Search Results for: Paul Ruiz

May
01
1995

Crying Over Spilled Coffee

Media Deform the Legal Reform Debate

The Republicans' "Contract With America" proposed to drastically alter the U.S. legal system to curtail a flood of "frivolous lawsuits and outlandish damage rewards [that] make a mockery of our civil justice system." What "frivolous lawsuit" problem is the Contract talking about? Rep. Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, provided a clue (KPFK, 2/22/95): "Whenever the public reads about a woman who spills coffee in her lap and gets $3 million, most people say this doesn't make a whole lot of sense." You've probably heard about this case. From Jay Leno to your local radio […]

Sep
01
2007

The Poor Will Always Be With Us--Just Not on the TV News

FAIR Study

The PDF version of the study is available here. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, 37 million Americans—one in eight—lived below the federal poverty line in 2005, defined as an annual income of $19,971 for a family of four. Yet poverty touches a far greater share of the population over the course of their lives: A 1997 study by University of Michigan economist Rebecca Blank found that one-third of all U.S. residents will experience government-defined poverty within a 13-year period. The poorest age group is children, with more than one in six living in official poverty at […]

Nov
01
2006

Ground Zero's Undocumented Victims

[Note: This piece is a sidebar to Gullibility Begins at Home.] On January 11, 2002, the New York Daily News reported that immigrants and labor rights groups charged that hundreds of undocumented workers were hired to clean toxic World Trade Center dust out of buildings near Ground Zero with no training in hazardous waste disposal and no warning of the potential health effects. “Most were not given respirators or other safety equipment,” reported the Daily News’ Albor Ruiz and Greg Gittrich, “and some who brought their own said bosses would snatch them away for themselves.” Some were never even paid […]

May
01
1988

The Media and the Environment

Redefining National Security

Beyond a doubt, the state of the environment—from local toxic dumps to global ozone layer depletion—is a subject of urgency and complexity, with ramifications for our planet’s future as far-reaching as nuclear war. In the 18 years that have passed since “Earth Day,” which coincided with the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congressional passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, few would dispute the ever-increasing importance of ecological concerns. Yet, as Phil Shabecoff, the Washington-based environmental reporter for the New York Times, told Extra!, “I certainly don’t think that media coverage of the environment recognizes […]