Reporting the News
A 75-year-old workaholic; under constant stress; never took a holiday; never exercised; known for poor hygiene and even poorer diet. He was a major recipient of 2nd-hand smoke; suffered from poorly treated chronic diseases and probably years of unsafe sexual practises. He died. Quelle surprise?
Two news organisations reported on the news release from Russia that no polonium was found in Yasser Arafat’s body. Hard to believe they were dealing with the same story. Five Minutes for Israel saved these screen grabs for posterity.
Reuters reported that no traces of radioactive polonium had been found in Arafat’s body. Assuming the story is correct whatever killed Arafat it wasn’t polonium poisoning – unless, of course, the perfidious Jews had developed a special element that leaves no traces. The report mentioned that it might be too late to detect the material although that begs the question of how so much remained on his clothes.
The Guardian chose to run with a story from last year but a breathless headline that suggested it was current. Of course the Swiss found the element on his clothes. If they hadn’t the Russians wouldn’t have been looking for it. It took five paragraphs before the newspaper volunteered the real story. The Russian lab hadn’t found any.
“Although the absence of myelosuppression [bone marrow deficiency] and hair loss does not favour acute radiation syndrome, symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhoea, and anorexia, followed by hepatic and renal failures, might suggest radioactive poisoning.”
In other words, even the Swiss were doubtful.
Almost needless to say, Harriet Sherwood submitted the story. She has form.
The absence of polonium in Arafat’s body combined with its presence on Arafat’s underwear might suggest that someone put it there after his death. Hard to say what took more bravery – handling a highly toxic chemical or the late PLO leader’s grundies‡.
Facts about polonium†
- Date of Discovery: 1898
- Discoverer: Pierre and Marie Curie
- Name Origin: After Poland
- Uses: No uses known (Surely pest control?)
- Obtained From: pitchblende, decay of radium
† Bentor, Yinon. Chemical Element.com – Polonium. Oct. 16, 2013
‡ Rhyming slang referring to Reg Grundy (b.1923), a highly popular Australian TV producer and media mogul, most famous for producing Prisoner (Cell block H) & Neighbours.
noun – plural: a pair of underwear bottoms that are dirty and/or smell badly e.g. Your grundies smell.