The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Trump administration locks out the media, retreats into secrecy

Locked-Out Media Watch While Trump Administration Retreats Into Secrecy MEDIA MATTERS, Blog ››› March 9, 2017  ERIC BOEHLERT“We want to ensure at all times, if confirmed, that the secretary of state and the State Department is fully transparent with the public.” – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at his January 11, 2017, confirmation hearing.

On Tuesday, bureau chiefs for major news organizations held a conference call to discuss the fact that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not going to allow the press to travel with him on his plane during an upcoming trip to Asia. According to, which reported on the call, not allowing reporters on Tillerson’s government plane would be would be “very unusual, if not unprecedented, certainly in recent annals, with substantial access given by recent Secretaries of State, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.”

As Poynter explained, “[T]he logistics of keeping up with [Tillerson] by assembling stringers or hopscotching about on commercials flights makes coverage exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.” According to CNN, a senior official “told reporters Tuesday Tillerson prefers to travel on a smaller plane and ‘carries a much smaller footprint.'” Tillerson’s plan to exclude the press from traveling with him overseas represents a stunning State Department policy reversal, while further cementing his image as a secretive cabinet figure who has had virtually no contact with journalists since being sworn in. “The secretary of state has given only a handful of prepared statements to the press and has not taken any questions,” CNN noted.

That veil of secrecy has quickly emerged as the hallmark for this shadowy administration.

It’s important to note that while President Trump’s ongoing war on the press has received most of the attention this year as he threatens journalists and restricts their access, there are plenty of indications that the rampant secrecy and disdain for transparency is widespread. “The retreat from the press has taken place administration-wide,” Politico noted.

There seems to be a collective closing of the gates now underway in terms of the federal government separating itself from journalists.

Just look at what unfolded on Monday:

  • Tillerson, along with Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, held an event with journalists to announce the administration’s latest attempt to restrict travel to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries. But none of the men responded to press questions about the controversial initiative.
  • Unlike how the administration treated the original travel ban signing, Trump signed the revised travel ban executive order without photographers or reporters present to record the event.
  • When the White House held a background conference call with reporters to discuss the updated travel ban it did not identify officials on the call, which prompted a New York Times reporter to tweet:

Been on dozens of background conference calls: DOJ/DOS/DHS call was first time I’ve been on 1 where officials didn’t give their names.

The next day, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell was escorted from a photo-op with Tillerson and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin after trying to ask several questions. The questions were “met with silence.”

All of that constitutes an historic effort by the Trump administration to lock out the press from the government’s official duties and business.

This, of course, comes after the White House’s radical move to banish several major news outlets from a press “gaggle,” likely because the administration was unhappy with what the organizations were reporting. What followed was a highly unusual, weeklong blackout in terms of televised press briefings from White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

That drawing of the curtain is part of a larger administration effort to march back transparency. For instance, in recent weeks there’s been a paucity of senior administration officials available for on-the-record interviews. Traditionally, senior officials, including cabinet members, have been made available for in-depth interviews, especially on the Sunday morning shows. But not the Trump team.

The White House seems to have specifically singled out CNN, repeatedly, and refused to provide officials for interviews there……..

March 11, 2017 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Media sucks – especially on nuclear issues – theme for March 2017

On 6   March 2017, The Daily Source, Global Social Justice News,  published Current Problems in the Media, and discussed these under a number of headings. Many of those headings can be adopted for a critique of how the media fails in covering climate, and especially, nuclear news:

High levels of inaccuracies…. Sensationalism……Poor coverage of important issues: Information on Fukushima is often so inadequate that  it amounts inaccuracy, minimising the severity of the problem. At the same time, some of the more sensational anti-nuclear stories are also inaccurate.

The media’s short attention span…..“the issue attention cycle”..”news media suddenly notice a serious problem, such as Fukushima, declare it a crisis: next they realize the problem will not be easily fixed and will be costly,….finally, they ignore the problem.

The media does not cover itself ….”journalism in America has become more slipshod and reckless, at times promiscuous…. Every journalist surely also knows that the old-time standards…have been weakened if not discarded. [This surely applies to coverage of health effects of nuclear industry]  Most of us in the business, however, stand by as mere observers….If this were happening in any other profession or power center in American life, the media would be all over the story, holding the offending institution up to a probing light. …”Sydney Schanberg


Focus on profit margins, not serving public………. “As a loyal American, trained as a journalist some 45 years ago, I am convinced that journalists in the U.S. feel increasingly trapped between their professional values and the marketing/profits mentality so evident now everywhere in the news industry. The old professional values urge them to dig, investigate and bring to the light of day the relevant facts and issues, while the market/profit mentality asks, ‘Is it worth it? Do enough people care?’

It seems clear enough that the market/profit mentality has won out, especially in electronic news, and to a considerable extent in the print media. ..” Margaret T. Gordon, a professor of news media and public policy at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington

[As to nuclear issues, it must be far easier for news media to accept the sophisticated handouts prepared by the nuclear lobby, than to pay investigative journalists to do thorough research. This applies especially to covreage of new nuclear technologies]

A  ray of light.  Nonprofit media organizations rate far higher on educating the public than for-profit entities [Readers of this site must have noticed  how much more informative on nuclear issues are many not- for- profit groups, than much of the mainstream media]

March 6, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, media | Leave a comment

Useless media is now normalising Trump

The mainstream media have been so timid for so long, so unwilling to take on the right for fear of being accused of liberal bias, that they really don’t know how to behave otherwise.
The problem is not that the media are now normalizing Trump, serious as that is, but that their tendencies to do so are so deep, there is little hope they can ever perform as a real instrument of democracy. First, there is their fascination with style over substance.
So Donald Trump has actually been right about one thing: the mainstream media are a farce. You can game them, as he has and will continue to do.
Media Fawns Over Trump’s New Tone: A Closer Look
text-relevantThe Media’s Rapid Retreat,  Tuesday provided a vivid demonstration that we are in this all by ourselves. The media won’t come to America’s rescue. BY NEAL GABLER | MARCH 3, 2017 Oh, how optimistic, naïve and ultimately foolish we were! When Donald Trump bulldozed his way through his first five weeks of his presidency, leaving wreckage in his wake, we knew the mainstream media couldn’t pretend this was business as usual. And they didn’t. And when Trump performed at his first presser as if he were, to put it charitably, deranged, we knew the media couldn’t pretend otherwise. And they didn’t. And when Trump decided to lash out at the mainstream media and declared them an “enemy of the people,” a characterization that even the reliably conservative John McCain thought contained a hint of dictatorship, we knew that the media, if only in self-defense, wouldn’t take that lying down. And they didn’t.
But here is what we should have known: the media scrutiny was only a temporary deviation from their norm. And something else. Though, as Todd Gitlin wrote so powerfully and eloquently in this space, we have a lot to fear from Trump’s media attacks, I think we have far more to fear from the media’s own customary cowardice. Trump won’t have to murder them. They will kill themselves. They already are in the process of doing so.
Since the election, the great media beast, which had performed with such servile lassitude for decades, had finally seemed to rouse itself from its stupor. It was one of the things that provided some small comfort for those of us who perceived Trump as an existential threat not only to civility, decency, common sense and truth, but to democracy itself. The press acted the way it was supposed to act: as a searchlight and a disinfectant. And, of course, it was the reason our new president was so exercised against them.

Well, the comfort didn’t last long — just until Trump’s appearance Tuesday before a joint session of Congress. We all know that it doesn’t take much to snooker the press. Alas, Donald Trump knew it too. Before last year’s debates, many of us predicted that if Trump could simply string two sentences together, the media would declare him the winner. His problem was that he couldn’t even manage that. But, to borrow a phrase that George W. Bush once applied to education — “the soft bigotry of low expectations” — when it comes to Republicans, the media always apply their own bigotry of “low expectations” and then somehow turn it into a win for the inept. If a candidate or, in this case, a president, exceeds those expectations by just a smidgen — “surprisingly presidential,” the ordinarily astute Washington Post pronounced afterward — the press gush and grovel. So all Trump had to do was take it down a notch, stay on the TelePrompTer, throw a few tiny bones to his antagonists and — voila! — the roaring lions of the press suddenly became cuddly kittens. It’s too easy.

If you ever needed an object lesson in media abdication, Tuesday’s speech analysis was it. When Trump began by condemning anti-Semitism after weeks of silence and after seemingly helping to incite a wave of national hatred, the media fawned. (Let me repeat that: A president condemns anti-Semitism and gets cheered for it. That is how far we have fallen.) When he said that the time had passed to fasten on “trivial fights” — this from the man who had only focused on the trivial — the media saw statesmanship. When he used the widow of dead Navy Seal William “Ryan” Owens as a prop, milking his death for applause, the media saw a great moment — “an emotional moment,” ABC called it, and CNN’s Van Jones said it was “one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics.” All sins were apparently washed away, no matter that on the same day he had accused former President Obama of leaking the Russian information to the press and picked up the “alt-right,” white nationalist theory that the attacks on Jewish cemeteries and centers were inflicted by his enemies. Some statesman.

The media response would be laughable if it weren’t also terrifying. Of course, Fox News thought Trump’s speech was the Gettysburg Address. Even Chris Wallace, who is supposed to be one of the few sane voices at that insane network, actually said this: “It was one of the best speeches in this setting I’ve ever heard anybody give.” On Trump’s alleged nemesis, CNN, Van Jones, a liberal, declared the speech the moment he became president. “Presidential” was the word that was tossed around the most, along with “optimistic.” Both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times headed their coverage with that word.

On ABC, White House correspondent Jonathan Karl celebrated an “upbeat President Trump,” “right off the bat reaching out.” The other words we heard endlessly were “new tone” (“a softer and more measured tone,” said anchor Lester Holt Wednesday on the NBC Nightly News, while Kristen Welker said he was “striking a more positive tone”) and “pivot,” as in, he pivoted from being a reckless amateur to a president, though, in fairness, NBC also noted that Trump’s windy pronouncements needed to be subjected to a “reality check,” and had the temerity to challenge his assertion that the raid in which Owens died provided “large amounts of vital intelligence.” Citing 10 officials, Cynthia McFadden said it did no such thing.

Of course, we should have seen this capitulation coming. Trump can’t help himself from being who he is, and the media can’t help themselves from being who they are. The mainstream media have been so timid for so long, so unwilling to take on the right for fear of being accused of liberal bias, that they really don’t know how to behave otherwise. It was a wonderful interlude of media responsibility we had for a few weeks there, but it was an interlude and an anomaly, and even then, Trump’s dalliance with the Russians got 1/10,000 of the coverage that Hillary Clinton’s emails received, and, let me remind you, we are talking about a foreign enemy government hijacking our election.

The problem is not that the media are now normalizing Trump, serious as that is, but that their tendencies to do so are so deep, there is little hope they can ever perform as a real instrument of democracy. First, there is their fascination with style over substance, which was in full display on Tuesday. In the media, it is not what you say or even do, it is how you say it. I assume that this is so because substance is hard and style is easy, and the media almost always take the path of least resistance. Trump talked nice, and they fell for it.

Second, there is their tendency to create narratives — in this case: Trump, who was out of control, has now learned how to become a statesman. This is a much better story than the real one: that of a president who is temperamentally and ideologically unfit for office. The media love this stuff.

Third, there is their obsession with reverting to the mean — which we see not only in the false equivalencies the media seem intent on creating, but also in their timid retreat when they realize they may have acted too boldly. Trump hadn’t given them much of an opportunity to temper criticism with praise, and they were clearly looking for one. (How eager? Seth Meyers showed how often they had leapt to the same conclusion during the campaign.) Once they found it on Tuesday, they seized it with alacrity. Expect more.

Finally, there is the terror of engaging in warfare, even if warfare is the only way to preserve our democracy, as it is now. I suspect that a lot of journalists fear blurring the line between telling the truth and taking sides, and the Republicans have taken full advantage of that fear for years. No doubt Trump will too. If you call him out, you are picking on him, which is to lose your objectivity. And even if individual journalists were to screw their courage to the sticking post, it is highly unlikely that their employers, especially broadcast networks, would let them. You have to play it safe.

So Donald Trump has actually been right about one thing: the mainstream media are a farce. You can game them, as he has and will continue to do. It is best we realize that now. Trump may be his own worst enemy because some things are beyond the pale and must be reported as such. But Tuesday provided a vivid demonstration that we are in this all by ourselves. The media won’t come to America’s rescue. They don’t know how.

March 6, 2017 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

How Donald Trump manipulates media news anchors

text-relevanttrump-worldCNN reports Trump successfully manipulated anchors for positive coverage
“Maybe we shouldn’t believe what they say.”
Think Progress Aaron Rupar, 2 Mar 17 On Wednesday, CNN’s Sara Murray reported that President Trump manipulated a team of CNN anchors into providing him with hours of positive coverage ahead of his first speech to Congress on Tuesday night.

During the “Sara’s Notebook” segment, Murray characterized what Trump told the anchors at the White House on Tuesday as “the bait and switch that the president pulled when it came to immigration yesterday.”

“He had this meeting with the anchors, he talked about a path to legal status,” Murray, a D.C.-based political reporter, said. “Basically they fed us things that they thought these anchors would like, that they thought would give them positive press coverage for the next few hours. A senior administration official admitted that it was a misdirection play.”

Murray went on to note that “when the president was actually out there speaking to the American public, he didn’t talk about a path to legal status.”……

The White House was happy enough with the coverage of Trump’s speech that officials decided to postpone signing a new Muslim Ban executive order, which was originally planned for Wednesday, so the administration could fully bask in the positive news cycle. Not even a month ago, Trump argued that an immediate ban was necessary for urgent national security reasons.

Just as he has with immigration policy, Trump has flip-flopped about his Muslim ban…….

During the transition period after the election, President-elect Trump distracted the media from his plans to profit off the presidency by tweeting out criticisms of Saturday Night Live and the actors and producers of Hamilton. He never divested from his business, but took advantage of a well-established media norm — if the president-elect says something, it’s news — and manipulated the media into publishing stories like this:  [picture on original]

Trump appointed white nationalists to some of the most powerful positions in his administration, but the media covered his meetings with Mitt Romney instead.

In late November, Trump adviser Newt Gringrich explained how Trump does it.

“He understands the value of showmanship,” Gingrich said during a Fox News interview. “And candidly, the news media is going to chase the rabbit. So it’s better off for him to give them a rabbit than for them to go find their own rabbit. He’s had them fixated on Mitt Romney now for five or six days. I think from his perspective, that’s terrific. It gives everyone something to talk about.”

March 4, 2017 Posted by | media, politics, USA | Leave a comment

The spin begins- sanitising Fukushima for the Olympics

logo-Tokyo-OlympicsJapan to Dispel Fear over Fukushima Radiation before Tokyo 2020, Latin American Herald Tribune, 3 Mar 17  TOKYO – Preventing fear and concern over the Fukushima disaster from negatively impacting foreign tourist arrivals during the 2020 Olympics is among Japan’s current priorities, representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Electric Power Company said at a press conference on Thursday…….
TEPCO decommissioning head Naohiro Masuda said radiation levels inside as well as around the plant continue to be stable, and will thus pose no threat to residents or the environment.

However, he added that one of the challenges for TEPCO is to safeguard the health of its 5,850 personnel, who have been working daily to decontaminate and dismantle the plant, a process that is expected to take 30 to 40 years to complete……

March 4, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Trump’s renewed attack on news media

trump-angry-toddlerTrump Again Attacks Media as White House Bars NYT, CNN & BBC from Gaggle text-relevant 

President Trump again escalated his self-declared war on the media, while speaking at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, on Friday.

President Donald Trump: “A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people, because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none.”

That’s Trump, speaking the same day the White House took the unprecedented act of barring The New York Times, CNN, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, the BBC and several other news organizations from an off-camera briefing known as a gaggle. Several right-wing news outlets were allowed to attend, including Breitbart, The Washington Times and One America News Network.



March 1, 2017 Posted by | media, politics, USA | 2 Comments

A blistering assessment of President Trump’s performance

text-relevantNY Times rips into Trump: ‘An inept White House led by a celebrity apprentice’ BY NIKITA VLADIMIROV – The New York Times on Saturday published a blistering assessment of President Trump’s performance, blasting him for a lack of meaningful accomplishments.

 “It’s with a whiff of desperation that President Trump insists these days that he’s the chief executive Washington needs, the decisive dealmaker who, as he said during the campaign, ‘alone can fix it,’ ” The Times wrote in its editorial.
“What America has seen so far is an inept White House led by a celebrity apprentice.”
The newspaper’s editorial board argued that Trump’s executive orders are not achievements and that the president has not yet been able to spearhead any meaningful reform effort.
The editorial board claimed that Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon writes his script while Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, “crashes meetings to which he has not been invited.”

“The White House is a toxic mix of ideology, inexperience and rivalries; insiders say tantrums are nearly as common as the spelling errors in the press office’s news releases,” the Times said.
“If there is any upside here, it is that the administration’s ineptitude has so far spared the nation from a wholesale dismantling of major laws, including the Affordable Care Act, though he may yet kill the law through malign neglect.”
The Times also criticized the president for planning to partially dismantle top government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, which employs a vast team of specialists and experts.

“Indeed, unless Mr. Trump can bring some semblance of order to his official household and governing style, the only element of his famous campaign pledge that may prove accurate is the ‘alone’ part,” the newspaper concluded.

March 1, 2017 Posted by | media, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Media and nuclear – theme for March 2017

Today’s news media is a smorgasbord of online blogs,Facebook. Twitter, Youtube, Linked-In and a hundred other online sites. Oh, and yes, there are still some online, and even print, newspapers. You remember those last. They employed reputable investigative journalists, who did fact-checking about their news sources.

With journalists dropping off employment like flies, anyone can write anything – no fact-checking needed. It might be fabricated.  It ‘s likely to be biased and inaccurate.
The “old media” – newspapers, radio, TV have long been vulnerable to uncritically disseminating propaganda articles from industry. Even more so, now, as they struggle financially. Industry handouts are much cheaper than real  journalism. That situation is a boon to the nuclear lobby.
social-media-1The “new media” is also a boon to the nuclear industry. They already pay lobbyists,Twitter and Facebook users, and especially Youtube-ers to daily spin out propaganda items by the hundreds. Nuclear lobbyists make use of “bots” to send  tweets in multiples, which actually come from just one software programme. At the same time, nuclear companies continue to produce glossy, expensive, sophisticated films and TV series. Their latest effort will hit the cinemas soon –  The New Fire.
As if this media revolution were not enough, the nuclear industry now receives a new bonus, the  rise of fascism, pioneered trump-twitterby Donald Trump, and perhaps soon to hit Europe and other countries. With an uncanny and Goebbels-like ability to home in on the right places in the media landscape, Trump makes brilliant use of  Twitter. Doesn’t matter if his tweets are lies – they are regurgitated across the world, and believed in by many.
Like all dictators, Trump’s first attack is on the media. Any journalism that Trump doesn’t like is “Fake Press”.  Reputable credible news sources like CNN and New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC, Huffington Post and BuzzFeed News. are now “enemies of the people” , and banned from White House media briefings. Instead, Trump trump-puppet-of-weapons-makerscrony publications like Breitbart are welcomed.
What does this mean for the nuclear industry? Well. probably Trump-dominated media will be a positive for them. Let’s not forget, Donald Trump is in power, for now, under suffrance from the Republican Party on behalf of the richest industrialists.
What does it all mean for us, writers and readers who seek genuine information?
Judith Donath of CNN said it for me:

“help promote a culture that reveres veracity. Check your sources before you post anything. Support newspapers and other organizations that do good, reliable reporting. Discourage people in your own community when they promote stories that feel good to you, but are, alas, untrue.

February 27, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, media | 1 Comment

Media war against climate scientists – Mail on Sunday (UK) launches new attack

climate-changeMail on Sunday launches the first salvo in the latest war against climate scientists 7 February 2017 by John Abraham

In this new political era, climate scientists and their science are under attack. The attack is from multiple fronts, from threats to pull funding of the important instruments they use to measure climate change, to slashing their salaries and jobs. But there is a real fear of renewed personal attacks, and it appears those fears are now being realized. What the attackers do is identify and isolate scientists – a process termed the “Serengeti Strategy” by well-known and respected scientist Michael Mann who suffered these types of attacks for years.

The author of the recent attack piece, David Rose in the UK, has a history of denying the well-established science of climate change. He has a long history of making incorrect climate change statements. In the attack, Mr. Rose claims that scientists used misleading data in a recent (2015) paper that studied the rate of temperature change across the globe. He reportedly obtained information from someone who works at NOAA to imply that internal review procedures were not followed as the paper was prepared for publication. What Mr. Rose omitted however, is incredibly telling and he does a disservice to his readers.

First, he neglects to mention that the work from the 2015 paper authored by Dr. Thomas Karl and others at NOAA has already been independently verified by other researchers.

The second thing Rose neglects to mention is that his story’s source was never involved any part of the work. According to a colleague of the authors Peter Thorne, this source:

never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) misrepresentation of the processes that actually occurred. In some cases these misrepresentations are publically verifiable.

Mr. Rose further neglects to mention that Dr. Karl was not involved in the development of the critical sea surface temperature data that was used in the study. That information was already published before the Karl paper appeared.

The attack piece also claims that the scientists discarded high-quality temperature measurements in favor of low quality data. This claim is demonstrably false, as described here and here.

The lengths to which Mr. Rose goes in his attack are disheartening and dishonest. He includes a graph that appears to show two temperature results that disagree. When they are replotted correctly, as temperature anomalies with correct baselines, the discrepancy disappears. This finding shows that the NOAA results from 2015 actually agree extremely well with data from other institutions.

Click here to read the rest

February 10, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, UK | Leave a comment

People are tweeting ClimateFacts since EPA workers can’t

By John D. Sutter, CNN January 26, 2017 Source: Employees terrified by EPA lockdow  John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion who focuses on climate change and social justice. Follow him on SnapchatTwitter and Facebook or subscribe to his email newsletter.

January 28, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, USA | Leave a comment

Journalists unite in a Slack channel devoted to Freedom of Information and to examining Trump

6ceed-japan-government-officially-censors-truth-about-fukushima-nuclear-radiation-disasterFlag-USAJournalists around the country are joining a Slack channel devoted to FOIA and Trump By Kristen Hare • January 25, 2017 A few days before President Trump’s inauguration, MuckRock opened up a Slack channel to help journalists better cover him and his administration.

As of Wednesday, 250 people signed up. Most are journalists, about half from national newsrooms and half from local newsrooms around the country. Update: As of Thursday, 1,500 people have signed up.

“Anytime we have a new administration, there’s turnover and there are changes,” said Michael Morisy, MuckRock’s co-founder. “I always think it’s important for reporters to get an understating of what that new administration’s priorities are. I think that’s true no matter who’s taking office.”

The open-government nonprofit first launched the channel with a small group of people about a week after Trump won the election. The channel works to help build requests, workshop ideas, ask questions and share results. It’s a collaborative approach for journalists that MuckRock has seen more of in the last few years.

MuckRock isn’t the only organization putting forth ideas about how journalists can work together to cover the new president.

On Tuesday, Panama Papers journalists wrote for The Guardian about the need for both collaboration and solidarity in covering Trump. NPR stations nationwide are also working together to cover state government. “It’s still a challenge, and it will continue to be a challenge,” Morisy said, especially in a tough business environment. But those same forces can also drive collaboration.

There’s already a strong community of open-government advocates, journalists and citizens who want to know what elected officials are up to. The Slack channel offers another outlet for that, Morisy said. Kelly Hinchcliffe, a WRAL reporter and FOIA columnist for Poynter, said she hasn’t tried the new channel yet, but she’s interested to see how it works. She often turns to colleagues for help with FOIA requests, and she’s on IRE’s NICAR listserv, where people ask questions now and then.

“Hopefully this will help reporters and others make requests more easily and learn more about the FOIA process. I’ve been making FOIA requests for years and still need advice every once in awhile.”

There are currently more than 90 active members and about 90 percent are journalists. Morisy is sending out invitations to people who’ve asked to join the group, and he plans to watch the channel closely to make sure people are respecting members’ privacy and behaving themselves.

MuckRock already has several resources for journalists covering Trump, including past findings about Trump and his cabinet picks.

The timing looks to be just right with the new administration’s push this week to remove some data sets from government websites and new restrictions on how one agency can communicate with the public and the press, Morisy said.

“I think making sure the public has access to what the government is up to is more important than ever.”

January 27, 2017 Posted by | media | Leave a comment

THE NEW CON – film “THE NEW FIRE” -nuclear advertising for 2017


The “New Nuclear” lobby is kicking off its New Nuclear propaganda for 2017 with its favourite tactic – FILM.


They started this method with great success in 2013 with a very glossy and quite seductive advertisement calld “Pandora’s Promise”  That has now been rehashed many times, e.g on Youtube. It pretends to be a documentary about c limate change, but is really a hymn to new nuclear “Generation IV” technology, especially Small Nuclear Reac

tors, and to endless consumption of electricity.


Then came the even more sophisticated and glossier television series, “Twisting the Dragon’s Tail”,  a subtle nuclear advertisement promotion that featured Australia quite strongly. Cleverly introducing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry, it finishes with that same message for boundless energy consumption via New Nuclear.


These  so-called “independent documentaries” are  quite lavishly and expensively produced. Who pays for them?  That is a well-kept secret. Do  presenters like Derek Muller (Dragon’s Tail) understand how they are being used?


“The New Fire” is currently under production, using, as those other ads did, very capable media professionals. We have no idea who is behind this project, but, with billionaires now in the Small Nuclear Reactor business, we can suspect those in the nuclear front group “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” 


The theme of those first two nuclear propaganda films was about the “need for ever-rocketing electricity consumption, cool-peopleand how new small nuclear reactors will meet that need.”


Thee theme of this 2017 nuclear advertisement will be that “only via new nuclear power can the world be saved from climate change”  It will focus on the new smart young people who reject the boring old people’s anxiety about nuclear power.



THE NEW FIRE  describes itself as ” an independent documentary that will introduce audiences to young nuclear engineers who are developing next-generation reactors which they hope will provide clean and safe solutions to the world’s future energy needs. Could these audacious innovators be the agents of change the world has been waiting for? With unprecedented access to key people, places and events, award-winning filmmaker David Schumacher has traveled the globe to capture a powerful, eye-opening story that needs to be told now—before it’s too late.” 

December 31, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The silence about the continuing horror in Japan

, by Radio Ecoshock  Well I guess the triple-meltdown nuclear disaster at Fukushima is all over. It must be. We’re not hearing much about it, right? As we’re about to find out, the silence about the continuing horror in Japan is no accident.

Robert Hunziker has some news even hardened Fukushima-watchers missed. Robert’s the free-lance environmental journalist whose work is published all over the world. This latest article can be found in the online magazine Counterpunch on October 31st, under the title “Fukushima Cover Up”. Fukushima Cover Up

I’ve covered the triple-melt down at Fukushima from the very day it started. There were emergency podcasts, interviews with tons of experts, including from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Just Google “Radio Ecoshock and Fukushima” and stand back. But just because the story is over in the media, and the Japanese government would dearly love us all to forget about it – THIS ACCIDENT IS STILL HAPPENING.

Fukushima extinction 1

The three reactor cores, including one laced with plutonium, are still lost somewhere under the ground in Fukushima, and still pumping out massive amounts of radioactivity. The Japanese utility TEPCO, which went bankrupt and was bailed out at huge cost by the people of Japan, continues to pump out very radioactive water, to be stored in an ever-increasing vast tank farm on the site. That may go on for another 40 years or so, except (a) the company is running out of places to build those tanks and (b) radioactive particles are flowing into the Pacific Ocean daily anyway.

The Government announced an “ice wall” to contain that radioactivity, but that didn’t work, despite the tens of billions of dollars spent. There is no solution to this problem.

Radioactivity is now acknowledged by American experts as having arrived in the currents to the West Coast of North America. Of course the Pacific fisheries has been irradiated. I would not eat fish caught there. The levels may be “low” but there is no safe level of radioactivity.

The Fukushima nuclear accident also continues because the people irradiated by the accident (including a huge part of Japan, and including Tokyo) will pass down illness for an unknown number of generations. The largest number of people receiving medical treatment due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster were born AFTER the accident, Robert Hunziker tells us. The government and the nuclear industry have found multiple ways to hide this.

One of the largest was to pass fake “terrorism” legislation, where any journalist reporting on Fukushima impacts could be charged as a “terrorist”. Then some one leaned on the largest daily newspaper of Japan (7.5 million subscribers, about triple the New York Times) to dismantle their team of more than two dozen journalists covering Fukushima. After winning awards for their reporting and exposes, these journalists at Asahi Shimbum newspaper were either fired or moved to other departments. That’s another way to “solve” the crisis.

I won’t go into all the ways the doctors have been silenced, medical records faked, and “temporary” workers at the cleanup not counted. It’s horrifying – and it’s an example of why humans cannot be trusted with nuclear power.

Japan says they have “cleaned up” the Fukushima area, by scraping up dirt and storing it God-Knows-Where in giant bags which might circle the Earth if lined up together. I doubt it, and nobody can “clean up” all the forests which were laced with particles, right up to and including plutonium that last for over half a million years. The clean-up is a fairy tale.

Meanwhile, and this is too incredible, Japan has somehow captured the 2020 Olympics. Worse, they plan to force people evacuated from nearby Fukushima city back into hot zones (by cutting off their aid if they don’t). They, Japan has scheduled sports events at Fukushima – with local food brought in from the irradiated zone! It’s not bad enough our athletes had to deal with Zika virus and polluted water in the Brazil Olympics. No, they have to be publicity guinea pigs for the Japanese nuclear disaster.

By the way, during my many interviews and podcasts, often using reporting from Japanese TV during the incident, there is no doubt that Tokyo itself was blanketed by nuclear particles. More ran into the underground water supply from the nearby irradiated hills.

Earthquakes continue to rock the Fukushima area, like this one. Who knows what can happen, with those lost reactor cores. ra ra

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan, media | Leave a comment

Trump attacks NBC News: he claims that it purposely misquoted him

trump-angry-toddlerTrump claims NBC ‘purposely’ misquoted nuclear comments, Politico, By 12/24/16 
President-elect Donald Trump claimed Saturday that NBC News “purposely” misquoted his call for an expansion of the U.S. nuclear program earlier this week, despite reports to the contrary.

Trump on Thursday said the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Saturday he accused NBC of intentionally leaving out the latter, more measure portion of his statements……..

NBC News’ initial report covering Trump’s comments on nuclear expansion, however, cited his comments in full. And the Thursday broadcast of NBC’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt” displayed his comments in their entirety.

Trump’s claim of dishonesty in media coverage has been a calling card of his ascendance to the White House. Since winning the presidency, Trump has repeatedly attacked the media, broadly accusing them of inciting violence against him, singling out individual reporters and blasting the press as “crooked.”……

December 26, 2016 Posted by | media, politics, USA | 1 Comment

No room for wives in BBC’s staff nuclear cold war bunker

atomic-bomb-ltext-from-the-archivesBBC staff offered chance to survive nuclear holocaust – but wives left at men onlyhome—but-wive/ Telegraph Reporters 23 JULY 2016 

BBC employees were offered the chance to survive a nuclear holocaust by broadcasting from an underground bunker, but they could not tell their wives, newly released files reveal.

The broadcaster secretly drew up plans during the Cold War for how it would run a Wartime Broadcasting System in the event of a major disaster.

Early versions of the plan – known as the ‘War Book’ – say that staff were “assigned” or “designated” to go underground, but later editions suggest they were “invited”. Chosen workers were informed not to tell their wives or bring them to the bunker, the files released by the BBC reveal.

“My clearest memory is of a discussion about whether people with spouses could bring them along,” Bob Doran, an experienced editor in Radio News in the 1980s, who attended a civil service seminar in Yorkshire said. The answer was no.
BBC bosses planned to set up 11 protected bunkers – known as ‘Regional Seats of Government’ – spread across the UK, each with a studio and five staff from nearby local radio stations.

A bunker at the Engineering Training Department at Wood Norton in Worcestershire would be a headquarters staffed by 90 BBC staff including engineers, announcers, 12 news editors and sub-editors.

The output would be controlled by the government, but the BBC made a collection of cassette tapes of old radio comedies to entertain the public.

Shows chosen to amuse listeners during Armageddon included the Goon Show, Just a Minute and Round the Horne.

December 12, 2016 Posted by | history, media, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment