Stories I’d like to see

Bottom line on climate change: It’s costing you money

By Steven Brill
November 18, 2014

Participants wearing masks during a hazy day at the Beijing International Marathon in front of Tiananmen Square, in Beijing

This column by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times last week is a story I’m glad I saw. It prompted me to think about how to make reporting on a subject I usually find boring a lot more compelling.

Should Obamacare be derailed by a single sentence?

By Steven Brill
November 11, 2014

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Most disputes that end up at the U.S. Supreme Court are about the interpretation of the Constitution and statutes, not about facts. The press is mostly left to provide the basic background of the dispute and then quote each side’s lawyers. Little independent digging is required.

Did Islamic State really call a convention of nuts and have 15,000 people show up?

By Steven Brill
November 4, 2014

Islamic State fighter gestures from a vehicle in the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, after the Islamic State fighters took control of the area

Last week, the Guardian reported, “The United Nations has warned that foreign jihadists are swarming into the twin conflicts in Iraq and Syria on ‘an unprecedented scale’ and from countries that had not previously contributed combatants to global terrorism.”

Why Election Day won’t hold the answer to who will control the Senate for the next two years

By Steven Brill
October 28, 2014

Republican U.S. Senator Roberts campaigns at a conservative rally in Gardner

Scoping out the Senate Majority:

It seems likely that which party controls the U.S. Senate for the next two years will not be decided on Election Day.

Hospital turns to PR to fight Ebola

By Steven Brill
October 16, 2014

A general view of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas

This New York Times story on Thursday outlines the damage done to the  reputation of  Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas as a result of its mistakes in dealing with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan. The hospital, the Times reports, has now “hired Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations firm, to help tell its side.”

Following the mistakes in the Texas Ebola story

By Steven Brill
October 14, 2014

A worker in a hazardous material suit is sprayed down by a co-worker after coming out of an apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas

1. Ebola and malpractice tort reform:

As we all now know, the death of Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was preceded by what might have been a fatal mistake made by emergency-room doctors or nurses at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Although he showed up at the hospital complaining of Ebola-like symptoms and reportedly told a nurse that he had just arrived from Liberia, he was sent home with antibiotics.

Where did the Department of Education’s ‘Race to the Top’ lead?

By Steven Brill
September 30, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama visits Wright Middle School in Madison

We are fast approaching the fifth anniversary, on Jan. 10, of when state applications are due to apply for awards under President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program.

Just why does the NFL have tax-exempt status?

By Steven Brill
September 23, 2014

NFL Commissioner Goodell speaks during a news conference ahead of the Super Bowl, in New York

1. Checking the NFL’s numbers:

In the wake of the fallout over National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of his players’ domestic violence arrests, there have been multiple reports by journalists, who read the league’s filing of form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service, that Goodell was paid $44 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

Just how strange is Governor Andrew Cuomo?

By Steven Brill
September 16, 2014

New York Governor M. Cuomo stands during a news conference following a bi-state meeting on regional security and preparedness in New York

1. What’s the matter with Andrew Cuomo?

By now I assume New Yorker editor David Remnick has assigned someone to do a profile of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is fast becoming the Howard Hughes of big-time politicians.

How much money is raised and spent in fighting cancer?

By Steven Brill
September 9, 2014

Actress Paltrow is interviewed as she arrives for the fourth biennial Stand Up To Cancer fundraising telecast in Hollywood

1. Cancer money:

The Stand Up to Cancer telethon — simulcast Friday night on all four major broadcast networks and 28 cable channels, and live-streamed on Yahoo and Hulu (available on YouTube here) — reminded me of a story I have long wanted to read: How much money is being spent on cancer research, where is it going and how well is it being spent?