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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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September 1998



In late August, as Hurricane Bonnie devasted much of the Carolina coast, CBS News visited Topsail Island, which was hit by two hurricanes two years ago. But instead of a typical network sob story, CBS questioned whether residents were taking unfair advantage of taxpayers through the National Flood Insurance program.

Reporter Jeffrey Kofman, on the August 25 CBS Evening News, ran a soundbite from a local realtor who said that a hurricane was "not necessarily a bad thing" because "everything gets a facelift." Kofman then interviewed a geologist, who claimed that subsidizing development on such hazardous property "is sort of ludicrous." Itís the American way to help neighbors in trouble, Kofman said, "but what about people who knowingly live in high-risk areas? Should the federal government bail them out, again and again?" Then, on the next dayís This Morning, host Mark McEwen asked a federal official: "When do you say enough is enough, if you want to build here, you have to rebuild the damage that hurricane brings with it, taxpayers arenít going to do it anymore?"

ó Rich Noyes






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