Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Mirror's stupid front page

I'm still shaking my head at the front page of yesterday's Irish Mirror. I only wish I'd taken a photograph of it so that I could relate it to you verbatim, but my memory will have to do. The front page was an attempt to paraphrase Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, with this, "The worst day since Hiroshima".

What the Prime Minister actually said was:
I think that the earthquake, tsunami and the situation at our nuclear reactors makes up the worst crisis in the 65 years since the war.
I have tried to figure out what drove the editor to make such a change to what the PM said. More drama? Maybe, but tens of thousands dead, entire towns missing, nuclear plant teetering on the edge of meltdown ain't enough for the Mirror's readers? If that's it then all I can say is that the Mirror's readers must be the kind who love jumping off a bridge with a frayed rope attached to their leg.

I don't know. Then I thought it was probably just an attempt to add to the editor's pacifist chic credentials. I guess that could be it too. I also toyed with the idea that it was a dig at America, you know, those war-mongering Americans who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

I have no idea what drove the decision to change the tone of the PM's statement, but I do know it was 100% stupid. Yes, stupid because whatever the motivation there is no way the Prime Minister of Japan would have been as ignorant of history as yesterday's front page showed the Irish Mirror's editor to be.

Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945 three days before Nagasaki was hit with an atomic bomb (August 9, 1945). The editor either didn't know about Nagasaki or didn't realize that it was the second city destroyed with an atomic bomb.

Still the dates of the two bombs make yesterday's headline laughably stupid. Of course the Mirror's readers won't have had time to notice this; they're probably too busy playing chicken on train tracks to worry about historical accuracy.