The Crack Baby Myth: Now They Tell Us

A January 27 New York Times story, “The Epidemic That Wasn’t,” brought the news that researchers following children prenatally exposed to cocaine have found “the long-term effects of such exposure on children’s brain development and behavior appear relatively small” and are “less severe than those of alcohol and are comparable to those of tobacco.” Though the Times makes it sound like breaking news, the fact is many reputable people disbelieved the whole “crack baby” phenomenon from the beginning: Even Dr. Ira Chasnoff, whose 1985 study spurred much of the early coverage, was lamenting as long ago as 1992 that medical […]


Krauthammer vs. Peace

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer continues to support Israel’s assault on Gaza in today’s paper (1/9/09). He displays a remarkably odd notion of what a cease fire is for, citing the lessons of Lebanon as a cautionary tale: The U.N.-mandated disarmament of Hezbollah in Lebanon is a well-known farce. Not only have foreign forces not stopped Hezbollah’s massive rearmament, their very presence makes it impossible for Israel to take any preventive military action, lest it accidentally hit a blue-helmeted Belgian crossing guard. In other words, the Lebanese cease-fire is problematic because it is currently preventing an outbreak of violence.


In Gaza, Krauthammer Finds ‘Moral Clarity’ Where Amnesty Finds Potential War Crimes

The Associated Press reported on December 27 that “thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.” In his latest column (1/2/09), Charles Krauthammer pointed to that report to prove just how obvious it is that Israel is the moral actor in this battle of good and evil: Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel/Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating. Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in […]


Big Media vs. Enfranchisement

Anthony DiMaggio finds (ZNet, 10/19/08) “the massive attention surrounding ACORN” as much evidence of “media racism as it is their class prejudice”: In danger of losing its eight year hold on the Presidency, the Republican Party has become increasingly desperate in its attacks on poor and minority groups, who have registered in increasingly large numbers this election year. The attacks on ACORN must be understood within the context of this enfranchisement of dispossessed groups…. Media discussions of ACORN have predictably followed the talking points issued by Republican Party leaders to Fox News and right-wing radio…. The uniformity of conservative attacks […]