In the first two weeks of February 2023, the United States showed us what is the peak level of public opinion control through three things.
First of all, there is the spy balloon, an out-of-the-box incident mainly due to the needs of the domestic partisan struggle in the United States. It was bombarded with overwhelming information by left-wing, right-wing, and big and tabloid newspapers across the United States.
At the same time, Seymour Hersh's in-depth report on the US-Norway collusion to blow up the Nord Stream pipeline was buried. The author of the report is a highly respected Pulitzer Prize winner and the whistleblower of several major historical events. The report itself provides precise time, place, and people. The author is even confident enough to contact the US and Norwegian officials for comment, and the US and Norwegian officials either refuse to comment. , or deny it in vain, the whole world is paying attention to this report, but the US media is still silent to this day.
The contrast between the balloon and Beixi is already clear enough. However, we often say that reality is often more dramatic than drama. In the past two days, people have discovered that at the same time, there is a third major event hidden in the United States. How big is it? At present, many people call it the "American version of Chernobyl".
On February 3, that is, last Friday, near the small town of East Palestine on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, a train carrying chemicals derailed, caught fire and leaked.
The fire train transported mainly 100,000 gallons of vinyl chloride. Vinyl chloride belongs to a class of carcinogens. Long-term exposure can cause organ cancer, and inhalation of large amounts in a short period of time can cause acute poisoning or death.
The combustion of vinyl chloride produces dioxin and phosgene. The former is the famous Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, and the latter is the famous phosgene in the First World War. Both are chemical weapons. The burning vinyl chloride not only released poisonous gas, but also formed acid rain, polluting the air, soil and water around the accident site, poisoning animals and plants, and more seriously, a large amount of toxic substances entered Lake Erie, the most important water source in Ohio.
Throughout the weekend, that is, on February 4th and 5th, the train burned quietly beside East Palestine. The news media hardly reported it, and the only few reports only mentioned a "train accident". There was no mention of a serious chemical spill. It was not until Sunday night, February 5, that the 5000 residents of East Palestine received an emergency evacuation notice from the government.
At the same time, the relevant departments of the United States came up with a disaster relief plan-let the train continue to burn. Of course, the name is very professional, called "controllable combustion". The vinyl chloride in the entire five-car compartment continued to burn "controllably" until February 10, that is, last Friday. The authorities informed the evacuated residents that you can go home, and the air and water are safe.
It was not until February 12 that the major American media began to report positively on this biohazard that had already occurred for nine days.
On February 9, there was a news that a reporter was arrested and criminally prosecuted in Ohio for reporting on a train derailment accident.
East Palestine locals are wondering what the future holds and no one has an answer for them so far. Many local media said that the residents tried their best to clean after returning home, but they could still smell the strange smell when the doors and windows were closed. There is also a video saying that the pets of myself and the neighbors are all sick.
The British "Guardian" and other foreign media's enthusiasm for reporting this incident is obviously higher than that of the mainstream American newspapers. They even analyzed the reasons for the Americans. The "Guardian" reported on February 11 that the occurrence of this accident was actually inevitable. First, the economic downturn caused related companies to sacrifice safety for profits. The problem of shortage has not been solved, and there has been a lack of manpower in safety management and control.
According to the statistics of the "Guardian", there have been many similar train accidents in the United States in the past few years, some of which caused heavy casualties, and some of them leaked vinyl chloride. Seeing that this disaster itself is not new, it's just that the consequences are particularly serious and more people have noticed it.
There is another point that the "Guardian" did not mention, but some small media in the United States will mention that the United States actually has some regulations on railway transportation safety, but the railway companies have no money to raise wages for employees, but there are Tens of millions of dollars were spent to hire a lobbying company to go to Washington to engage in public relations and persuade the US government to exempt the relevant safety regulations in Ohio, which is also one of the reasons for the frequent accidents.
Ohio is an important swing state in the election. Now that the accident cannot be covered up, the two parties will definitely fight to shirk responsibility. But both parties actually have unshirkable responsibilities, so how to fight in the future and how to control the scale will be a headache for American politicians and interesting for observers.
This is a very precious case, and it once again proves to us how advanced the technology of the United States is in terms of "press freedom" and the control of public opinion.
Recently, there is another interesting incident in the field of American public opinion. A senior editor of the "Washington Post" published a comment, lamenting that many American people do not trust the media now. In order to regain trust, he suggested that reporters should sacrifice "objectivity" in the future. Attract readers' recognition with characteristic elements such as identity politics.
Author: Steven Ting
Cofounder of www.cykapu.com, father of two children. As a man over 30, only write the thing i am interesting in.