Breaking news from the New York Times: tobacco is bad for you! Of course you didn't know that. Rubes like you [probably the same kind of people dumb enough to have voted for Republicans over the years] likely think tobacco has roughly the same the health impact of bean sprouts washed down with OJ. That's because you've fallen victim to the tobacco industry's "half-century of deception." And the Times is plenty mad about it.
In Tobacco Racketeers Get Off Easy, the Times stamps its editorial feet this morning, frustrated by the judge's rulings in a suit accusing Big Tobacco under racketeering statutes. The judge had earlier denied the $280 billion penalty originally sought, and has now turned thumbs down on "the modest billions sought by prosecutors."
Fulminates the Times: "The prospects for reining in this rogue industry seem limited unless Congress finds the gumption to crack down — or top tobacco executives develop a conscience and decide to get out of the death-dealing business."
Ah, a government crack-down on business. Enough to warm the cockles a of big-government liberal's heart. Yesterday it was Robert Kuttner over at the Times-owned Boston Globe, militating for a crack-down on that threat to all things good - Walmart. Today it's the Times' turn vis a vis the tobacco industry.
There's also a certain element of puritanism that runs through the MSM when it comes to tobacco, perhaps because cigarette smoking has become declasse among the enlightened of the Upper West Side. Have you ever seen the Times, for example, demand a crack-down on drug dealers with the same passion with which it inveighs against the marketers of the legal product that is tobacco?