Search Results for: Diana Zuckerman

Sep 1 2002

Hype in Health Reporting

"Checkbook science" buys distortion of medical news

You’ve heard of junk science–a term coined by corporations to describe research they don’t like–but the real danger to public health might be called “checkbook science”: research intended not to expand knowledge or to benefit humanity, but instead to sell products. Every day it seems there’s a story touting a “promising” new medical product or treatment. Unfortunately, many of those news stories are based on public relations spin machines going into overdrive on behalf of the company that sells the product–whether it’s a pharmaceutical company, a chain of diet clinics or a plastic surgery practice selling a new technique. Do […]

May 1 1999

The Derailing of Social Security

How Cato and Heritage paved the way for privatization

For many years, Social Security was supposed to be the third rail of American politics–not to be touched by officials who valued their political lives. This unique power resulted from an irresistible combination of affection and clout: Social Security was appreciated as the most successful anti-poverty program in America, and its clout came from the millions of voters from all walks of life who received checks every month, without fail. But by late 1998 it was beginning to look like the 63-year-old program was facing forced retirement, and would be rejected for a younger, sexier model. Two conservative think tanks, […]

Dec 1 1997

Announcing the P.U.-litzer Prizes for 1997

The P.U.-litzer Prizes recognize some of America’s smelliest media achievements. Although journalists do not covet these annual awards, the competition remains fierce. Each year, I sift through hundreds of entries with my colleague Jeff Cohen, who heads the media watch group FAIR. In 1997, many news professionals were deserving, but only an elite few walked off with a P.U.-litzer: VULGAR EXCESS PRIZE — Columnist Frank J. Prial In his “Wine Talk” column published by The New York Times, Prial declared: “The $100-a-bottle wine, once an example of vulgar excess, is now an everyday occurrence.” Everyday occurrence for whom? Three days […]

Nov 1 1997

Visible and Invisible Caregivers

Why Princess Diana was

Reporters who covered the funeral of Britain’s Princess Diana were mystified by the mourners (e.g., New York Times, 9/7/97). “Why are you here?” one journalist after another asked the people adding bouquets to the mountainous flower pile outside the palace gates. Sikhs and Rastafarians, Londoners and tourists, women and men, gay and straight, responded in a similar way. The mantra became familiar: “We’re here because Diana was the only one we ever saw who cared.” Now perhaps that wasn’t the only reason why the mourners massed in Kensington. Plenty has been said about the princess’ sex and class appeal. Fed […]