[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Not only is Fox News now racing to promote the narrative that the meltdown the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, in the wake of this week's killer earthquake and tsunamis, is really nothing for anyone (and especially not Americans!) to worry about, but the other night on Hannity, one of their "experts" -- Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute -- tried to claim that everything was working according to plan and no harm would come to anyone's health as a result of the radiation released.
HANNITY: How realistic is this threat?Lehr was featured throughout Hannity's show, and he continued on in this vein -- minimizing the health effects of disasters like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and attacking a nuclear engineer for saying that there is at least some concern about fallout drift to the West Coast of the USA.
LEHR: Sean, it's not at all realistic. I can tell you with the utmost confidence there will not be a health impact from anything that's going on at the Fukushima power plant.
As Digby sez: "Call me nuts but that fellow doesn't sound all that trustworthy."
He reminds Digby of a movie character, Gen Buck Turgidson. He reminds me, on the other hand, of another character altogether. You remember J. Frank Parnell, don't you?
J. Frank Parnell: Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too. When they canceled the project it almost did me in. One day my mind was full to bursting. The next day - nothing. Swept away. But I'll show them. I had a lobotomy in the end.
Otto: Lobotomy? Isn't that for loonies?
Parnell: Not at all. Friend of mine had one. Designer of the neutron bomb. You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people - leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It's so small, no one knows it's there until - BLAMMO. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead. So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again.