Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mainstream Media: Inconsistent About the Nanny State

From CyberAlert.

Two women on the “NBC Today Show” decried the Nanny State and played the feminist card when the New York City government tried to dictate to mothers that they have to breast feed.
On Thursday’s Today show, NBC’s Meredith Vieira and Dr. Nancy Snyderman became born-again libertarians in their opposition to New York City’s ban on bottle feeding babies. Vieira called the measure, banning the use of baby formula in all public hospitals because of the health advantages of breast-feeding, “drastic” and Snyderman urged, “not so fast.” The ban even inspired Today to coin a new series segment called “Nanny State.” However, back in 2006, when New York City infringed on another right -- the right to eat fatty foods, Snyderman struck a different tone, as she gravely warned about the dangers of trans fats.

First up, Vieira opened the bottle feeding ban segment on the August 2 Today: “And now we’re gonna move on to something we call ‘Nanny State.’ First there was smoking and then trans fats and now baby formula? New York City health officials recently took what many see as a drastic step. Dr. Nancy Snyderman is NBC’s chief medical editor. Good morning, Nancy. What is going on?”

Dr. Nancy Snyderman: “Well, hi Meredith. This is one that I think is going to cause a lot of conversation today because it’s always been a divisive topic among parents, whether to give the breast or bottle. But in New York it may be the government that’s stepping in to make the choice for new mothers. It’s one of the touchiest turf battles in parenting, bottle versus breast. And it’s gaining new steam.”

Then Vieira and Snyderman, offended at the infringement of a woman’s right to breast feed, concluded the segment, quite exasperated:

Snyderman: “Yeah, you know breast feeding sounds so easy but for any of us who’ve done it, it’s a little bit tougher than people give it credit for. And I really resent the fact that there are men telling women what to do and that it’s the government and it’s going way beyond just health. This is gonna be controversial but I think it makes a lot of us go, uhh, just take a breath. Maybe not so fast.”

Vieira: “Yeah, take a step back. . .”

Snyderman: “Yeah.”
Good that they oppose the Nanny State, right?

Unfortunately, Snyderman wasn’t singing the same tune in 2005.
However, back in 2006, when it came to regulating the restaurant industry in New York, Snyderman was singing a different tune. NBC’s chief medical correspondent seemed to endorse the trans fat ban, as seen in the following excerpts from her October 30, 2006 Today report.

[On screen graphic: “Health Alert, Trans Fats: The New Tobacco?”]

Snyderman: “Hey Matt when it comes to your health and you and I talk about this a lot, it’s very important to remember that what you eat is what you are. And if you eat foods that are high in trans fat well you better pay attention because the harm they do is very real. Want a donut, a French fry, potato chips? They are all popular American foods but they may not be for long. Trans fat, a critical ingredient in all of them has suddenly become public health target number one. California attorney Steven Joseph launched the crusade in 2003 filing the Oreo lawsuit, which resulted in Kraft Foods eliminating trans fats from Oreos and reducing it in 650 other products. Since then Tiburon, California became America’s first trans fat-free city and now New York, Chicago and Boston are proposing to do the same. ”

[Woman #1: “We need to have things taken off our plate because a lot of times we, we don’t have the discipline to do that.”]

[Woman #2: “Look around there are a lot of obese people.”]

Snyderman: “Why is trans fats suddenly up there with tobacco and alcohol on the list of threats to public health? Because these man made fats, which give foods a longer shelf life, are proving deadly.”
It seems that whether the liberal yuppies like the Nanny State depends on their imposing their lifestyle choices on other people.

When somebody tries to impose something that they don’t like, it’s a different matter.

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