- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
MILLER: Schieffer smokes out the GOP
CBS anchor uses network to berate Cain and Boehner but no Democrats
Question of the Day
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was grilled Sunday on CBS‘ “Face the Nation.” Host Bob Schieffer, the self-appointed anti-smoking sheriff of America, browbeat Mr. Cain because his campaign chief, Mark Block, took a drag on a cigarette at the end of an online ad.
The 54-second spot went viral because it was so refreshing to see a candidate avoid political correctness, but Mr. Schieffer was incensed, asking, “What is the point of that - having a man smoke a cigarette in a television commercial for you?” Mr. Cain has never smoked, but he defended the commercial. “I don’t have a problem if that’s his choice,” he said. “So let Herman be Herman. Let Mark be Mark. Let people be people. This wasn’t intended to send any subliminal signal whatsoever.”
This was not the first time Mr. Schieffer delivered a Sunday sermon on demon tobacco. One month before the landslide 2010 election, Mr. Schieffer asked then-House Minority Leader John A. Boehner four questions related to smoking. The Ohio Republican admitted that he smoked, saying, “I wish I didn’t have this bad habit, and it is a bad habit. … But it’s something that I choose to do.”
The CBS anchor chided Mr. Boehner for accepting campaign contributions from the tobacco industry when “cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country.” The GOP leader responded that there are “a lot of things that aren’t good for our health. But the American people ought to have the right to make those decisions on their own.”
It appears Mr. Schieffer reserves the one-two punch for Republicans and puts on kid gloves to deal with Democrats. The closest the TV host has come to criticizing a Democrat for smoking was telling then-White House senior adviser David Axelrod in October 2010 to tell the president to consider taking up a joint pledge with Mr. Boehner about quitting smoking.
A mere two months later, the anchor heaped praise on President Obama, not because he had quit smoking but for not getting caught. “We learned that the president hasn’t been seen with a cigarette in nine months,” Mr. Schieffer said, beaming. “Good on him. I hope he’s beaten it once and for all.” But the anchor again piled scorn on incoming House Speaker Boehner. “So what do you say, Mr. Boehner? Are you going to let the president one-up you on this?”
Meanwhile, on Monday, the White House released a memo from the president’s physician claiming the commander in chief is “tobacco free.” Four months ago, the White House released a photo of Mr. Obama in the Oval Office during the debt-ceiling negotiations with what appears to be a piece of Nicorette gum in front of him on his desk.
Mr. Schieffer’s partisan puffery could not be more transparent. Republican and Democratic adults can decide for themselves whether to smoke. The risks are well-known; a highly paid TV anchor sheds no new light on the issue.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek tax investigation follows D.C. conviction for muzzleloader bullet ammunition
- MILLER: Harry Reid's hypocrisy on 'Equal Pay Day': No women on top leadership staff
- MILLER: Maryland bathroom bill for transgenders is part of LGBT lobby for sex-change rights
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'
- MILLER: Exclusive - Mark Witaschek takes the stand in D.C. shotgun shell trial
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By James A. Lyons Jr.
The president has shifted alliance from friend to enemy
Get Breaking Alerts
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan