The agenda-setting New York Times has been absent without reporting on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act after agitating on its editorial pages (and in the news columns, really) for the CPSIA’s passage in 2008. If you’re going to sell a law, shouldn’t you report on its harmful effects?
Walter Olson at Overlawyered.com has been following the Times’ journalistic dereliction and today he reports the latest editorial bizarreness — a feature on the new-found chicness of used children’s products that doesn’t mention the CPSIA:
The New York Times, which to the amazement of many has printed scarcely a word about the catastrophic effects of the law it still defends, now runs a Fashion & Style story applauding what it identifies as a trend among affluent urban parents toward buying used products for their kids rather than always insisting on new (Sarah Wildman, “For Firstborns, Secondhand Fits the Bill“). But it never mentions the reason why those parents will find the selection of kids’ goods around the nation’s thrift shops to be much, much sparser than it was a year ago.
We need to figure out a PR strategy to tear off the editorial blinkers of the Times’ editors. Here’s an idea: Take the letter from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s professional staff responding to questions from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) about the CPSIA’s implementation. Stamp “Top Secret” over it, slip it into an envelope with stamps from Albania and Jordan (rendition!) and then have somebody from the CIA slip it to a Times reporter surreptiously.
It will be Page One, guaranteed.
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