Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Faux News

I love to watch FOX TV here in Japan. It carries most of the US content that I like, including: Bones, NCIS, American Idol, SYTYCD, Ghost (AXN for Big Bang Theory, Battlestar, etc). We have FOX Mystery channel, FOX movie channel and FOX Life channel as well. But no FOX news.

What I hear about FOX News doesn't really make me miss that lack very much. Actually, I prefer that news reporting be as neutral as is humanly possible, and that editorial content be clearly differentiated from actual news, so I wouldn't want a "liberal" news program either.

But, is FOX News as inept as they appear?

Let's play a game:

Look at the following map. Open Google or Yahoo map in a 2nd tab, then search for each of the nuclear power plants listed. One is in the wrong place, another is not there at all.

Ready? Go!

Did you find the mistakes? Sure, you did. Because you actually looked.

The first is unbelievable, simply because all the earthquake news over the last 4 days has come from around this city. Sendai, shown on this map on the southern island of Kyushu, was damn near ground zero for the quake and tsunami which struck eastern Japan last Friday. The BBC, CNN, MSNBC and others have reporters on the ground in Sendai, fanning out during the day to report on the surrounding devastation. I have this image in my mind of FOX's reporters interviewing farmers and fisherman and wondering where the fu-- all the damage is.

I certainly can't imagine Japanese or any other country's news putting New York City in Central Oregon after 9-11.

Did you find "Shibuyaeggman"? Probably not. OK, try this search: "shibuya (space) eggman" Lots of gobbledygook. If you could read the kanji, you'd find a nightclub/live venue house in Shibuya called "Eggman". And around page 5 of the search results, you'll find an English page for a band called "Shibuya Eggman".

This is pretty funny/ridiculous. I don't expect them to know Japan intimately, not at all. But I do expect professional quality from a news program. Open a friggin' map, for Christ's sake! A web search took less than 5 minutes. Regardless of your politics, wouldn't you expect the same?

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