This week’s “Hypocrite Of The Week” winner is none other than Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz. Earlier this week the Sunset Park based democrat who is best known for authoring the nation’s first state law prohibiting the use of hand held cell phones while driving, announced his desire to see a law passed that would ban advertisements touting alcoholic beverages on buses & subways. Mr. Ortiz had these comments relating to why he feels such a law should be created:
“We have so many problems in our society with underage drinking that we don’t need this kind of advertising in our public transit systems. They are spending all this money on advertising featuring beautiful young women and handsome young men because they want us to believe that if you drink, that’s what you’re going to look like. But if we can pass this in New York, I think the whole nation will pay attention.” He also said the industry is targeting a “vulnerable population.”
Mr. Ortiz’s idea has already received instant support from New York’s Office Of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services whose spokesman Joe Morrissey said this plan would be “consistent with our strategy of preventing alcoholism across the state.” However not everyone is in support of Mr. Ortiz’s proposal. A Washington D.C. lobbying group, The Distilled Spirits Council shared their feelings through spokesman Frank Coleman which argues “Blanket bans are not effective.”
However Mr. Ortiz is not just targeting companies promoting their alcoholic products. His bill also includes the ban of ads from alcohol makers that encourage people to drink responsibility. Mr. Ortiz shared his feelings on such ads by saying:
“We don’t need Captain Morgan & Anheuser-Busch to tell us to drink responsibly.”
As far as the MTA is concerned, such a ban could hurt their bottom line. The MTA earns about $100 million a year in advertising revenue. Alcohol ads account for $3-5 million dollars of that revenue yearly. For an agency that can use every dollar it gets, losing such money due to the brainstorm of a hypocrite can’t be seen as a good thing. This leads to the burning question as to why I feel Mr. Ortiz is such a hypocrite!
I am calling out Mr. Felix Ortiz as a hypocrite due to the fact he is flip flopping on his beliefs. He feels that alcohol advertisements in mass transit showcase themselves in a bad light especially to those who don’t need to see such a message. However can he explain why as chairman of the Assembly Committee On Alcoholism he is pushing to lower the legal drinking age in New York from 21 to 18!
How can he stand there & preach about alcohol makers showcasing the drinking lifestyle in a harmful way to commuters yet feel the drinking age should be lowered? When he came up with this hypocritical brainstorm, did he forget that many of these so called commuters who don’t need to get this message actually are young, lets say around the age of 18? The same age he feels is the correct age to be able to responsibly handle such a dangerous thing. There is absolutely no way he can play both sides of this issue & come out ahead of the curve.
The last time I checked if anyone is going to be tempted into activities like drinking alcohol it would be minors & teenagers who are about to become legal adults at the age of 18. I would love for him to explain how he is so concerned about people getting the wrong idea from ads when the majority who would do such a thing happen to be around or at the age of what he feels should be the legal drinking age. Talk about pulling a “John Kerry” (for all my Republican readers out there)!
One thing he seems to be forgetting about is that if someone gets into drinking from seeing an ad on the bus or subway, they have bigger issues to worry about & a ban won’t come close to fixing them. I plan on contacting Mr. Ortiz to share my feelings on his showcasing of hypocrisy. I am sure it will be hard to get a response but I will not let that stop me from expressing my concerns!