPR cluelessly interviewing visitors to their village and selecting 4 in a statistically legitimate and thoroughly scientific manner, no doubt. But then, science has a bias against idiocy, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

OtM had Brooke Gladstone reporting from Egypt and in one segment she talked about "blatant fabrications" so I thought I'd ask about the Irv Halter lie and the Price lie about SS. I'm getting my check in two weeks and I'll bet that check against a doughnut that I will not hear anything about this from either Ombudsman or OtM by then.

And I had the same feeling when Simon was lauding a real journalist that put herself on the line and paid for it. Simon has "friends" in high places according to him and he hangs out with them. But his tears are probably produced by Vapor Rub just like his brother "journalist" Glen Beck.

I'm just saying.