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6 Aug 2011

Oops, teroppu

filed under: journal  :: earthquake  :: japan  :: japanese culture  :: japanese society  :: stupidity

A bit of silly news from Japan that's too long to tweet ^_^

A Nagoya area local live daytime lite news/info program called Piikan Terebi(TV) was giving away rice from tsunami-striken Iwate prefecture. At some point on the show, they needed put a list of the items and their winners, e.g "ABC Rice, won by (winner's name)". (Onscreen text/graphics like this is called teroppu - see below.)

Apparently someone in their production or graphics department thought it was funny to put up the following as dummy text: "Suspicious rice, won by Cesium-san; Contaminated rice, won by Cesium-san", etc. Somehow this dummy text got shown onscreen during the real live, onair show (during a totally unrelated segment - the chirpy female announcer is talking about some udon noodles that can be mailordered), for 23 seconds before someone noticed and it got taken down.

Thousands have complained, and there are talks of several protests against Tokai TV and Fuji TV. (Fuji TV is getting quite a lot of flack due to another, unrelated incident at the moment.)

The higher ups at the station in question (Tokai TV, a local affiliate of Fuji TV) have apologized profusely for this, and the program itself has been taken off the air for the moment. They have explained it as oversight because uh, they are too busy to properly check things during a live show, or something.

Iwate is in the very north of the Tohoku region, and so far no products there have been reported to have been affected by radioactive contamination. (Besides, the rice in question was harvested last fall.) But of course everyone in Iwate is extremely nervous about any such suggestion, of being painted with the same brush as it were as the regions that have been affected - Fukushima and prefectures that adjacent to it. There's a mild case of hysteria (some would say more than mild) about radiation of any level or of any kind in Japan right now. This silly mistake doesn't do much to help.

After the initial shock and mourning, and a feeling of 'we all need to work together to rebuild', at the moment Japan seems to be immersed in a morass of infighting, anger, finger-pointing, ugliness (including overt racism) and general stupidity. Sigh.

(Teroppu means " text/graphics superimposed on top of video on TV". It's derived from Television Opaque Projector (TelOp).)

(A lite news-info-entertainment show like Piikan Terebi is call a "waido show"...another puzzling imported-from-English term with little connection to any original meaning. )

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