Monday, October 7, 2013

Nice Going, "60 Minutes"

Well, I guess I called it

Disability, USA, "60 Minutes" - October 6, 2013

The only upside to this media excretion is that it's managed to raise some outrage and incredulity from mainstream / non-disabled journalists and bloggers. They are generally on the liberal side, but none of them are people who typically write about the disability experience. Once in awhile, it's nice to see people other than ourselves defending us, and doing it with some wit and skill.

Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times - October 7, 2013
"Is it possible for a major news organization to produce a story about the Social Security disability program without interviewing a single disabled person or disability advocate?"
"That's the experiment "60 Minutes" conducted Sunday. The result was predictably ghastly."
Hannah Groch-Begley, Media Matters - October 7, 2013
"The myths pushed by 60 Minutes have been repeatedly debunked by experts. The report admitted that the vast majority of people applying for benefits are denied, but ignored the fact that the majority of appeals are also denied, and that award rates have actually fallen during the economic recession. In April, the Wall Street Journal called the claim that federal disability benefits were to blame for people leaving the labor force "exaggerated," explaining that disability was in fact the least common reason individuals left the workforce."
Charles P. Pierce, Esquire Politics Blog - October 7, 2013
"It simply has become reflexive behavior on the part of too many news organizations -- This American Life? Oh, Ira.-- to believe that we are beset by greedy poors who are gaming the good citizens. It is not easy to be poor in this country. That should be something our elite media takes as a given."
Atrios, - October 7, 2013
"When kicking the poors isn't giving you that buzz anymore, you have to start kicking the disabled poors."
Atrios, - October 7, 2013
"… but there must be a story behind how all the major media outlets are falling all over themselves to talk about the scourge of disabled people going through immense amounts of major red tape and legal hassles in order to maybe, just maybe, score the golden ticket of $1000/month benefits. I mean, what the fuck? What is wrong with you people? I bet most of you occasionally drop a grand on your wine bill at dinner."
On the other hand, there's, which first posted the "60 Minutes" story as a "Must-see morning clip", followed by a short and entirely uncritical summary, where the segment's conclusions were restated as fact. The article's author, Assistant News Editor, Prachi Gupta, later added an update referencing the LA Times's criticism, including two paragraphs from that article.

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