Late last month, we took a look at a few of the reactions to the anti-hot dog smear campaign led by the Cancer Project, a spin-off of the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Responses ranged from confusion to mockery to, well, downright anger. But the deceptive ad continues its tour across television screens throughout the country. And never have we seen so many Americans rally around the hot dog.
The latest stern words appeared yesterday in a Charleston Post and Courier editorial:
Aristotle sagely advised, "Moderation in all things." Human consumption of hot dogs falls under the heading of "all things." But while we should all exercise prudent limits on how many hot dogs we eat, and while that all-American staple of ballpark fare can’t credibly be billed as health food, it doesn’t represent a public menace unless eaten to excess…
Dr. Neal Barnard, head of The Cancer Project, defended the ad’s poetic license as a way to steer children clear of the hot-dog habit: "We can always change our traditions to be healthful."
Yet telling the truth is a healthy tradition, too. And the millions of Americans of all ages who relish hot dogs — again, in moderation — shouldn’t be scared away from them by blatantly false propaganda against a savory national institution.
The Virginian-Pilot editorial board had similar qualms, shaking their heads at the ad’s creators for having “done the American icon a disservice with its frankfurter fear ads.” The Pilot also pointed out the incredibly shaky science behind PCRM’s hot-dog—cancer claim, adding, “You know your cancer-awareness campaign is in trouble when the American Cancer Society can’t digest it.”
The animal rights wieners behind this campaign continue to defend it. But the only way their anti-hot dog ad has succeeded is in making us all hungry for more. Like the folks at the Pilot, "we’ve got a hankerin’ for a hot dog. With mustard and slaw, please."