• Institution: CBC Radio /The Current
  • Reporter: David Gutnick and host Anna Maria Tremonti
  • Date: 21-03-2011
  • Score: 10
  • Reporting faults and errors: Equating the radiation dangers of a thermonuclear bomb blast in wartime with the accident caused by a natural disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant; correspondent and host blaming Japanese culture when his interview subjects don't give him the answers he's looking for to support his thesis; claiming that the Japanese government is hiding information with no proof given to back up his claim; giving radiation levels without context to suggest that they are more dangerous than they are
  • Description: Gutnick travelled to Horoshima determined to establish a link between radiation poisoning from the Hiroshima bombing and the potential for radiantion poisoning at the Fukushima nuclear station. He interviewed a few citizens who, although painfully polite, brushed off his nonsense with comments about the bombing being an act of war and the ongoing difficulty at Fukushima being an unfortunate failure resulting from the force of nature. A few seemed to be offended that he would attempt the equation, and from the hysterical tone that crept into his voice, it was clear that Gutnick found their common-sense replies offensive. 
    He finally found an interviewee whose responses suited him - a bombing survivor who was also an opponent of nuclear plants in general and especially a proposed one about 80 km from Hiroshima. He kept feeding her loaded questions and remarks but, she came across as much more rational than him, even while giving him what he wanted.
    Gutnick was abetted by show host Anna Maria Tremonti, who preceded and followed his piece with comments about a "looming disaster" and contamination of local spinach and milk with radiation levels up to 17 times "safe" levels. She didn't elaborate on what "safe" levels are. One presumes that she meant background levels.