CNN Anchor Shamelessly Lauds Mayor Bloomberg's Newest Smoking Ban

CNN anchor Randi Kaye finished her Tuesday news hour with a giddy monologue praising the newest smoking ban in New York City. The ban, signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in February, took effect Tuesday and outlawed smoking in city parks, public plazas, beaches, and boardwalks.

"Yes, say what you want about Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban on, oh, about 1700 parks and 14 miles of beaches around New York City, but I think it is a great idea," Kaye gushed, effectively wagging her finger in front of all members of her audience who disagreed with the ban.

(Video below the jump.)

This wasn't the first time Kaye posed as a cheerleader for greater government regulation of certain industries. Back in 2007 she advocated gun control as a solution to Philadelphia's crime problems.

As if Bloomberg's 2002 indoor smoking ban wasn't comprehensive enough for her, the anchor-turned-cheerleader welcomed the new law with open arms – although complaining that it wasn't harsh enough. "Why didn't you include sidewalks in this ban, mayor?" she whined.

Kaye explained that she enjoys the fresh air when going for a run in city parks, and that smoking ruins the experience for her, and related her "battle" with second-hand smoke. After she advocated that smokers take their tobacco indoors and added "that is still legal, at least for now," one could only wonder if she was crossing the line from journalism over into advocacy.

[Click here for audio.]

"Sure, smokers argue they pay taxes too and should be able to light up wherever they want. But are you also going to pay our medical bills when we get sick from your second-hand smoke?" the anchor argued.

"If you want to smoke, smoke in your apartment. That is still legal, at least for now. But please, do us all a favor and keep your windows closed," Kaye concluded in one last haughty bit.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on May 24 at 2:58 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

RANDI KAYE: Time now for my "XYZ." And I have some good news. New York City's parks and plazas and nearby beaches are now officially smoke-free. Yes, say what you want about Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban on, oh, about 1700 parks and 14 miles of beaches around New York City, but I think it is a great idea.

Why? Because I am a New Yorker, and when I go for a run in Central Park, I like to smell the fresh flowers and the fall foliage when the leaves turn, not people's second-hand smoke. Central Park is a park. It is not the city's ash tray. For years, walking through Times Square and other plaza areas around Manhattan I've battled second-hand smoke. I've actually crossed the street to avoid people walking and smoking in front of me. Why didn't you include sidewalks in this ban, mayor?

Well now officers can write $50 tickets to anyone who lights up in areas that are now off limits. Sure, smokers argue they pay taxes too and should be able to light up wherever they want. But are you also going to pay our medical bills when we get sick from your second-hand smoke? It's time to stop flicking your ashes on city streets. If you want to smoke, smoke in your apartment. That is still legal, at least for now. But please, do us all a favor and keep your windows closed.

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Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014