Friday, January 20, 2006

Tweaking the tail of the Tiger

The goofy group Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued an ultimatum to the companies behind Tony the Tiger and Spongebob Squarepants, respectively Kelloggs and Viacom. Why? Because there are breakfast cereals marketed under their sponsorship.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says junk food is making American kids unhealthy, and is threatening to sue for a billion dollars if they won't tone down ads aimed at kids.

Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest voices the ultimatum the companies face, "Companies can do it voluntarily, or they can be sued. It's their choice."

The group already has a plaintiff, a mom with three kids, ready to throw into a Massachusetts courtroom, on the grounds of deceptive marketing aimed at unfair youngsters. Says the mother, Sherri Carlson:

"Are Pop Tarts and Fruit Loops really part of a nutritious breakfast as they claim in their ads? I think not."

First big question: Does Ms. Carlson do the food purchases for her youngster? If not, why not?

Second big question: Does Ms. Carlson's TV have an on-off switch and does she know how to use it? If not, why not?

Michelle Malkin, to whom the hat is tipped once more, said:

Message to food extortionists: Parents can turn off the TV voluntarily and buy their kids granola for breakfast. It's their choice. Leave Spongebob alone.

All that is really at stake here is the prospect of raising really big dollars through litigation which, we suspect, goes to finance other pet lefty causes.

Parents should welcome the responsibility to protect their families from whatever it is they see as "junk food." And that's the whole point: the notion of freedom is that we are also free to choose poorly, but we have a moral (not necessarily legal) responsibility to educate ourselves as to what constitutes good nutrition.

Admittedly, it's a radical notion, this concept of freedom. Thanks to willing courts, silent legislators, and greedy participants, we'll be lucky if freedom in this country lasts another decade.


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