Admission: NYT “Crack babies” stories of the Nineties were largely hype

From Chuck Dinerstein at American Council on Science and Health:

… anecdotal science blown out of proportion, a compelling narrative of injury to “the children,” racism, and politicians creating “sound bites,” conflating them with thoughtful consideration and action.

The problem is that at no point did the New York Times take any responsibility. Nowhere did they say they provided wrong information and apologized. Nowhere did they discuss the conflict of interests that “made them” write about the “epidemic” before their competitors did or how their “special reports” were designed more to attract readers than to shed light. In that way of journalism, where all views are considered equal, the fault is with everyone; but when the responsibility falls on everyone, it falls on no one. More.

Reality check: Fundamentally, if they needed crack babies to sell papers, well… and they have such an exalted opinion of themselves too.

See also: Women’s mags dying, not much missed now

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