Sep 1 1992

Don’t Forget the Hype

Media, Drugs, and Public Opinion

Solid lines: number of stories per month in New York Times index on drug abuse, addiction, and traffickingDiamonds, dashed lines: percentage of U.S. public saying drugs are “the most important problem facing this country today”Circles, dotted lines: percentage of high school seniors who say they have used any illicit drugs in the past 12 months The New York Times/CBS News poll records two periods during the last decade when public concern about drugs suddenly skyrocketed. In spring 1986, when the media “discovered” crack, the percentage of the public identifying” drugs” as “the No. 1 problem facing the nation” climbed from […]

Sep 1 1992

America’s Most Wanted Takes Credit for a Killing

Nowadays one can be portrayed as a wanton murderer on a nationally televised program, get killed by police less than 48 hours later, and have the nation invited by television to applaud the death within the week. That fate befell Cesar Mazariego-Molina, 26, an undocumented worker from El Salvador, who L.A. County sheriff’s deputies said killed rookie Sheriff’s Deputy Nelson Yamamoto in a gun battle. Less than two days after the case was featured on the TV program America’s Most Wanted, New York State police killed him with a shotgun blast to the back of the head. Mazariego-Molina’s family contends […]