• SHARE

Morning news shows tend to focus on the, some might say, “fluffier” aspects of the domestic media industry. Analysis of current affairs tends to co-exist happily alongside reports on newly observed trends in the food sector as well as decidedly more banal features such as how zoo animals occupy their time during the COVID-19 pandemic almost irrespective of the importance of news. Generally, such programming isn’t anything to get worked up about, as it’s the virtual equivalent of having a cartoon of no-pulp orange juice at the ready upon waking up each day.

Sometimes, though, such fare verges on the ridiculous. On May 21, TBS’ “Hiru Obi” aired a segment that examined one theory as to why Japan has seemingly handled the outbreak of novel coronavirus better than other countries. The program’s hypothesis — spoken Japanese isn’t as pronounced as spoken English, implying that the virus spreads less easily as a result. To illustrate this point, the production crew hung a tissue on a clip in front of a woman who was asked to say the phrase, “This is a pen” in both languages, with her English delivery of the final word causing the tissue to be propelled forward in a somewhat violent fashion.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)