Other Than That, the Story Was Accurate

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on November 12, 2014

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.

correctionOther Than That, the Story Was Accurate
“An earlier version of the headline for this obituary described some of Mr. Doar’s work incorrectly. He opposed segregation, not desegregation.”—New York Times, Nov. 11

Two Networks in One!

  • “Millennials Are Saving for Retirement at a Much Earlier Age”—headline, CNN .com, June 2
  • “Millennials Aren’t Saving a Dime”—headline, CNN .com, Nov. 10

On the Menu
The latest bright idea from the left is a “national food policy.” Two journalists, a scientist and a lawyer have a manifesto in the Washington Post:

How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans’ well-being than any other human activity. The food industry is the largest sector of our economy; food touches everything from our health to the environment, climate change, economic inequality and the federal budget. Yet we have no food policy—no plan or agreed-upon principles—for managing American agriculture or the food system as a whole.

That must change.

The food system and the diet it’s created have caused incalculable damage to the health of our people and our land, water and air. If a foreign power were to do such harm, we’d regard it as a threat to national security, if not an act of war, and the government would formulate a comprehensive plan and marshal resources to combat it. (The administration even named an Ebola czar to respond to a disease that threatens few Americans.) So when hundreds of thousands of annual deaths are preventable—as the deaths from the chronic diseases linked to the modern American way of eating surely are—preventing those needless deaths is a national priority.

The Daily Caller reports that Al Gore endorsed the “brilliant” essay in a tweet asserting: “It’s time for a national policy on food.” That’s sort of a reverse appeal to authority: If we didn’t already think it was an awful new idea, Gore’s backing would have convinced us.

But wait. A “national food policy” isn’t a new idea after all. As Gary Taubes noted in a 2002 New York Times magazine piece, in 1977 “a Senate committee led by George McGovern published its ‘Dietary Goals for the United States,’ advising that Americans significantly curb their fat intake to abate an epidemic of ‘killer diseases’ supposedly sweeping the country.” Following the committee’s advice, Americans avoided fat, loaded up on carbs, and blimped out. Perhaps the best policy is no policy.

For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”