Friday, May 27, 2005

AP doesn't like smoking: Yesterday a bill in the NC House to ban smoking in all restuarants got changed in the judiciary committee. The changes are going to be phased in, with a 50% minimum of seating being set aside for non-smoking. Here's the opening the AP story from Raleigh:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Letting go of North Carolina's tobacco history remains a painful process, as evidenced Thursday when legislators effortlessly cut the area covered by a proposed restaurant smoking ban in half.

Gee, you we just can't seem to live up to the standards of decent society. Why, those corrupt legislators, taking kickbacks from R.J. Reynolds, no doubt, actually allowed resturant owners to control what happens in 50% of their establishment. They don't seem to understand the shame they're supposed to feel for foisting this toxic substance on innocent American babies and the mentally deficient (certainly they can be the only ones smoking today, at least in polite society). Then we get these two paragraphs:
It's not only a known carcinogen but also triggers heart attacks in people suffering from coronary disease, he said. Secondhand smoke also is linked with asthma, bronchitis and ear infections in children, Plescia said.

All reliable scientific studies show that going smoke-free doesn't cost restaurants money, said Dr. Anne Butzen, who works on secondhand smoke research at the University of North Carolina. In some cases, business improved for restaurants that prohibited smoking, she said.
All right, this is picky of me, and I'm sure it's just an editing error, but as these are statements made by individuals, and not simple reportage by the AP, could you please put quotation marks around the parts of the sentence that are, in fact, quotes. Casual readers glancing at the article might miss the fact that it is Dr. Anne Butzen, not the AP, or God , who has decreed what scientific studies are considered reliable and which are clearly biased in favor of the corrupt tobacco planters and their co-conspirators in the N.C. Restuarant Association.

The whole article reads like an editorial instead of honest reporting, without a single quote from, say a restaurant owner who might have an interest in the bill, or a smoker, or a diner. No, it's about North Carolina's inability to grasp that their sinister lifestyle, that has prospered from murderous agricultural activities. We've only just gotten over slavery, don't you know.

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