In Which We Mock News Channels, not the Japanese People
Yesterday's news: First off, someone tell Soledad O'Brien the reason Japan doesn't smell like death, like Haiti did, is because it's cold. It's below 40F. It's refrigerated. It's awful, but she should have thought of it.
Today's news: We have the slow-motion nuclear meltdown.
"There was an explosion..." Hours later: "There's been a release of radiation..." Hours later: "There's a fire in the containment system..." Right now it appears "there's been some damage to the containment structure." It's like the old joke about the cat falling off the roof.
The disturbing thing tonight has been the news-network-wide desire to classify the disaster.
Anchor: "Is this the worst case scenario?"
Talking Head: "No. This could be worse."
Anchor: "How? How could it get worse?"
Talking Head: "As meltdowns go, yes, there is melting, but it isn't melted through. It isn't Chernobyl. It's Three Mile Island. Or between Chernobyl and three Mile Island."
Anchor: "So if Three Mile Island is a five, and Chernobyl is a seven, where are we now?"
Talking Head: "This is about a five point five. Right now." (Expectantly) "But it could get worse."
Anchor: (Again) "How? How could it get worse?"
Gary: "Mothra! Screee! Screee!" (Mothra screeching.)
Now they're talking about radiation levels and what isotopes cause what level of damage. "If one is thyroid damage, and five is Mothra, and ten is Godzilla rises from the sea, where are we now?"