The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, November 09, 2003

And now, another round of Fisk a Mercury News editorial!

It's time to protect teens by targeting alcohol ads.

It's time for a newspaper to inveigh against free speech.

The Marlboro Man and Joe Camel are gone from the airwaves, but the Coors twins and the Labatt bear have become fixtures on TV, hawking another product that is lethal and illegal in the hands of teens.

Lethal when misused. And hardly illegal; teens can drink at home under their parents' supervision.

(Did you think it was remarkable that a Merc editorial displays factual ignorance in the first sentence? It's not.)

A new study out of Georgetown University found that a substantial amount of beer ads on TV and in magazines reach an underage audience, despite industry standards that prohibit marketing to kids.

As a result of this study, children will be prohibited from watching adult television. All dramas, comedies, news, and sporting events will be rated NC-17.

It also found that the industry's ``drink responsibly'' commercials are more likely to be seen by parents than by the teens they are supposed to reach.

Georgetown University found out that adults are more responsible than teenagers. Learn the names of these researchers now so that you can make intelligent conversation when the Nobel Prizes are handed out.

And it found that drinking is too often promoted in films aimed at teens. Last weekend's top grossing film was ``Scary Movie 3'' which features the sexy Coors twins. The movie is rated PG-13.

Scary Movie 3 will be retroactively rated XXX. All teenagers who saw it will brainwashed into the belief that the Coors twins died in the movie due to cirrhosis of the liver. Also, all models who appear in beer commercials will be prohibited from appearing in movies. They will be kept in special underground chambers away from the public eye. Otherwise a child might see them!

Their guards will be childless, and sterilized.

(Did you think it was remarkable that Mercury News editorialists treated Scary Movie 3 seriously, as if it was some kind of cult recruiting propaganda penned by L. Ron Hubbard? It's not. To be a Merc opinion writer, it is necessary to lack perspective -- the world must look to you a Picasso painting.)

For years, the alcohol industry has policed itself, banning ads that feature young-looking models or explicit sex. But the Georgetown study shows it's time for independent oversight.

The alcohol industry does not "police itself". It attempts to persuade consumers to buy its products. Does the Mercury News "police itself" when it decides not to publish sexually explicit or graphically violent photographs?

(Did you think it was remarkable that the Merc -- which would shriek like a wounded eagle if the state or federal government attempted to censor it -- so enthusiastically calls for the censorship of law-abiding manufacturers? It's not. I would call these people hypocrites, but I wonder if they have the intelligence or perspective to see that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.)

The National Academy of Sciences recently found that teen drinking costs more than $50 billion a year, including $19 billion for traffic accidents. A National Institutes of Health study last year linked drinking on college campuses to 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries and 70,000 sexual assaults annually.

Publication of Das Kapital and Mein Kampf were linked to fifty million murders and as many assaults. We must do something about publishers!

Yet public efforts to keep kids from drinking pale compared with campaigns against tobacco and illegal drugs. The feds spend only about $70 million a year to teach kids about alcohol abuse, compared with $1.8 billion on drug abuse and $100 million on smoking.

Let's devote the entire federal budget to convince teenagers not to be inexperienced and foolish.



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