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Mark Steyn on the President and Fox News; Lawrence Wright on Al Qaeda. On Hannity’s Great American Panel Tonight

Friday, October 23, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I am in NYC and will be on with Sean on the Great American Panel tonight. Carol Platt Liebau will be sitting in for me on the show.

Yesterday’s conversation with Mark Steyn about, among other things, the president’s battle with Fox News and the FDA’s grab for control of every food package in America is here.

The hour long interview of Lawrence Wright on the state of al Qaeda is here.

Both can be heard at The Hughniverse.

The FDA “guidance” Mark and I discussed is here. I wrote a column about it here, and here’s the exchange with Mark:

HH: I want to talk to you about, as a parent, you know what it’s like to shop for things that your kids want. I’m one of the few people that noticed on Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration announced to the world that they’re going to start regulating the packaging of cereal that calls itself smart choice. In fact, they’re going to start regulating the packaging of all food products, Mark Steyn, because the head of the FDA said she’s a mother of two, and she needs help, and she wants, it’s the mission of the federal government to teach parents what’s on and in these boxes. What did you make of this, if you even noticed it?

MS: No…well what this means is, when she says she’s a mother of two, what she means is that the federal government is now the mother of three hundred million. We’re the kids. I’m tired of this. I’m really tired of this. The British government wanted to ban, I think, ban Tony the Tiger, you know, the Frosty’s pitch man. He’s been there for decades.

HH: Right.

MS: But they’ve suddenly decided that Tony the Tiger is the guy to blame for the epidemic of obesity, childhood obesity in Britain. The fact is even if this worked, it would be a bad thing. Functioning adults have to be capable of raising their children, because if they’re not, they’re basically, then what the government is saying to us is well look, we’ll trust you to vote on American Idol, we’ll trust you to go on the internet and decide what porn sites you want to subscribe to. We’ll trust you to watch Dancing With the Stars. But you cannot have any adult responsibilities such as managing the food choices of your children. This is a slippery slope.

HH: Because the notice put out by the FDA, I’ve linked it at, I quote it now. “The recent experience with front of package labeling in the United Kingdom demonstrates the potential of voluntary initiatives to provide consumers helpful front of package labeling.” But this isn’t voluntary. This is backed by the full regulatory thuggishness of the federal government, which is explicit.

MS: Yeah.

HH: When did we start looking to the United Kingdom for guidance on how to do anything?

MS: Well, I thought that argument was settled in 1776, but apparently not. And you’re absolutely right, that this is the way the Obama administration thinks about things. It looks at the British and European nanny state, and wants to take this country in that direction. Sorry, but I believe in self-reliant adult citizens. I’d like a federal government that is capable of defending the borders, and is responsible for a few other minimal activities. But food, in particular, is overregulated in this country. This country has some of the worst cheese in the world because it’s overregulated.

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