In his new book, A Bone to Pick, and in an October 2012 column in the New York Times, columnist Mark Bittman called for a traffic light-type label for foods. HOTH proposes a similar label for columnists.
Red would be for conservative columnists, blue for liberal writers and yellow, of course, would be for columnists who use sensationalism and distortion.
This would allow readers “to make truly enlightened decisions” about the columns they read, letting them know how much stock to put in a column written by, for example, a “yellow” journalist who touts organic produce as somehow safer than conventionally grown produce or who believes the welfare of pigs raised outdoors and exposed to the elements and diseases is better than the ones raised in clean, climate-controlled barns.
HOTH realizes such columnist labels, like Bittman’s food labels, might affect jobs and people’s lives, but let’s not quibble about such trivialities. Readers have a right to know.