Monday, December 04, 2006

American academy of Pediatrics Hates Choice (and America)

While I shouldn't be surprised, I am. The AAP wants the government to limit free speech from networks and advertisers to protect children from, well, everything. Won't someone please think of the children?!?!?

The linked story is just full of bizarre statements that show an appalling lack of respect for the individual and the responsibilities of parents-

** "Inappropriate advertising contributes to many kids' ills, from obesity to anorexia, to drinking booze and having sex too soon, and Congress should crack down on it, the American Academy of Pediatrics says"

So advertising is responsible for kids being both too fat and too thin? Neat trick.

** "The statement also is critical of alcohol ads that feature cartoonish animal characters;..."

I watch a lot of sports on TV where most alcohol ads are aired, and I can't think of any ads that feature cartoon animals, maybe I've just missed those ads.

** "These pervasive ads influence kids to demand poor food choices, and to think drinking is cool, sex is a recreational activity and anorexia is fashionable, the academy says."

The problem with this passage (besides the fact that I personally think drinking is cool and sex is a recreational activity) is the idea that because a kid "demands poor food choices" they are going to get what they want. Kids don't have money, parents do. I remember demanding things when I was a kid. I didn't often get them though.

** "limit commercial advertising to no more than 6 minutes per hour, a decrease of 50 percent;"

So they want government to limit what revenue private broadcasters can earn from their advertisers. Nice.

** "While hard scientific data linking advertising with children's health ills is lacking, Strasburger said there's compelling circumstantial evidence suggesting there's a connection."

That's great, lets pass laws that will affect billion-dollar businesses on no scientific data. Real good idea. And finally, my favorite quote from the article-

** ""I'm hopeful that policy-makers will listen," Linn said. Self-regulation in the food industry, without a nudge from government, won't work, she said."

It's not "self-regulation" if the government makes you do it! For Christ's sake the word "self" is right there! March on nanny state. This wouldn't bother me if I didn't think legislators will actually consider this garbage.


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