Piers Morgan Likens the Nanny State to Dieting


Ad for Flame, Burger King's meat-scented cologne

CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, who sees eye to eye with Michael Bloomberg on guns, also shares the busybody billionaire's distaste for big sodas:

He wants New Yorkers to be fitter and healthier. What is wrong with that?… 

I think people need the nanny state occasionally, particularly on issues like smoking, drinking, guzzling sodas that are too big for them, you know, eating 16 Big Macs a day, whatever it may be, the reality is we all need a bit of nannying about that. That's why so many people are on diets. That's a form of nanny state.

Really? It seems to me the crucial difference between dieting and government-imposed food restrictions is that the latter involves coercion. When you choose to cut back on your caloric intake, that is self-control, as opposed to state control, a rather important distinction (and not just for libertarians). Something like a fat camp woud be a closer comparison to the nanny state, except that people voluntarily decide to enroll in such programs. If you are a New Yorker who is suddenly prevented from ordering your favorite coffee drink by mayoral decree, you have made no such choice.

It is interesting that Morgan mentions the danger of eating too many Big Macs, rather than Whoppers, since he has touted Burger King's meat-scented cologne in ads like the one above. "In the advert," The Telegraph reports, "Morgan's face has been superimposed onto a younger, more toned model's body." Maybe the government should start supervising Morgan's diet.