retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to last week’s story about proposed voluntary federal guidelines on what can be advertised to children, MNB user Elizabeth Archerd wrote:

Absolutely, it is up to parents to have the backbone to choose what goes in the grocery cart.

But it would be helpful if food producers stopped creating this tension to begin with. Stop marketing to very young children, who have no ability to tell an ad from a show from reality, and limit food ads to older children as well. Let's face it, certain food companies are part of the problem - their ads attempt to get around parents to get children to demand stuff that is not particularly good for them.

The same people who want the government to leave family choices alone should be demanding the same thing of corporations: Stop advertising to my kids and leave my family to make good decisions without your interference!

There is nothing like listening to tired pre-schoolers melt down in public because Mom or Dad didn't pick up the brand of candy-for-breakfast as seen on TV. Don't we all enjoy that.

One MNB user disagreed:

I think you knew you were going to hear from me on this. The government can pass all the regulations they want and it will not make a difference. First of all parents are going to feed their children what they decide and not what the government tells them.

Second, people who do not have a decent income are going to feed their children what they can afford. I have said this before - fruits and vegetables are way overpriced and the average “working stiff” cannot afford them. If you want people to start eating healthy bring down the cost of goods. I remember when lettuce was .39 cents a head. Now it is what 2 or 3 dollars??

As for me I will continue to feed my children anything I choose regardless of the nutritional value. Big brother will not like it, but to use a movie quote, “Quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

There is no regulation - proposed or extant - that I know of that would prevent you from feeding your children anything you want. I might question your parenting skills for not caring about nutritional value, but that’s ultimately up to you.

I do think that it seems reasonable for the government to require that companies be transparent about ingredients and nutritional values, so you can make informed decisions.

But since you’ve made clear in previous emails that you are against most of not all government regulation, let me pose this question. What if the government could somehow impose regulations that would make healthier food more affordable? Does that sound like a good idea?

Regarding Walmart’s decision to once again sell guns in some of its US stores, one MNB user wrote:

It's nice to know that the powers that be at Wal-Mart are participating in Mayors Against Illegal Guns Campaign. The problem is that all MAIG wants is to punish the millions of responsible, legal gun owners in America. They are against the Second Amendment.

It makes me think that I will never shop at Wal-Mart. When all guns are outlawed the criminals will still have guns.

Methinks I do not want to get myself involved in the gun debate.

Though I do find it amusing that Walmart is now getting criticized by this reader not for selling too many guns, but for being willing to engage in a discussion about responsible gun ownership.

May I suggest that Walmart could not engage in a national urban strategy without being willing to deal with the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Campaign. It would just not be politically possible. And I don’t think it would be responsible.

MNB took note last week of a Wine Spectator report that a new study published in Movement Disorders suggests that “a lifetime of drinking red wine significantly reduces the risk of essential tremor, the official name for a pattern of involuntary, continuous movements that intensify with age.” According to the story, “four or five glasses of red wine per day, for 30 years or so, provides the most benefit.

I must have had other things on my mind last week, because I did not even think to comment along the lines of this MNB user:

Listen, I'm for anything which finds health benefits in things I enjoy but 4 or 5 glasses of red wine daily seems a little too good to be true. Almost like reading that sitting on the sofa watching sports has the same effect as exercise.  Can that be right?

And another MNB user chimed in:

It’s hard to have tremors when you are passed out!

And, from another MNB user:

At four to five glasses DAILY, essential tremor may not be the biggest issue!

I wrote last week praising MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for its approach to reporting on the Royal Wedding, saying that “they used their weeklong visit to London as an opportunity to compare the politics and cultures of the US and UK, to talk about the two nation’s economies, and actually focus on legitimate news stories, all the while including some wedding news and poking gentle fun at the proceedings.

“Joe Scarborough actually said at one point that at a time of economic austerity and budget cuts in the UK, it hardly seemed like the right time to be celebrating excess. And truer words may not have been spoken in the mainstream media this week.”

MNB user Joe Davis wrote:

While I love ‘Morning Joe’, I think they packed one too many bags of cynicism when they jumped the pond this week.  Even in tough economies, people need to celebrate and be uplifted to remind themselves that not everything is doom and gloom all the time.  A wedding – of any kind – is a great example of something that rallies people together in the spirit of good will and high expectation for the future.  I’ll gladly toast to that over sitting in a corner with everyone and bemoaning the times.  One of the morning shows quoted Winston Churchill’s comment on the 1947 wedding announcement of Elizabeth and Philip, when he said that the event would be “a flash of color on the hard road we have to travel.”  And things were a lot bleaker back then.

It costs British citizens practically squat today to maintain the monarchy and its charity, cause awareness, and good will work more than covers the difference.  Not to mention its tourism draw.  I personally think it’s a wonderfully uplifting experience to immerse oneself for a few days in a joyous event like this which the royal couple is truly sharing with all the world.

I guess I’d disagree. I never thought that “Morning Joe” was trying to rain on anybody’s parade ... I just thought that they had their eye on the bigger picture and were placing the event in a larger context. Which is what I want from my news programs.
KC's View: