In the late 1980s, 40% of the latex used in the United States was supplied by a single plantation — a massive operation run by Firestone in the African nation of Liberia. The plantation had survived the 1980 coup that saw the country’s president slaughtered in his bed and cabinet members executed in public. But after an even bloodier uprising began in 1989, Firestone ultimately ended up in bed with one of history’s most evil figures. [More]
Last night, PBS’ Frontline aired a report on the huge amount of antibiotics that farmers pump into animal feed and the effects that this practice has on the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of Americans and make millions more sick every year. [More]
The fundamental goal of the ad-supported web is to collect and capitalize on data from its users; rather unsurprisingly, that data is just as valuable to the government as it is to Facebook and Google. You may think you’d never willingly provide the FBI or NSA with a map of your entire private life, but, in fact, you probably already have. [More]
Last summer, a ProPublica/Frontline report put a spotlight on Emeritus Senior Living, one of the country’s largest private operators of assisted living facilities (and soon to be the largest, if a proposed merger goes through), raising questions about the company’s business practices and the general lack of regulation in the industry. Now comes news that Emeritus is under investigation by the federal government. [More]
On March 5, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control issued a press released titled “Lethal, Drug Resistant Bacteria Spreading in U.S. Healthcare Facilities.” The warning that followed was dire. Drug-resistant organisms called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, were not only spreading more rapidly through U.S. hospitals, they were becoming more resistant to so-called “last-resort” antibiotics. “CRE are nightmare bacteria,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. How nightmarish? According to data from the CDC, 1 in 2 patients who contract a bloodstream CRE infection will die. That’s an ominous statistic, but it might not even be the scariest fact about CRE. [More]
In 1994, then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue responded to growing concerns about concussions and brain injury by saying it was a case of mass hysteria resulting from “pack journalism.” What’s followed is two decades of the country’s most popular professional sports league saying it was researching the topic while being accused by some in the medical community of trying to quash evidence of a correlation between playing football and degenerative brain disease. [More]
Among the complaints brought up in the recent Frontline exposé of Emeritus Senior Living, the nation’s largest operator of assisted living facilities, was that the company’s care staff was often ill-prepared to handle the needs of residents with conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia, and that the company had stressed labor cost-cutting in order to maximize profits. Now comes news that the company has agreed to pay out $2.2 million to settle claims it routinely underpaid workers. [More]
The Frontline/ProPublica investigation into assisted living facilities began airing on PBS earlier this week, but PBS stations are not always known for having the easiest to follow schedules, and some folks can’t always catch the show when it airs. Thankfully, there’s embeddable video of the entire show so you can watch the episode online whenever you want. [More]
Emeritus Assisted Living Asks Employees To Do Damage Control After Frontline Exposé, Accidentally CCs Reporters
One day after Emeritus Senior Living, the nation’s largest for-profit assisted living chain, was the subject of a Frontline/ProPublica exposé, the company reached out to its employees, asking them to do damage control. Emeritus also made a classic mistake straight out of the Worst Company In America handbook when it accidentally copied ProPublica on the staff-only e-mail. [More]
Once upon a time, assisted living facilities were created as a happy medium between simple retirement communities and skilled nursing homes. Elderly residents would live largely independent existences but would, as the name implies, receive largely non-medical assistance for things they could no longer do on their own. But that has all changed, as more Americans lived longer and assisted living operators realized they had a virtually unregulated goldmine on their hands. [More]
Last night, PBS’ Frontline looked at a question many Americans have asked — Why have no top Wall Street executives been prosecuted for their part in the 2008 financial crisis? — and took it right to man at the Justice Dept. who isn’t bringing those charges. [More]
Catch the FRONTLINE doc on the BP Gulf spill on PBS tonight. A newly released excerpt shows how the oil giant behaved in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, pushing aging infrastructure that was supposed to only last until 1987 for years past its limits.
Frontline digs into the muck of BP’s corporate culture leading up to the biggest environmental disaster in American history in a new hard-hitting investigation. Through interviews with current and former employees and regulators and experts, Frontline probes the internal environment of wet greed and hot fear that spawned the oily monster ravaging the Gulf. Catch “The Spill” on Oct 26. Here’s a preview:
Meet the canary in the coal mine that no one wanted to listen to: Brooksley Born. As head of the obscure Commodity Futures Trading Commission she sounded the warning in the late 90’s about the need for more transparency and regulation of the derivatives market, but a coalition of Beltway insiders, including the then rock star Alan Greenspan, formed against her to shut her up and shut her out. After the economic collapse, it’s time for them to eat crow. Learn more in tonight’s FRONTLINE presentation of “The Warning” on PBS at 9pm eastern, or watch online.
Tonight at 9 eastern Frontline’s new documentary “Inside The Meltdown” will debut on PBS and online. We’ve only seen the trailer, but the press release makes it sound like the scariest documentary in the history of the universe.