Dan Kennedy

Have you noticed that the media largely fail to connect the dots between related events?

In all the reporting on the auto industry’s ills, little is said about the government as the chief cause. Politicians holler at auto executives in hearings and beat their chests in interviews, but never mention Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mileage standards. Just like unaffordable union contracts (mentioned incredibly often by the same politicians who now wish to give the unions expanded), unchecked power wreaks the same destruction in other industries via the Employee Free Choice Act (which steals away free choice).

In all their reporting of how the sub-prime mortgage meltdown purportedly triggered the financial industry collapse (as a child’s sneeze might topple a meticulously constructed, floor to ceiling house of cards), they uttered hardly a word about Barney Frank and Gang’s push for financial institutions to provide mortgages to the woefully unqualified. Nobody mentioned the the Clinton Administration’s push for home ownership as a God-given right to be facilitated at any cost, let alone the years of criminal conspiracy and obscene executive compensation at Fannie and Freddie.

The next big mess in the making, where the dots are not being connected, is the attack on the fast food industry, intended to cripple its growth, slash its size and is certain to eliminate millions of entry level jobs for which there are no horizontal equivalents.

On Nov. 20, MSNBC reported on a new scientific study, stating that a ban on fast food restaurants’ TV advertising could reduce obesity in pre-teen children by 18 percent.

Unless we have an unreported epidemic of 12-year-old car thieves driving themselves to McDonalds, I have different statistical voodoo. Mine suggests that responsible parenting could reduce childhood obesity by 100 percent. But that’s not my point.

This is another in a series of political and media attacks on this industry, laying the groundwork for successful class action lawsuits by state governments and consumers. It’s an exact replication of the assault on the tobacco industry, which made so many lobbyists and lawyers rich, got so many politicians so much time in the spotlight, and accomplished absolutely nothing with regard to public health.

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur and contributor to the Business & Media Institute.