“60 Minutes” of Conjecture

Do the disabled not have enough to worry about? According to Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, those who receive Social Security Disability Benefits are scamming the government. Coburn displayed his willingness to play on the economic fears plaguing our nation in order to get his "60 Minutes" of fame.

For those who watched the episode, Coburn equated correlation with causation to support his opinion. For example, he argued that since the number of people on disability has increased by 20% over the last six years, there must be a flaw in the system. Coburn acted dumbfounded and asked "where'd all those disabled people come from?" He seemed to ignore the overall demographic aging of America. There has been a 41% increase in the total population between ages 20-64.

60 Minutes is not without fault either. They allowed one side of the debate to make broad and bold statements without speaking to a single disabled person. The LA Times responded to these accusations by stating that "'60 Minutes' used to stand for rigorous, honest reporting." This interview epitomizes the notion that news broadcasting, while entertaining, cannot be taken as entirely legitimate.

To learn more about this debate, refer to the LA Times article, the 60 Minutes interview, and another article by White Plains.

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