The media are treating Thanksgiving like Halloween by whipping up one of their favorite bogeymen. ABC and NBC are now targeting canned food as potentially harmful to humans, because it contains a chemical that the media has long crusaded against: BPA, otherwise known as bisphenol-A, found in many plastics and packaging products.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that levels of BPA increased greatly in the human body after eating canned food. On Nov 23, ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News both reported on this study - and warned consumers of the potential dangers of eating canned food. NBC's report made sure to include "Hidden Danger" in the background in the beginning of the report.
Ex-Clinton aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday gushed over the results of Barack Obama's first White House physical, even going so far as to defend the President's continued smoking. Talking to Dr. Richard Besser, the Good Morning America host defended, "My reaction is, what is the big deal? He's got the most stressful job on the planet." [Audio available here.]
The former Democratic operative continued, "Couple cigarettes a day. So what?" Besser, ABC News' medical editor, was forced to bring his colleague back to reality: "You know, there's more and more research coming out on the impact of light smoking. What you're finding is, if you have three cigarettes a day, you have about 70 percent of the risk of someone who is having two packs a day."
"About half of the pregnancies in this country are unplanned," reported Richard Besser, ABC's senior Health and Medical Director, on "Good Morning America" Dec. 15.
Talking specifically about teens, Besser said that "even though there's so much information on prevention available - literally at your fingertips - it seems like it's not always getting through." So, to help parents initiate the "big talk" with their children, Besser sat down with a group of six young adults to ask them how their parents discussed "your values" and the "information on prevention available."
Out of the six panelists, not a single one mentioned abstinence playing a part in their "big talk."
In fact, their responses conveyed the idea that parents these days expect their teenagers to be sexually active and so their sex talks sounded more like how-to pamphlets on contraceptive devices than a parent to child heart-to-heart about the emotional and physical implications of having sex.
In an open letter sent today to ABC News President David Westin, NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell questioned the ethics of ABC as a "news" network and wondered "how in the world can anyone take ABC seriously" after it was announced that ABC News has hired Democratic donor Dr. Richard Besser to be their new Senior Medical Editor.
The letter begins here, and continues in its entirety below the fold.
July 30, 2009
Dear Mr. Westin,
It was reported today that you have hired Dr. Richard Besser as your new Senior Medical Editor. By now you also know Besser is a Barack Obama donor, having contributed $400 to his campaign in 2008.
As your new senior health correspondent, he will play a pivotal role in your coverage of the health care debate going forward. How in the world is this ethical?