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November 4, 2005

Transcript

TONY AND TACKY

PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. Tony or Tacky, our way of calling attention to the best and worst of the week. Here's a question: if the best way to fight malaria, which kills a million people a year in developing countries, is by spraying the insecticide DDT, why are U.S. aid agencies reluctant to promote its use? Jason?

JASON RILEY: Well this is worse than tacky. This is hypocritical, because back in the forties and fifties rich countries like the U.S. and parts of Europe used DDT, sprayed it everywhere, to eradicate malaria. Now these countries are discouraging poor countries from doing the same thing. There's a big fight in Congress right now on whether the U.S. Agency for International Development should be required to use DDT to fight malaria. And some people say yes, other people say no. The experts at the agency should be in charge of this. We don't want to micro-manage.

The problem is that the experts, the so-called experts on this issue, march to the drum of the environmentalists, who are opposed to these insecticides. So we're left with a situation where we know what the best way to prevent this disease, how to go about doing that is, and we don't do it because of political opposition in rich countries.

PAUL GIGOT: Political opposition in the rich countries themselves, in the United States. All right, thanks, Jason.

On the other side of the story there are the increasing number of parents who spend extra money to keep their children's food free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetic engineering. Buy organic, they say. Dan, tony or tacky?

DAN HENNINGER: Well, I thought this was going to be a tacky, but you know what? It's going to end up as a tony. Let me explain. According to the AC Nielsen Marketing Company, spending on organic baby food is up 18 percent over the past year, and that means that parents are obsessed with pesticides, hormones, bioengineering, and they're now going out and buying things like organic hot dogs even, and organic cookies for their children.

Now I thought this was kind of over the top, because there is really no evidence whatsoever that it makes any difference. And frankly, I'm a little sad that I'm not going to be around 35 years from now when some of these kids grow up and do stand-up comedy routines about mom's obsession with organic cookies.

But you know what? If people want to spend all this extra money on organic food, that's great. They're putting their money where their mouth is. So, it's a tony.

PAUL GIGOT: Okay Dan, thanks. And finally, Sir Paul McCartney is in the midst of a sold-out tour, and setting an example that Steve Moore -- who's a big fan -- wants to point out. Steve?

STEVE MOORE: Well I know this isn't your favorite group the Dixie Chicks, but if people get a chance to see this concert, which I got to see last week, it is absolutely fabulous. James Paul McCartney plays for two and a half hours, all the old songs and new songs.

But what was really great about this concert is that if you go to a rock concert these days, they're not even concerts. They're political rallies where impeach Bush, get out of the war, save the whales. And what was really nice is that this concert went on for two and a half hours, there were no political statements. It was just great music. Although he did wear his "no land mines" tee-shirt during one segment.

But Paul, we still love you even though you're still 64, and it's nice to see you can have a concert without political hype.

PAUL GIGOT: For the record, I like the Dixie Chicks.

STEVE MOORE: I know you do.

PAUL GIGOT: Their music, not their politics. All right. Thanks, Steve.

That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We'll be back next week, and we hope you'll join us then.