The worrisome extrapolations made by researchers — including the one who first published disturbing findings about prenatal cocaine use — were only part of the problem. Major newspapers and magazines, including Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times, ran articles and columns that went beyond the research. Network TV stars of that era, including Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather, also bear responsibility for broadcasting uncritical reports.
A much more serious problem, it turns out, is infants who are born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
he report is the third in a weekly series that will re-examine the leading stories of decades past. Videos are typically 10 to 12 minutes long and are part of a collaboration between The Times and Retro Report, a documentary news organization formed last year.
The online project was conceived of by Christopher Buck, a former television editor whose father was a founder of the Subway restaurant chain. Started with a grant from Mr. Buck, Retro Report, which has a staff of 12 journalists and 6 contributors, is a nonprofit online video news organization that aims to provide a thoughtful counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle.