Journalist Kerry Diotte of Canada’s Edmonton Sun castigates his colleagues for their hypocritical complicity in the smoker pogrom.
We have reported previously on a situation Mister Diotte cites. The publication of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Media magazine, has rejected advertisement from the Tobacco Smokers of Canada group.
The text of the submitted advertisement chastised media for uncritical endorsement of prohibitionist propaganda. It challenged Canadian journalists to investigate and report on widespread disgust with this fanatical movement and its scare-mongering.
Prohibition and the press in general are all in the lock-step of “political correctness.” The ad, it was suggested by CAJ board members, could be construed as illegal advertisement of tobacco. That is a ridiculous suggestion: by such reasoning mere mention of tobacco, even in a news article, would be advertisement of tobacco.
The group placing the ad has nothing to do with manufacturing tobacco products but that really does not matter. The ad itself (quoted in Diotte’s article) refers to press coverage of the issue and not to any tobacco product.
Other board members suggested they recoiled at claims that secondhand smoke could be less than deadly and that speech relating to “any product proven to kill people” was subject to rejection.
The ad in fact suggests that journalists educate themselves on the undeniable and widely held opinion that prohibitionist rhetoric on secondhand smoke is alarmist. Furthermore, while there is no disease unique to smokers, and no death has ever been proven to be “caused by smoking,” substantially risky products such as automobiles and alcoholic beverages are conventionally advertised throughout the media with no thought of their being “proven to kill people.”
The sexy car and booze ads do come from manufacturers and are designed to sell the products. The smokers’ group ad, once again, does not promote smoking or any product, but rather challenges the purblind hypocrisy of a prohibitionist press. The reaction of the CAJ to the Tobacco Smokers of Canada ad submission is proof in itself and underscores the appalling lack of objectivity amongst the press regarding tobacco.
This is a problem of long standing. Some cracks have begun to show in the media stonewall against criticism of fanatical anti-smoking. Kerry Diotte’s article is an example of this and we applaud this reporter for having the courage to criticize his colleagues for preferring their prejudices to professional impartiality, and the truth, when it comes to the evil weed tobacco.
We cannot however expect dramatic change amongst the fourth estate any time soon. The influence in this of the pharmaceutical industry, amongst the very largest of advertisers, cannot be underestimated. Big Pharma spends megabucks on advertising, including of its “smoking cessation” nostrums, and on “tobacco control” promotion that helps sell those pharmaceuticals.
At the same time, the tobacco industry has drastically reduced advertising, even beyond the extremes of imposed limitations, and has chosen appeasement of prohibitionism. In the case of the big American companies, via the Master Settlement Agreement, appeasement has enlarged into effective collaboration.
Regarding tobacco, other aspects of the “health, safety, and environment” religion, and on too many other issues as well, the major media have become pawns and sycophants, no longer truth-seekers, but mere mouthpieces of propaganda. We applaud the challenge made by the Tobacco Smokers of Canada. The haughty rejection of their ad is not surprising, but we once again note Kerry Diotte, as a good apple in a bad barrel.
If the fourth estate has fallen low the internet has risen at the same time. Rebellion against twenty-first century ideology is growing fast. Freedom groups such as our own are gaining a wider hearing every day. We intend to defeat the new eugenics. We shall not stop fighting until this vicious ideology is utterly disgraced and defeated.