The other day, I noted that a powerful player in state politics claims to be "generating" editorials and news coverage at the Post-Gazette and other papers in the state. Looks like he might be at it again. But with an interesting twist.
Check out today's editorial about smoking in the Post-Gazette. It talks all about using government force to make people stop smoking. And what a great idea it is. Which seems strange. I thought this whole thing was about making sure bartenders never get a whiff of the vile tobacco-smell and, inevitably, drop dead on the spot. But now it seems like a broader campaign, doesn't it? It's not about worker safety. It's about strong-arming people into quitting their "nasty habits."
Thank god the editors have outside sources to generate their editorials. Because if they didn't they might have to think this through a bit. And think about the implications of using government force to correct "nasty habits." What else is nasty? Some people think premarital sex is. Some people thing gay sex is. Some people think dirty words are. Some people think short skirts are the end of polite society. Some people think not going to church is nasty. And yes, Mr. McIntire, some people thing suggestive language on the radio is a dire public health threat AND nasty. All of it. Nasty. And therefore under the purview of state control.
Ah, yes. The press. Defenders of our rights. The folks who watch the watchers. But if this is really about worker safety, why would the editors care if people smoke when no workers are present?
This. Has. Nothing. To. Do. With. Worker. Safety.
Anyone who says it does is firmly in the hip pocket of Big Dishonest Editorial. Maybe I could call the Post-Gazette and get them to write an editorial about that. Maybe not. Maybe not everyone is created equal when it comes to "generating" editorials and news coverage. You think?
Oh, and since I haven't posted it in a while, here is the Post-Gazette's take on why river guides do not deserve as much protection as bartenders. That is, this is how the editors justify their murderous campaign against river-workers:
In our erstwhile home of the brave, there's an urge to flatten every bump, to put a pillow around every tree and to generally make life as risk-free as possible. That Dimple Rock will be left alone, that a wild river will be allowed its bit of wildness, is a reassuring sign that America hasn't entirely lost its daring.
So. If you want to "go wild" by rafting on a river, fine by them. But if you want to unwind by having a cigarette with your lager, you can go straight to hell. Why? Because that will kill bartenders.
But rafting on the river will clearly kill river guides. The difference? The editors at the Post-Gazette like river rafting. And they do not like tobacco. That is, they are allowed to endanger workers with their irrational pastimes. You are not.