Speaking in a recent video by progressive liberal online newscaster The Young Turks, host John Iadarola cited research from Kevin Drum with Mother Jones showing that teen arrest rates are currently one third of what they were in the early 1990s. The TYT host asked, "How is this not a massive story?" Cenk Uygur, founder of the news organization, cited the adage "if it bleeds it leads," underlining the preference of the viewing public for violence and mayhem.

Mr. Uygur held up the reality of a decreasing crime rate, with calls from many quarters for vigilance against a perceived, non-existent increase in crime.

He called the root cause of the decrease a "really interesting question," for which several explanations have been presented, including the view of some Republicans that higher incarceration rates may be responsible, and the view of Kevin Drum that the reduction in lead in the environments of children may be the "biggest factor." The simple elimination of lead from automobile exhaust has been cited as removing a huge amount of the poison from the environment.

Violence cited as effect of lead exposure

Effects of lead are said to include brain development disorders, lower intelligence, and "making human beings more violent." As John Iadarola voiced his agreement, Cenk Uygur stated that findings like this are why the Environmental Protection Agency is "so important." He described studies where researchers have observed geographic drops in crime rates corresponding with similar drops in rates of lead contamination.

TYT producer Jayar Jackson offered that the reason Americans aren't interested in good news stories like a reduction in crime is because it is a result of a "number of factors," which makes it "boring." Mr. Iadarola suggested that many Americans would like to be told that there was "only one reason" President Donald Trump won the presidency.

Mr. Jackson suggested that it's "too much work," for most people, to digest all the related information.

Cenk Uygur described news cycles being driven by "people in power," so that if a politician, or other newsworthy figure, claims credit for good news, then it may get reported. However, if no power players have a vested interest in promoting a heartening trend, it often goes under- or unreported.

Could lead be responsible for more than a declining arrest rate?

John Iadarola pointed out that research into the significance of lead is far from complete, but considered the possibility that, beyond mere arrest rates, a reduction or elimination of lead poising could be responsible for a more intelligent younger generation, completely unaffected by the contaminant. He pointed out that most current politicians were raised in an environment rife with lead, and the "war prone" nature of the United States.

The TYT host considered the possibility that the reduction of lead in the environment has been responsible for a number of other positive changes, some possibly un-investigated. Cenk Uygur asked if, perhaps, millennials are smarter than everyone else because they weren't poisoned by lead as children.