Love the latest spin... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

As I watched the latest flurry of media reports today, I kept thinking about how much a factor the "spin" of the story is. Most of the major services painted the Senate Y2K report has pretty rosy...but as usual they did little of their own research but rather read the press release like the trained monkeys that they so often resemble.

Let me give you one point, and one point only as an example. Many services (NPR, NBC) reported that earlier information that railway switches might fail were later proven untrue and besides, "they could always be switched manually"....

In the course of producing our documentary on Y2K, I personally interviewed four railroad technical supervisors who were very concerned that over 15% of their switches relied on embedded controls that had been tested and found to have Y2K problems.

These same supervisors told us that the switches could be set manually, however, it would take an additional trained workforce of several hundred people per system to do so. Also, they were concerned about things like timetables, of which the industry relies heavily on and stated flatly that "NO ONE is still around who even remembers how to schedule large numbers of train routes manually".

I hope that the national media begins to do a better job of doing there homework soon. Otherwise, we may all have lots of new words to add to our language that won't get the laughs that Senator Bennett got today.

Les Rayburn,director Millennium Factor: The Truth About Y2K

-- Les Rayburn (, March 02, 1999


Thanks for your post Les. I wonder how comments like "one of the most serious and potentially devastating events this nation has ever encountered." can turn into a "bump in the road" in just a few short days. The spin doctors seem to have performed some extraordinary surgery this time. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 02, 1999.

OK, why the shift towards the health care industry? My gut feeling is to shift attention (read scare) away from food, power, banking, utilities. Is this a way of returning to health care reform? I just don't see it. More than 90% of doctors are not ready? In what way? They talk about medical records but few doctor's offices are computerized. NBC also recommended getting extra supplies of medicine... yeah, right. Most insurance companies won't even let you get more than 1-3 months supply at a time. Sorry folks, something just doesn't sound right with this focus shift.

-- lparks (, March 02, 1999.

"65% of hospitals in the U.S. do not have a Y2K plan" and it is going to be a bump in the road.

That's one hell of a bump.

-- codebuster (, March 02, 1999.

Sysman: Yeah, well they've had plenty of practice now haven't they.

Les: Glad to see your post, which made several good points.

Sadly, I feel that the national media is concerned about ratings, not "truth , justice , and the American way". Its money. The bottom line. What sells papers for example. They are in business to make money and give the people what they supposedly want, or are 'told' what to want via Polls. Folks don't want to hear bad news. Ever. Especially bad news that may affect them personally. Human Nature. Besides, Y2K is not only unpleasant, it requires action, and (heaven forbid) thought - for all of the preparation and changes in life-style, nevermind analysis of the potential ramifications, and people taking responsibility for themselves and possibly others. They will only accept Y2K when they no longer have a choice, if then. I expect there to be more interest in Monica's book, for example, than Y2K. Let's wait and see how long it takes for it to be at or near the top of the bestseller list.

-- Rob Michaels (, March 02, 1999.

Hi Rob. Sadly, I think Monica will get more attention, at least 'til the end of the year. Maybe we could mount an effort to get a "media giant" on the GI list. We've already got Art Bell, but not many people are awake at that hour. Ted Turner would be nice, but I'ld even be happy with Howard Stern! I wonder, now that the Senate report has hit the press, when will the next time be that volume gets turned up? <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 02, 1999.

Sysman: Unfortunately, there is a chance that this terrific news day will be forgotten sooner rather than later by J.Q. Public. Look at what is coming up just in the next couple of days. Isn't Barbara Wawa going to be interviewing Monica tomorrow, and the next day the new book comes out?

As far as the next time Y2K comes on most peoples radar, I think you would agree that we can at best just guess. The last time though was Thanksgiving Weekend - "The Weekend that Y2K became Real" - it remained "real" for about 48 hours. After being faked out last July and then again last Thansgiving, I am more cynical. I really thought people would get it both times. I was wrong both times. Now though, I am hoping I am wrong.

-- Rob Michaels (, March 02, 1999.

I watched the PBS interview with Dodd, Bennett, Marucchio from Gartner Group, and Bruce Webster. They all agreed that things are getting fixed and there is no need to panic. Even Webster didn't argue that the utilities and phones would be o.k. They even said that any problems at the turnover will be fixed in 72 hours. Now tell me, who is going to prepare if it will be fixed so easily? Who is going to listen to warnings to prepare?

This is only three weeks since Bennett on 'y2ktoday' said, "We don't know how bad it will be because we just don't know, we are flying blind." Now all of a sudden he knows? Right.

Sounds like they are scared to death of a bankrun. So keep the herd bunched up, watch your words.

To close the interview, Dodd says, there is absolutely no need to stockpile food or store water or money. Everything is just fine. Right. If I wasn't a GI, I would have easily been swayed.

The good news. We have until November to prepare...that is unless Brazil collapses and takes the dow with it.


-- BBrown (, March 02, 1999.

Well B, this few hours thing still blows me away. Maybe someone can explain the logic to me. We've been working on this problem for years, but in just 72 short hours after 1/1, all will be OK. Paging Mr. Spock... <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 02, 1999.

Sorry Sysman, Spock has the con. Fascinating.

-- Rob Michaels (, March 02, 1999.

I am five hundred some years old and I have never witnessed so many lies fly through this universe as in the present. Even though I had twelve additional brains implanted, including one monkey brain, I have been unable to find the occasional morsels of truth about Y2K and other subject.

These deceptions alone will collapse the world's economies, etc.

-- fly .:. (.@...), March 02, 1999.


ROTFL !!! Too funny.

-- Deborah (, March 03, 1999.

The spin is amazing. I expect Y2K to turn into a partisan issue as well at some point. There is only one certainty with Y2K, and that's the uncertainty. This is, of course, an unprecedented event, and all the speculation in the world (and there will be much of that) will mean nothing when failures occur in wild and unpredictable ways. Events shall unfold, I imagine, in ways that noone foresaw.

My crystal ball says so. Then again, I may be wrong. It could be worse. Apologies to Infomagic.

-- Steve Hartsman (, March 03, 1999.

Sys, The 72 hour thing is the same as the storm thing. My read is that they are saying that mission critical systems will be mostly fixed and ready and that some glitches will inevitably happen. But these minor glitches will be fixed rather quickly...give them 72 hours. Maybe Dan Rather should start a new program...."72 Hours".

I found the PBS Interview. Can listen realaudio. Maybe linkman can give us a hotlink. There is a transcript at the link below. Go to the last paragraph of the transcript where Dodd mentions the 72 hour scenario. Unbelievable. Pure spin. B

-- BBrown (, March 03, 1999.

It would take at least 12 extra brains to keep up with the spin I heard yesterday. I was sick and spent the day on the couch channel surfing from one tale to another. This can't be the early Bennett; I think he's been taken over by the Body Snatchers.

My husband, who is one of the most GI people I've know, now feels that things "might not be as bad as we thought." There's something about hearing spin from several experts in public that defys logic. Repeat after me, "Everthing will be fine."

-- gilda jessie (, March 03, 1999.

Steve H--I don't think this will become partisan. I believe both 'parties' are controlled by the central bank policy makers, and will toe the line, which is: don't cause a bank run. They only have 44billion in currency reserves (0.9% of all demand deposits). I think at some point, though, all the talking Eds will start spinning so fast that, like the Tasmanian Devil, they'll become Heisenberg electron clouds.

-- Spidey (, March 03, 1999.

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