Yes, I know that picking on British tabloids for their accuracy is like shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s so much fun!
On Friday the Daily Mail ran the following story:
You could find a few die-hard Brits and other expatriates who wouldn’t leave their beers on the counter in the party-time district of Roppongi for any threatening radioactive cloud, but mostly Tokyo has become eerily quiet. Nobody wants to venture out and the streets are deserted.
…a city in fear – a city that was plunged into darkness last night as electricity was cut to conserve power following the massive loss of production at Fukushima.
‘They’ve said I can leave early,’ the blonde [British hostess], heavily wrapped in leather and furs, said in her north country accent. ‘A lot of us haven’t seen much of the news – how bad is it, then?’
There was no one in the whole of Tokyo who could tell her that, and even if they did, would it be the truth?
Today, however, another Mail reporter, probably in desperation after not finding anyone selling their own baby for a ticket out of Tokyo, has decided to put a “Well, they’re behaving in a very British way. Good on them” spin on things:
For a ghost town supposedly on the brink of imploding, Tokyo was rocking last night.
…the streets of the world’s third-largest city are teeming.
…there had been no ‘mass panic’ among the Britons in Japan. One aircraft carrying those wanting to fly out was leaving later that day, with further flights due over the weekend – ‘although they are no way going to be full’, she said with a disappointed shrug.
[the reporter's translator said] ‘You can see for yourself that is not the case. Here in Japan we are more like the British with their stiff upper lip.
‘We admire you because we are similar. We don’t panic.
Panic? Of course not! None of the Brits even considered leaving, and I’m sure none of them phoned the British Embassy to bollock civil servants for not doing enough to get them the eff out of this nuclear hellhole. Whatever gave you that idea?