Good morning, City Desk readers, and welcome to another Freedom Friday! How about this “heat wave,” enh? ENH?
Michael Phelps, Olympiad and hero to long-necked people everywhere, crashed his Escalade in Baltimore last night. To give you an impression of how bad the accident was, here’s WaPo’s headline: “Phelps Uninjured in Two-Vehicle Crash.” There wasn’t enough room in the headline to mention that the person in the other car was left uninjured as well—only “shaken up.”
It’s an important story because Michael Phelps is A FAMOUS SWIMMER AND IMPORTANT YOUNG MAN, and when he was fresh out of high school, he was arrested for driving under the influence. Five years is nothing in journalism years—so maybe the the solid graf that addresses Phelp’s sobriety was worth including. Then again, there’s this [emphasis mine]:
Police found no reason to perform any tests on him, [Officer] Guglielmi said. Officers also examined both vehicles and found no evidence of drugs or alcohol, he said.
Throwing in that bit about the drugs—something WaPo didn’t bother to do in a single one of these traffic accident stories from Tuesday—now that was pure genius! After all, there was that DUI, and the picture of Phelps taking a monster hit with those Aquaman lungs.
But as good as WaPo is about keeping us abreast (swimming joke!) of Phelp’s fuck-ups, the paper was strangely silent about Subway, which dropped the heavily wreathed Phelps like an ugly newborn seven months ago in the wake of the bong pictures, only to bring him back on board in recent weeks for a series of print and TV commercials, in which Phelps gushes about his love for jalapenos and banana peppers alongside a nervous and sad-looking Jared.
C’mon, Phelps gettin’ his endorsement back wasn’t worth even a blog post?
Do you cry easily, sweet reader? The September issue of Esquire features a heart-breaking story by John H. Richardson about Warren Hern, the only remaining late-term abortion provider in the country. For the last several decades, Hern has been the target of brick-throwing, gun-firing, vitriol-spewing, COLLEAGUE-MURDERING “Pro-lifers.” Told with an elegant yet enthralling second-person voice, Richardson’s story is almost enough to make a non-believer embrace Original Sin, if only as an explanation to what tempted Bill O’Reilly’s mother to raise the spawn of Satan as her own. In fact, it’s almost enough to inspire a guy—who, as Dogbert once said, doesn’t like to get “gooky stuff” on his “paws”—to put his money where his mouth is. Too bad I’m too damn dumb for abortion school!
A new review of 89 studies confirms that the cancer risk associated with smokeless tobacco is tiny when compared to the cancer risk associated with cigarettes….
[The authors] estimate that if all male cigarette smokers in the U.S. had used smokeless tobacco instead, the number of tobacco-related cancer deaths among them would have been 1 percent what it actually was in 2005 (about 1,100 vs. 105,000).
Holy metastasizing lung tumors, Batman, why hasn’t some do-gooding (good-doing?) public health advocate endorsed Snus? Sullum can tell you:
This comparison highlights the absurdity of the main “public health” objection to promoting smokeless tobacco as a harm-reducing alternative to cigarettes. Opponents of this strategy claim to be worried that it could lead to more tobacco-related mortality in the long run if it attracts nonsmokers to smokeless tobacco. But Lee and Hamling’s numbers indicate that if a significant percentage of smokers switched to oral snuff, the tobacco-related death toll would be smaller than it is now even if every nonsmoker in America started using oral snuff too. By the professed standards of public health, which seeks to minimize morbidity and mortality, this is a no-brainer. As with the opposition to electronic cigarettes, something else is going on here: a moralistic crusade to conquer sin disguised as a scientific quest to conquer disease.
If you’ve never read Jacob Sullum on cigarettes (and weed), you should. Especially if you’re the kind of person who knows what’s best for everybody but your coke-snorting daughter. (Catch that? I just said “F you!” to Vice President Joe Biden, Destroyer of Families!)
Happy Friday, y’all. Don’t get scammed!