In today’s example of the sorry state of reporting, NPR reports on “a new report.”
I wasn’t even really awake this morning when I found myself thinking, “OK, here comes Brad Wilcox. OK, now here comes Stephanie Coontz.” It’s the Groundhog Day of social science journalism on the family.
It would be surprising if it wasn’t: A right-wing think tank with academic gloss sets the agenda, and a news organization repeats its framing, adding in a single comment from the most-commonly quoted critic of conservative family distortion (Stephanie Coontz – who does all she can) — which they then undermine with a simplistic conclusion, which was not supported by any actual research: “Gottman’s advice, even if you decide not to tie the knot: pick a partner carefully, then hang in there — for better, or worse.”
Two unusually bad elements of this case: First, the audio version of the story, which is presumably how most people get their NPR, didn’t even mention the Institute for American Values, which is the foundation-funded publicity machine behind the “report.” And second, the deep-pockets have the gall to charge $6.50 for the report (do you just get the PDF?), and require registration for the “executive summary.” Did NPR get past the free, 3-page press release?