Jul
01
1990

Nuclear Dumping Scheme Buried by Media

The story was hot in more ways than one: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposed to deregulate much of so-called "low-level" radioactive waste from the nation's nuclear plants, to deem it "Below Regulatory Concern" and allow it to be treated, without monitoring, like plain old garbage. This proposal was on the NRC's agenda from 1985 onward, and finally went into effect on June 27, 1990. Some 30 percent of radioactive material can now be dumped in landfills, burnt in incinerators, disposed of in sewage systems, spread on farmland with sludge or mixed with safe material to be processed into consumer […]

Jul
01
1990

The Year of Dangerous Reporting

Indonesia Bloodbath, New York Times Whitewash

One of the most horrifying stories of the Cold War received new attention last May, when Kathy Kadane of the Washington-based States News Service reported that U.S. government officials had abetted the massacre of thousands of Indonesians in 1965-66. In the massacre, directed by the Indonesian military in an effort to eliminate the Indonesian Communist Party and its perceived sympathizers among the ethnic Chinese minority, an estimated 250,000 to 1 million people died. In interviews with Kadane, U.S. officials admitted that the U.S. embassy in Jakarta had drawn up lists of some 5,000 suspected Communist leaders. These lists were turned […]

Jul
01
1990

Anti-Gay Violence

Off the New York Times' Agenda

The New York Times no longer prints the word "gay" only in quotation marks, but it still has a long way to go to represent gay and lesbian reality. On the issue of gay-bashing, Times coverage in recent months has shown apattern of neglect and distortion. "A Gay Protest Against Attacks Becomes Violent" was the headline of a June 18, 1990 Times article, obscuring the key fact that it was anti-gayhecklers who used violence against the protest. The march, co-sponsored by the gay and lesbian rights group Queer Nation and the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT-UP), was held in […]

May
01
1990

TV's Imposters

Television's Political Spectrum

Right: Pat Buchanan, Fred Barnes, John McLaughlin, David Gergen, Robert Novak, William F. Buckley, George Will. Center: Sam Donaldson, Mark Shields, Michael Kinsley, Morton Kondracke, Al Hunt, Jack Germond, Hodding Carter. The power to define the political spectrum is an awesome one -- determining who gets to speak and who gets censored, which positions gain currency and which go unheard. On television, this power is largely in conservative hands. Accordingly, those who hold daily or weekly positions as political analysts on television run from right to center; the most prominent talking heads are all white males. The public is not […]