Both Mother Jones and Media Matters find it darkly telling that Fox News and the Daily Caller have expressed worries over a potential War on Salt, provoked by the FDA's recent pledge to further look into the matter of health and sodium intake.
The Mother Jones blog—headlined "The War on Salt is the New Death Panels"—is mostly just scornful of the supposed fearmongering at work here. Whoever is in charge of their twitter even further goaded the official Fox News account in this tweet.
Here is Media Matters' highlighted quote of the Fox News exchange, with the full video at the link.
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): I know you know the war on terror is going on, and you've accepted that. Can you accept the war on salt? It's official.
[T]here is an official war on salt, despite recent studies that show that salt really isn't that bad for you.
CARLSON: So the FDA has opened up now a formal inquiry into salt reduction, so what is that going to mean? Will we now see that you can't eat salt in your own home, potentially? I mean, you know, they've already done that with smoking, et cetera. Not really sure. The interesting thing is, some people are actually told to eat more salt—like me. Eat more salt, your blood pressure is too low. So, you know, you can't really just apply this across the board for everyone.
KILMEADE: Right. Well, there's a new study that shows, they did a study, and they showed—studied people over long term, 3,700 people. They showed over time, cardiovascular death rate was highest among those with less salt. Can you please put that in before we start a war on salt?
DOOCY: So the thing is, the science is not settled, and yet, the government has a bee in their bonnet. They want us to stop eating so much salt and sugar and stuff like that. The food police are rearing their head now that they have called for public comments on how to achieve salt reduction across the country. Goodie.
Yes, the tone is ominous, the phrasing is slightly weird. But why all the left-wing fearmongering over the dangers of right-wing food police fearmongering?
Mother Jones' final words:
Keep in mind that even if the FDA came out with rules, it wouldn't be deploying salt cops to your local Big Boy to confiscate all the salt shakers. It would merely be setting guidelines about the amount of salt in processed, packaged foods—the kind of foods where people unknowingly consume all kinds of sodium currently…
Fox's use of the "science isn't settled argument" when it comes to salt. Sound familiar? In this case, the network managed to find one study that contradicts the vast majority of scientific research that indicates excessive salt intake is unhealthy, and then used it to create the impression that the conclusion is somehow controversial. It's something that Fox does regularly when the subject is climate change, too. And just like in that example, it's entirely false.
Ha ha ha. Armed agents of the government being deployed to prohibit consumer choices! Someone has been reading too much infowars.com.
It's not even whether these writers have heard about incidents like armed raids against sellers of raw milk, the last several decades of the drug war, or even this fellow named Michael Bloomberg. The not-so-subtle thesis of both these articles is that the moment something is proven or suggested to be harmful by enough experts, to resist heavy-handed regulations (or to fear them) is to be anti-science.