Friday, March 11, 2011

Re: Japan And What Passes For News

 As a news person and just an ordinary person, I am unbelievably frustrated by the lack of coordinated, comprehensive and credible information out of Japan. I was up until 2 a.m. being mezmerized by the film and appalled by the MSNBC anchorette — yes, I said that, she's just a hired bimbo and never did figure out the time zone differential between New York and Hawaii — and thinking, well, there are probably tens of thousands dead.
This morning Andrea Mitchell — Andrea Mitchell! — asked an expert what "seismic predictions" he could make based upon what happened in Japan, trying to escalate the fear factor no doubt.
Yet no one's saying the obvious. Were all those buildings and vehicles empty when the tsunami swept them away? Yeah, right. Only 300 dead or missing? I don't think so.
It's probably policy somewhere to rely entirely upon official casualty statements and so, if the gubmint ain't saying it, it ain't happening. Then, of course, you have your lying eyes.

UPDATE: Or you can start doing the math, like the BBC.

The only "oh, the humanity" I heard was from one news anchor at KOMO, who apparently didn't read the memo.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, somebody needs to do the math. I haven't seen a timeline of any kind so far, not even at NYT.
What time did that wall of water hit those farmlands anyway? We saw moving vehicles, so not everyone got warned in time to evacuate.
But I did learn from their one timed item that the 6m tsunami did hit Kamaishi Port at 3:21, 35 minutes after the quake. Those are the films of the boats being swept under the bridge — I assume it's a bridge — one mast snapping as the boat goes through. Yet there were people on that bridge, apparently unafraid to be there, which kind of makes me think there was room for the water roughly where there was a channel and it wasn't tumbling any vulnerable buildings, etc.

UPDATE II: Okay, somebody asked about time. Somebody at the NYT.
Vasily Titov, director of the Center for Tsunami Research, said that coastal areas closest to the center of the earthquake probably had about 15 to 30 minutes before the first wave of the tsunami struck. "It’s not very much time. In Japan, the public is among the best educated in the world about earthquakes and tsunamis. But it’s still not enough time.”

UPDATE III: Or you can wait for the BBC to do the math.
ne of the worst-hit areas was the port city of Sendai, in Miyagi prefecture, where up to 300 bodies have been found in one ward alone.
Japan Railways said it could not trace four trains along the north-eastern coast. A ship carrying 100 people was also reported missing.

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