Yellow Journalism from a “Green” Source

A link to this article turned up in my Facebook newsfeed this morning:

51 Sailors from USS Ronald Reagan Suffering Thyroid Cancer, Leukemia, Brain Tumors After Participating in Fukushima Nuclear Rescue Efforts

Something made me leery of the source, so with some help from people far more knowledgeable than myself, I tracked down some more information on this issue. The writer (name not given) referred to an article in Stars & Stripes, but I did not see any link. I later found the link at the very bottom of the TRN piece, but meanwhile Les Corrice (Hiroshima Syndrome) had pointed me directly to it:

In growing lawsuit, servicemembers fault TEPCO for radiation-related illnesses

About halfway through the S&S article, I started getting a feeling of deja vu, as if I had already read it. Looking back at the Turner one, I realized that although the unnamed writer had said “according to Stars & Stripes…”, they had then proceeded to lift nearly an entire section and present it as their own, with no indication that they were quoting or excerpting directly. They were also very selective in which portions they lifted and which they ignored. I’m afraid this has left me rather unimpressed by the Turner piece and the level of journalistic integrity displayed.

The S&S article was more balanced, in my opinion, and less conclusive. Not saying that the truth is “always in the middle” (the truth is where it is), but it gave a broader range of perspective and I thought it was much more responsible coverage.

There was an enormous amount of debris, much of it extremely toxic, washed out to sea by the backflow from the tsunami. At least one coastal oil refinery burned for days, releasing unfathomable amounts of pollution into both air and water. Possible ill effects from that contamination should be investigated as thoroughly as those that may be due to radiotoxicity. Not that TEPCO didn’t make mistakes or were entirely forthcoming with information, but in this case they are the easy target. That is no way to get to the truth of what really happened.

Addendum: Les covered this lawsuit last year in the entry for 28 December 2012. (About halfway down the page.)


  1. Good article — and very disturbing!

    I’ve yet to hear of any Japanese or U.N. research or investigation of the health effects from the tunami’s widespread toxic brew backwash seeping into groundwater and crop soil there! Are the Japanese public being kept in the dark by chasing straw dogs like Fukushima?

    Keep up the good work!

    James Greenidge

    • Eric Schmitz says:

      I could stand to do a lot more work, James, but thanks! 🙂

      There does seem to be almost complete radio silence regarding the massive amount of debris, with F. D. as a diversionary scapegoat. I suspect that Les has covered at least some of whatever press there has been. Should go look through his archives again.

      (On another note, I’ve been trying to figure out why I titled this post the way I did. TRN isn’t really a “green” media source, and neither is S&S. I have a feeling that I was thinking of the person/people who had shared it on FB. I don’t remember exactly who that was, but it was very likely an anti-nuclear “green” friend of mine.)

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