The LJS’s Bad Case of Classism

By: Mr. Wilson on March 30, 2009
The Journal Star editorial board isn't exactly a prime place to look for ideological consistency or logical reasoning, and today's editorial shows why. The editors have long been strong supporters of smoking bans. So naturally they should oppose the "cigar bar exemption" currently working its way through the Unicameral, right? Wrong:
A few cigar bars in Nebraska would be tolerable under a narrowly drafted exemption to the state smoking ban.
That's odd. After years of demonizing tobacco, what made them change their minds?
But allowing members of the public to light up a favorite Montecristo with a martini or a brandy snifter close at hand in the company of like-minded companions in a public bar strikes us as a worthy broadening of community options.
Oh! I get it now. It's fine if people who drink expensive alcohol while smoking expensive tobacco products want to gather with "like-minded companions" in a public bar. It's not fine if people who drink cheap beer and smoke Marlboros want to hang out with their buddies in a public bar. What a bunch of elitist bull excrement. Seriously, Journal Star editors, this is really pathetic. Your argument -- like-minded adults should be permitted to smoke in a reasonably-regulated environment -- is exactly the argument you should be using to oppose any smoking ban. And yet here you are trying to have it both ways: connoisseurs of snooty products should get a pass, while those silly blue collar types should suck it up and smoke outside. How do you justify freedom for some, but not for all? In related news, I spent 90 minutes in the presence of smokers on Friday, at a bar in Fremont. Oddly enough, nobody forced me to go inside and nobody forced me to stay. It was almost as though I were free to decide whether or not to patronize the business, and the business were free to decide whether it would allow its customers to smoke in the presence of "like-minded companions". What a refreshing concept, even if the air quality was awful.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

March 30, 2009 at 2:10PM

I posited similarly in the comments around 4 this morning when I read that article. Glad to know that im not the only one that noticed the flip flop.

March 30, 2009 at 2:31PM

Wait. Elitism? At the LJS? Say it isn’t so!

Mr. T
March 30, 2009 at 2:52PM

How absolutely ridiculous of them. Based on the title of their op-ed, I assume they wouldn’t support an exemption for hookah places. Guess that’s not a “worthy broadening of community options” in their view.

March 30, 2009 at 3:18PM

The LJS is getting good at pushing the right buttons to drive traffic to their site.

Dave K
March 30, 2009 at 6:13PM

If you ever want to understand why the editorials the LJS publishes are so bad, go read a few of Gordon Winters’ blog postings on the LJS website.  His initial arguments are always full of holes and have ridiculous, irrelevant points.  His responses to the comments don’t help.  I’ve traded comments with him a few times and I couldn’t believe I was conversing with the opinion page editor of a reasonably sized newspaper.

March 30, 2009 at 6:34PM

You realize that you’ll never get those minutes of your life back, right? 😉

Mr. T
March 30, 2009 at 11:09PM

Hey Gene, I’m thinking about lighting up my favorite Montecristo with a martini or a brandy snifter close at hand in the company of like-minded companions. Care to join me?

March 30, 2009 at 11:27PM

Only if we can stare down our noses at the dirty working class folks. We are due for another BorK meetup now that you mention it…

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