Thursday, July 27, 2006

American Legacy Foundation Partnering with Corporate Killer, By Its Own Admission

According to the American Legacy Foundation, as quoted in a UPI article, the Time Warner company - owner of Warner Brothers - is killing people because it is the leading source of depictions of smoking in the movies that are seen by kids and Legacy has stated that depictions of smoking in the movies kill people.

Interestingly, Legacy's chief corporate partner - which it describes as a "leader" in the anti-smoking movement - is none other than Time Warner, which in Legacy's view is a corporate killer.

Thus, Legacy is partnering with a company that, by its own admission, is a corporate killer.

The Rest of the Story

While I obviously think that it is quite absurd to claim that depictions of smoking in movies are killing people, the fact that Legacy apparently feels this way yet has chosen to partner with the leading one of these corporate killers is, in my mind, quite despicable. How can a public health organization knowingly partner with a company it considers to be killing thousands of people?

That's not only hypocritical, but it's irresponsible and completely inappropriate. And to me, it demonstrates a lack of integrity.

When it makes a nice sound bite, Legacy is quick to condemn Time Warner for killing kids. But when it needs help advancing its cause, Legacy's tune changes and all of the sudden Time Warner is now a leading anti-tobacco organization.

I'm sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Time Warner can't be both a corporate killer of thousands of people each year from tobacco-related diseases and also a leader in the anti-smoking movement. That's an oxymoron if I have ever seen one.

Time Warner's corporate killing activities go beyond Warner Brothers depiction of smoking in movies. Just last week, Time Magazine - owned by the Time Inc. magazine division of the company - contained a huge 4-page spread offering a free sample of American Spirit "natural" cigarettes to any adult takers. So I guess Time Inc. also is in the business of selling death and killing people.

That makes it even more unconscionable that a public health organization would partner with this company and call it an important leader in the anti-smoking movement. If anything, the evidence linking magazine advertising to cigarette smoking is a heck of a lot stronger than that linking seeing someone smoking in a movie to starting to smoke cigarettes.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think that Time Warner is killing anyone. They are legally advertising products and need to do so to make money; they are also producing movies in which the artists have chosen, gratuitously or not, to include smoking.

But if you do think Time Warner is killing people, then the company is certainly not a leader in the anti-smoking movement and certainly not a worthy corporate partner.

I simply don't think that the American Legacy Foundation, with this kind of hypocritical behavior, can be taken seriously. They either need to rescind their corporate partnership with these killers, or else quit indicting smoking in movies as one of the greatest public health problems of our time.

I truly think it's time to end this nonsense.

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