My thoughts on the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan

We’ve all seen photos and videos of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated Japan. My heart goes out to them. I hope as few people as possible died, and they recover as quickly as possible from this tragedy.

What bothers me more than the event itself is the unfeeling coverage of the event, exemplified by this video from CNN, which I can’t even embed here, because of their crass commercialism during a disaster.

There were people clearly dying under their very eyes, their cars engulfed by the tsunami wave, yet the two reporters covering it were blabbering on about how difficult it is to escape the wave, and what its speed might have been. This, more than anything, exemplifies what I hate about today’s news coverage, and why I seldom watch news on TV.

It’s that, and the endless pundit parade that goes on for days after something like this. All the old bags start foaming at the mouth thinking about appearance fees, dust off their suits, powder their rotten faces, and instruct their agents to start booking them anywhere they can go. Once on camera, they’ll spout off about anything, trying to look caring, slowly killing the viewers’ brain cells, one by one, with tripe and nonsense about what might happen or could happen. Meanwhile, the news stations will re-run the same clips, over and over, hour after hour, milking every second of coverage until it’s bone dry. It’s disgusting.

Want to read something worthwhile about the Japanese during this time of crisis? Don’t bother with the TV. Read this article by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, then imagine them at work, rebuilding their communities. It’ll be a far better image than what you’ll find on TV.

For example, you can see their “gaman” at work in this video. Even during the earthquake’s aftershocks are threatening to topple store shelves somewhere in Japan, they’re busy propping them up and have already started to clean up the store.

I’d like to wish them a heartfelt “ganbatte kudasai”!


2 thoughts on “My thoughts on the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan

  1. If you think that’s unfeeling, wait till you get a load of the sheer crass insensitivity and outright greed of the Singapore government-controlled Channel News Asia TV channel. MediaCorp’s Vice President for Marketing Communications sent out this mailer for advertisers to book their advertisement slots:

    “Be a Part of Channel NewsAsia’s Breaking News Coverage on the Japan Tsunami”

    “Channel NewsAsia: Massive Tsunami Hits Japan after Massive Quake”

    “A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake shook Japan in the early afternoon today, unleashing a powerful tsunami that wrecked(sic) havoc along the streets of coastal towns. ”

    “Book your spots in the Weekday Evening News Bundle as the channel brings viewers comprehensive coverage reports on the disaster with extended versions of news bulletins tonight.

    “Call our sales representatives now!”

    What a golden opportunity to make some money out of other peoples’ misfortune, eh? Those aren’t search and rescue choppers circling up above the sky so high, they’re media vultures looking to pick at the bones.

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