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`MBC Program Distorted Facts on Mad Cow Disease`

Posted September. 22, 2009 02:12,   


A translator who worked for a major TV news magazine yesterday blasted the program for distorting facts in its report on mad cow disease, which led to mass protests against U.S. beef last year.

Jeong Ji-min, who translated and edited English-language materials for MBC’s “PD Notebook,” will publish next month the book “Note – I Respect Facts.” In the book, she blasts the program for misinformation, saying, “The program, which cannot be justified for any purpose or result, consisted of distorted facts and unreasonable logic. There was neither public purpose nor interest.”

The Dong-A Ilbo obtained an advance copy of the book.

Jeong said the program intentionally distorted the cause of death of an American, Aretha Vinson, whom it said died of mad cow disease, as well as a video clip containing downer cows.

“PD Notebook is the only program to distort information on what symptoms Aretha Vinson developed and how long she suffered,” Jeong said. “It omitted that Vinson went through gastrectomy, quoted a doctor unable to diagnose variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) or Vinson’s case as vCJD, said her case would definitely be diagnosed as vCJD, and that an autopsy was the only remaining procedure to verify Vinson’s disease.”

“It also mistranslated the title of an official document released by U.S. public health authorities into ‘Survey on Death Resulting from vCJD.’ Additionally, the program’s staff changed the word that should’ve been translated as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) into a conclusive word meaning vCJD.”

On the video clip of downer cows, Jeong said, “The only facts shown in the video clip are the cows who showed downer symptoms and their cruel treatment, rather than the fact that they got medical checkups. PD Notebook is the only program to use the video clip as a source to broadcast cases of mad cow disease.”

Jeong also rebuffed the program’s claim of media suppression by the government, saying, “This is a problem akin to those definitely at fault considering themselves as victims of history. I prefer people who respect facts, decline to lie to a sense of justice, and not call people who indulge in self-contentment and self-righteousness.”

Jeong said she wrote the book for those who recognize that PD Notebook has problems but do not understand facts, which have been revealed, and logical attack point.

She also criticized the program’s writer, saying, “U.S. health authorities officially announced that the scare over mad cow disease was exaggerated by certain media. But the program’s writer Kim Eun-hee said the announcement was no more than a conspiracy to conceal the risks of mad cow disease stemming from a desperate U.S. attempt to export its beef. Kim’s reasoning lacked rationale.”