Friday, May 18, 2007

LTE: May 18, 2007

The Des Moines Register's editorial staff evidently could not wait for the ink to dry on Jane Norman's May 18, 2007 report about Tom Harkin's low opinion of junk food advertising tie-ins to the popular animated film character Sherk before castigating Iowa's Democratic U.S. Senator, for being insufficiently enthusiastic about the "free market" economy.

Senator Harkin has every right to his opinion, it's guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, that's the way things work in our land of the free. And he is correct to point out that advertising of sugary snacks and breakfast cereals, with little real nutritional value, is contributing to the nation's increasing girth and declining health. Realistically one senator can do little about the United States' so-called obesity epidemic other than voice his opinion.

Yet the Register editorialist takes the Senator to task for taking on the marketing-junk food complex and counters with the puerile libertarian creed that the nation's mothers bear total individual responsibility for the nation's health. And, of course, the irony that The Register derives a portion of its revenue from selling advertising space for sugary and/or fatty snack and junk foods is apparently lost on this editorial writer.

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