Search Results for: Mike Males

Sep
01
2008

Media's 'Girls Gone Wild' Fantasies

Pregnant girls ignored in story on ‘pregnancy pact’

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/MestreechCity

When Time magazine (6/30/08; online edition, 6/19/08) reported that “nearly half” of 17 pregnant teenagers at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts had made a pact to have children simultaneously, corporate journalists latched onto the story and scurried to express their dismay on newspaper pages, blogs and 24-hour cable news. Time’s article, which reporter Kathleen Kingsbury largely sourced to school principal Joseph Sullivan, told of a group of girls who repeatedly visited the school clinic for pregnancy tests. The girls, according to the principal, “reacted to the news that they were expecting with high fives.” And “the story got worse,” Kingsbury […]

May
01
2006

Letters to the Editor

In Defense of MEF I see that the March/April 2006 issue of Extra! has a letter to the editor from Mike Males in response to my piece on FAIR and media reform published in the January/February 2006 Extra!. Males’ letter has nothing to do with my article, and tees off on a passing reference I made to the Media Education Foundation in which I praised the quality of MEF’s work. As Males acknowledges, MEF does tremendous work. It is one of the truly great progressive institutions in our society, much like FAIR. But Males uses my passing reference to make […]

Mar
01
2006

Letters to the Editor

Anniversary Wishes Kudos on your 20th anniversary issue of Extra!, and thanks for all I have learned and benefited from. Best wishes for the next 20 years or until there is a free press doing its job in the USA. (If there was one thing missing in the issue, it might have been mention of Fred J. Cook, one of my favorite muckrakers.) Bob Goldberg Jericho, N.Y. . Thank you for the wonderful review of those 20 very important stories and how the media handled them. We need to have such reminders. Leonore Johnson Toledo, OH . I wish you […]

Jan
01
2004

With Friends Like These

Black youth stereotyped by progressive columnist Bob Herbert

Black Americans are "insane," "predators," "running wild," "killing each other," perpetrating "self-destructive sexual behavior and drug use," and in need of "thundering" condemnations from leaders to halt their culture-driven recklessness. A vicious attack by far-right, race-baiting commentators like Michael Savage or Ann Coulter? No, these are routine disparagements by the New York Times' well-respected, progressive African-American columnist Bob Herbert, selectively criticizing "young black men and women." For example, Herbert (6/12/03) blamed Los Angeles' recent murder epidemic on "kids who are running wild and frequently killing one another". He declared (10/17/03) that the "Ghettopoly" game, a Monopoly parody widely deplored as […]

Nov
01
2000

Raving Junk

Few outlets dissent from the latest teen-drug hysterias

1980: The Washington Post's front-page profile (9/28/80) of "Jimmy," a black eight-year-old junkie, ignited pandemonium. Mayor Marion Barry ordered police and teachers to inspect children's arms for needle holes. Despite a $10,000 reward and intensive searches, neither Jimmy nor any other child addict was found. "Jimmy" did not exist, Post reporter Janet Cooke later confessed. 1996: Trainspotting panic erupted. In a story that would shame the National Enquirer, USA Today (7/19/96) declared "smoking or snorting smack is as commonplace as beer for the younger generation." Rolling Stone (5/30/96) branded Seattle "junkie town." Citing anecdotes, the article blamed Seattle's tripling in […]

Jul
01
1997

Pot Boiler

Why Are Media Enlisting in the Government's Crusade Against Marijuana?

As America’s officially ignored death toll from overdoses of heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs and alcohol mixed with dope took another huge jump in 1995 (taking 10,000 lives, up 65 percent since 1992), America’s media raged with the threat to the republic posed by . . . sick people smoking marijuana to relieve pain. And ABC News teamed up in March with the private Partnership for a Drug-Free America to push a month-long "March Against Drugs," including hourly ads, numerous specials, and "Straight Talk About Drugs" appended to its evening news with a heavy focus on teenage marijuana use. Newsweek (11/25/96) […]

May
18
1996

Cherishing Kids...While Neglecting Them

Americans of all ages will gather at the Lincoln Memorial on June 1 for an event called "Stand For Children." Organizers are promising "the largest and most uplifting demonstration of family, community and spiritual commitment to children in American history." One likely result: a media focus on kids next month. We sure need a change. Usually, national attention lurches from one sensational horror story to another. Young people complain that they only seem newsworthy if they do something awful. When lurid accounts of youthful crimes hit the front pages and evening news, glib moralizers swing into action — demanding that […]

Mar
01
1996

Wild in Deceit

Why "Teen Violence" is Poverty Violence in Disguise

In previous decades, American politicians and social scientists predicted waves of violence stemming from "impulsive" blacks, volatile Eastern European immigrants, "hot-blooded" Latin Americans, and other groups "scientifically" judged to harbor innately aggressive traits. In each case, the news media joined in vilifying whatever temporarily unpopular minority that politicians and pseudo-science had flocked to blame. And in each case, the branding of disfavored population groups as inherently violent has been disproven. (See Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man for examples.) In each case, violence has been found to be a straightforward function of poverty, income disparity. Here we go again. […]