Mar
22
2011

NYT’s Reassuring Radiation Reporting

The radioactive plume from Japan wafting from west to east across the U.S. is absolutely nothing to worry about, writes William J. Broad in a New York Times report today (“Radiation Over U.S. Is Harmless, Officials Say,” 3/22/11) about the radiation threats posed by the Japanese nuclear plant disaster. Broad writes: Health experts said that the plume’s radiation had been diluted enormously in its journey of thousands of miles and that–at least for now, with concentrations so low–its presence will have no health consequences in the United States. In a similar way, faint radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spread around […]

Mar
18
2011

Ann Coulter on O’Reilly: Radiation Is Good for You

At a time when the Japanese prime minister is describing his country’s nuclear crisis and the growing threat of radiation exposure as “very grave,” it must have been comforting for Fox News watchers to turn on the O’Reilly Factor last night (3/17/11) to see Ann Coulter telling them that radiation is actually good for you. Yes, Coulter told O’Reilly viewers, the evidence was right there in the media, including in the newspaper she’d once hoped would be targeted with a terror attack: I’m citing a stunning number of physicists and from the New York Times and the Times of London, […]

Mar
18
2011

NYT Explains Peculiar Japanese Customs

The New York Times (3/17/11) presents a look at the Japanese government’s lack of candor about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. At first we’re given the impression that this is something cultural: “The less-than-straight talk is rooted in a conflict-averse culture that avoids direct references to unpleasantness.” We don’t have that problem, I guess. Then, we’re told, Japanese media are to blame: Left-leaning news outlets have long been skeptical of nuclear power and of its backers, and the mutual mistrust led power companies and their regulators to tightly control the flow of information about nuclear operations so as not to inflame […]

Mar
16
2011

The End of the Nuclear ‘Renaissance’?

If you’ve tracked media coverage of nuclear power, you know that every few months or so nuclear power is about to enjoy a comeback. The “nuclear renaissance” has always been right around the corner, we’ve often been told. Take the New York Times, for example: -Few industries have enjoyed the kind of renaissance that nuclear power may be poised to undergo. (5/23/01) -After decades in the doghouse because of environmental, safety and cost concerns, nuclear power is enjoying a renaissance of expectations. (editorial, 5/29/01) -Energy shortages may be creating talk of a nuclear power renaissance. (6/28/01) -“Much Talk of a […]

Mar
15
2011

The ‘New’ Newsweek’s Nuclear Power Puffery

There was a lot of chatter about editor Tina Brown and the “new” Newsweek, which debuted last week. None of it struck me as all that interesting–a column up front from Leslie Gelb warning about the threat of Arab democracy and an anti-Social Security harangue from Robert Samuelson made it feel very much like the “old” Newsweek. One other piece stood out, and only more so this week–a warm profile of the executive in charge of France’s nuclear power company, Areva. The subhead was “France’s Most Powerful Businesswoman Believes Now Is the Time for the Next Atomic Boom.” And the […]

May
18
2010

NYT, Iran and the ‘International Consensus’

A deal between Iran, Brazil and Turkey to ship some of Iran’s uranium out of the country to be enriched in Turkey and returned for use in a Iranian medical reactor has elicited some elite media panic. An early New York Times Web headline read, “Iran Offers to Ship Uranium, Complicating Sanctions Talks.” The Wall Street Journal (5/17/10) went with “Iranian Nuclear Deal Raises Fears.” The story in the print edition of the Times (5/18/10) focuses much of its attention on the U.S. reaction to the deal. This passage is especially meaningful: Rejecting the new deal, however, could make President […]