Back in the early 90’s when I was a DC radio reporter (a very non-seasoned, clueless, bad reporter) I was assigned to cover a press conference put on by the tobacco industry.
The woman at the podium was perfect. She was tall. Elegant. Intelligent. Composed. I wanted to pinch her because she seemed to be made of some non human substance, too flawless for mere flesh. Methinks she was a robot?
Anyway….at this point in time everyone knew that cigarette's were bad for you. We’d all had the black lung passed around in elementary school to scare the crap out of us. It was common knowledge. No-brainer stuff.
And yet….this woman (or whatever she was) stood at the podium, looked out into a roomful of reporters, and said “There is no evidence, that cigarettes cause cancer.”
No she didn’t?
Had I been plunged into a 90’s version of The Emperor Has No Clothes? I’d just landed this job after pounding the pavement for weeks. I had no clue how it all worked? Looking around the room, I was psyched. Surly one of these reporters, a bigger wig than me, was about to take her out.
It didn’t happen.
Everyone gathered their sound bites, scuttled off, got their quotes from the other side, put their little cookie cutter stories together and moved on to the next piece of non-news.
I felt like an idiot for not saying something but who was I? My confidence wasn’t developed. I wasn’t yet a mother.
It takes time but truth always has out in the end.
We all know what happened to Big Tobacco.
I do believe you’re next?
* Should Vaccine Court Hearings Affecting Thousands of Children be Kept Secret?
This is a question A-Champ (an advocacy group for kids with autism) is asking in a newsletter I recieved yesterday. Included in the letter was the following link: