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January 2006
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ONDCP’s First Full Podcast, Featuring…

… Al Roker.
That’s right — the Drug Czar’s office has stepped up to the plate and shown off their command of new technology by interviewing a weatherman.
Maybe they decided that they wanted to start off with an authority, to show off their seriousness with facts and science and stuff, and someone in their office said: “Isn’t weather a kind of science?” Or… Maybe they wanted to hit the kids with a popular celebrity, so they asked who’s hot, and the 70-year-old cleaning woman said “I’ve always liked that Al Roker.” Or…
Anyway, it was clearly an interview designed for an audience that never heard the word “podcast.”
We did get some insight into Al Roker’s past drug use…

I tried pot, twice basically in college – and I didn’t like the way I got very subdued and tired – and polished off, I don’t know, a 55-gallon drum of cheetos – and “this isn’t good” – and that was it, it didn’t do anything for me.

And then he addressed the issue of talking to your kids and hypocrisy. At this point in the interview, the discussion had been about marijuana. Notice how at the end of this segment, he realizes that his argument isn’t that strong, so he changes the stakes.

If you characterize it as that – that it was not something that you continue to do – it’s not something that you condone – that you knew it was wrong, but, you know, you tried it, and that was that. I don’t see that as hypocritical.
Now if you’re still doing it and you tell your kids not to – If they see you doing that – you have no moral leg to stand on. To say “Well don’t do that” – it’s like “Do as I say, not as I do.” So that’s a real issue.
And there are those who say “Well, you tell your kids not to drink and yet you maybe have a cocktail” Well, it’s not illegal – and it’s a different – I don’t think you can equate a glass of white wine with meth.

How did comparing pot with hard liquor (cocktail), change to comparing a glass of white (why white?) wine with meth?
I love how drug warriors (and their apologists) treat all illegal drugs as interchangable when it helps their argument. I can’t count the times I’ve heard statements that are essentially like… “Those who say marijuana is relatively harmless are dead wrong. Drugs have consequences. If you don’t believe me, just talk to a mother who lost her son to a heroin overdose.”
So, for switching drugs mid-argument, I call ‘Shenanigans’ on Al Roker.
For interviewing Al Roker on a podcast, I call “Clueless” on the Drug Czar’s office.

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