Thursday, April 01, 2004

Mark Twain said: "Tell me where a man gets his corn pone, and I'll tell you what his 'pinions is." That observation is one of my husband, Connie's, favorites, and he had occasion to refer to it again at breakfast last Friday. He was grousing about the "objectivity" of an AP article on the role of corn sweeteners in obesity. According to the article, a new study validates what scientists have been propounding for years, that high fructose corn syrup is more likely to cause weight gain than other sugars in our food. The middle one fourth of the article gave a food industry spokeswoman a chance to defend Sara Lee and Coca Cola. Connie, punctuating the air with his forefinger, denounced the writer for wasting our time with her malarkey. "Of course she'd say high fructose corn syrup isn't the culprit. She gets her corn pone from SELLING the stuff. We KNOW what HER 'pinions is."

Now, his exasperation with the article raises several questions. First of all, of course, is his criticism fair? I did devil's advocate and said that the article has to give both sides. WHY? he wanted to know. "I just want to hear the science, the facts, not their spin. And furthermore, I don't think Charles Krauthammer should be allowed on the op-ed page without a warning under the headline: 'shill for the Republican Party.' Same goes for Cal Thomas and Mona Charen. George Will and Safire can stay. They occasionally have an independent thought." Oh, he was rolling, and before I could even ask him if Molly deserved to be labeled too, he said that Molly Ivins has more factual support for what she says, that she's not shilling for anybody. Kit Bond is, so when he writes a letter to the Post, they shouldn't jump to publish him.

Today, you got Connie's take on the matter. Tomorrow, mine.


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