Saturday, December 09, 2006

Nanny Governments and Painful Writing

In a story that The Tennessean's editors evidently believed merited above the fold, first page attention, staff writer Jim Myers begins, "The New York ban on trans fats in food is trickling down to Nashville."

Fortunately for Nashvillians as a whole, though not for admirers of clear thinking and writing, the rest of the story does not support that assertion. Myers is referring to a decision by a local hotel to stop using trans fats in its food services. However, a decision by a local restaurant to stop using certain cooking substances is fundamentally different from a decision by a government to ban those cooking substances. One might add that the failure to understand the difference between an entity making arguably good personal choices and a nanny state imposing them is at the root of much of what is wrong with American government.

Myers also used his front page offering to describe trans fats as "the goo in our machinery." I'm not sure about the trans fats, but that phrasing in a front page news story caused The Oracle physical pain.

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