In partnership with Yahoo News
From Crack Babies to Oxytots: Lessons Not Learned
Easy to transport, highly addictive and sometimes deadly, crack cocaine ripped through the 1980s like a bullet, a headline-maker that seemed to destroy lives at every turn. But the symbol of that destruction was not the tiny crack vials littering the streets or the addicts crouching in corners. The poster child for America’s drug epidemic was a jittery infant whom commentators said was destined to a lifetime of pain and suffering through no fault of its own.
The “crack baby” represented the Pandora’s box that cocaine had become. But how did these tiny infants gain such status and was it justified?
In 2013, Retro Report went back to look at the story of these children from the perspective of those in the eye of the storm — tracing the trajectory from the small 1985 medical study that first raised the alarm, through the drumbeat of media coverage that kept the story alive, to, decades later, when a cocaine-exposed research subject told Retro Report her own surprising life story.
But the story did not end there, as Retro Report reveals in its new updated video, From Crack Babies to Oxytots. Again, the media is raising the alarm, this time over Oxytots, newborns exposed to painkillers while still in the womb. As in the 1980s, the public fear over a new generation of drug-addicted babies may be leading to policies that do more harm than good.
More Like This
Trump and Biden Both Want to Repeal Section 230. Would That Wreck the Internet?
Today's heated political arguments over censorship and misinformation online are rooted in a 26-word snippet of a law that created the Internet as we know it.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (Media Mistakes Excerpt)
Top national political reporters admit mistakes in their reporting on the 2016 election campaign.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (CNN's Missteps Excerpt)
CEO Jeff Zucker acknowledges missteps in CNN’s 2016 campaign coverage, when many media outlets covered Donald Trump’s campaign as a spectacle that produced higher ratings.
Enemies of the People: Trump and the Political Press (False Equivalency Excerpt)
A look at how the journalistic instinct for “balanced” reporting on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016 played out in particular when it came to the Clinton email investigation.