As many of you know, I despise Big Tobacco for many reasons - chief among which is that Big Tobacco contributed to my father's early death. Professionally, I work on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns, and have done so for years.
For almost as long, I have also despised the double standards at work at Torstar, which owns the Toronto Star and papers like Eye Weekly. Just last week, for example, Star writers piously editorialized against former New York governor Elliot Spitzer's dalliances with a prostitute, while simultaneously accepting vast amounts of prostitution advertising in the back pages of Eye (with many of the ads clearly aimed at dirty old men who favour young girls to women). They fire 75 fine people - most of them newsroom staff - in Christmas 1993, while lecturing governments about being unkind to workers. The list goes on and on.
This morning, CBC Radio reported that Torstar has broken with a decade-long ban, and accepted three full-page cigarette ads in Eye Weekly. Its principal competitor, Now, has refused the same ads, to its great credit.
I thought the Liberals had set up laws against smoking advertisements.
I can see why he is angry at the double standard on these issues. Losing a father to cancer would be awful. Then to have the national bastion of Liberal propaganda start accepting smoking ads in a sister publication would feel like a stab in the back.
Maybe we aren't crazy when we see hypocrisy at the Star after all.
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