Monday, December 31, 2007

That Phony Healthy-Airport-Food Report, Back Again

First off: Happy New Year.

Here, incidentally, is how that ball-drop tradition in Times Square got started.

And now to less festive matters:

Once again, the news media credulously report the annual "healthiest airport food" press release from an outfit that calls itself the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, without wondering who this marvelous committee is.

It's 2008 tomorrow, and I am growing weary. Don't reporters ask basic questions anymore?

The grandly named Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is, in fact, a social-agenda organization run by a psychiatrist with ties to the zealots at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

All of us are for ethical treatment of animals, of course, but we all know that P.E.T.A. has other agendas, among them an opposition to eating meat or dairy products, and a holier-than-thou attitude about food in general.

Not that there's anything wrong with a nice salad.

The annual "Physicians Committee" report -- which defines "healthy" basically as "not meat or dairy" -- used to get a lot more publicity before, uh, someone blew their cover 3 years ago.

Any reporter who picks up their press release without identifying who the people behind it are is simply sloppy. (And the link in the fifth paragraph is by no means the only example.)

The report still gets giddy treatment in local media, especially television news reports, which typically gush when the "physicians report" gives good marks to the local airport).


1 comment:

Gregg said...

Joe - The answer to your question about whether reporters ask basic questions any more is that many don't. They'll accept whatever will make a good sound bite or quote. In the end they hurt their own profession by causing a loss of credibility. What I'd like to know is where are the editors who should be calling to the carpet any reporter who can't see through obvious agendas?

Here's to a new year that brings us fewer agendas, more honesty, and more questioning.