At the top of Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez proclaimed: "the truth about salt, why a new report wants the government to take salt off the table." She later introduced a segment on the topic by explaining: "Americans eat about 1 ½ tablespoons of salt every day....there's a major new push this morning to curb that habit."
Rodriguez spoke with CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton about the government intrusion and noted that there was "confusion" over "reports that the FDA might regulate salt." Ashton claimed: "there was a fair amount of misinterpretation of yesterday's news....the Institute of Medicine approached the FDA and asked for their assistance in working in conjunction with the food industry and other health services to help increase awareness about salt intake and hopefully, in the future, reduce the consumption of salt that Americans have."
However, near the end of the segment, after Ashton detailed the negative health effects of too much salt, Rodriguez observed: "So then there maybe is an argument for someone getting involved in making these companies put less sodium in their foods." Ashton agreed: "Exactly. And so we're going to be seeing more of that more aggressively from the government in the future."
CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton didn't appear quite so eager this morning to promote contraceptive for teens to parents in the second part of a two-part segment about teens and sex. In fact, to parents, she claimed, "We say medically the longer you wait [to have sex] the better, but again the job of a women's health specialist and adolescent gynecologist is to make sure that we protect the teenager's health and maintain it in the safest way possible for as long as possible."
Yet yesterday, CBS' "The Early Show" aired clips of Ashton promoting contraceptive over abstinence to teens, even though abstinence is one sure-fire way to protect and maintain a teen's health.
"Usually, if not always, I tell my patients that they should use two forms of contraception for birth control," Ashton told a group of teen girls, at least one of whom was only 13. "Something like the Pill, which is highly effective, and condoms all the time. And what about the birth control pill? What do you guys know about that?...Did you know the Pill could be one of the medications used to treat acne?"
Teenagers don't need to ask their friends anymore about sex. Now they can just turn to CBS' medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
On Jan. 6, Dr. Ashton met with a group of teenage girls on CBS' "Early Show" to advertise her new book "The Body Scoop for Girls" - a book that anchor Maggie Rodriguez said "parents of daughters really appreciate." But most parents that watched this segment were probably more shocked than appreciative.
When Dr. Ashton met with the group of girls, she asked them, "Did any of your parents ever come to you guys and say, ‘We expect that you don't have sex until fill-in-the-blank age' .... 18, 19, 20, whatever?"
Not a single girl said yes, but 14-year-old Mercy Baez spoke up and said, "In this generation, ya know, almost every teenager already has sex by seventh to eighth grade ... and so, it's like, if you haven't had sex already, then you're the weird one and you stand out because you haven't."
If Ashton had any reaction to that statement, it was edited from the tape. Instead, she answered this question from 13-year-old Pam Segall: "What type of contraception do you think is the most effective?"
CBS's Katie Couric and ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson tried to provide cover Thursday night for Vice President Biden's gaffe about the swine flu threat, which forced two cabinet secretaries and the White House spokesman to correct his advice to avoid planes and subways, as Couric asked an expert to confirm “that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?” and Johnson spun it into a positive, proposing: “In an ironic way, the reaction -- the information that has come out in reaction -- has been very informative.”
Talking with Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Couric pointed out how “the Vice President created a bit of a brouhaha when he said he would tell his family to avoid confined public spaces, but that's not terrible advice in certain situations, is it?” Ashton supported Couric's premise, suggesting “common sense precautions apply here,” so “people who have weakened immune systems, who have cancer, are HIV-positive,” if they would avoid people “a week ago, they should do it today.” But Biden was not warning just those with such vulnerabilities.
This wasn't the first time Couric helped Biden. Last year, when candidate Biden declared in a taped interview with Couric that “when the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television,” she ran the soundbite in which he had cited FDR to denounce Bush's handling of the economy, but failed to point out his historical error: FDR was not in office at the time of the 1929 crash and his “fireside chats” were on the radio.