Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dennis Kneale: CNBC's Jerk of the Day 6/30/09

The "jerk" in today's Jerk of the Day is for Dennis Kneale's knee-jerk reaction to an FDA advisory panel's recommendation to lower the maximum daily dosage of acetaminophin, the active ingredient in Tylenol, Vicadin, Percocett and a number of other medications. According to the panel, acetaminophen causes more liver damage than any other drug with as many as 20,000 accidental overdoses each year and as many as 100-200 deaths. Kneale couldn't pass up the chance to take a couple swipes at the Obama administration though:
This is an activist Obama FDA vowing that they’re going to take the lead in making the American public healthier. The side effect from too much use of Tylenol on the liver has been known for what, five or ten years? Only now it’s a new administration with a new policy and they’re going to crack down. I just think a simple warning “Hey, don’t take it so much” ought to be enough here. (Responding to the number of people who die each year) Out of how many millions who take it every year? It’s such a small number. Now you are going to have people who aren’t taking it enough and they will be in pain as a result of this decision. I just say its way interventionist and it’s an FDA commissioner who is crusading rather than regulating. And we’re going to change the rules for all of them because a hundred or two hundred die. I love the Obama era, they’re just protecting us from ourselves again and again.

That’s right! This moron actually suggested that the FDA should put a warning on a package that says “Hey, don’t take it so much” rather than recommending a specific maximum dosage.

Of all the jerks on CNBC, I least understand how Dennis Kneale still has a job. While Kudlow, Santelli and Cabruso-Cabrera are every bit as ideological, they usually have enough sense to stick to vague free market shibboleths rather than offering specific proposals that would expose their vacuity. Kneale just blurts out anything that comes into his head even if means scoffing at people dying.

It is hard for me to believe that anyone is going to see this as FDA overreaching. It’s not like changing the recommended dosage will prevent anyone from gobbling down as much Tylenol he wants. Maybe Kneale is worried that he won’t be able to get his doctor to prescribe enough Vicadin or Percocet to keep his capacity for rational thought disabled. If this qualifies as “crusading” from the Obama administration, I think we are in deep trouble.

I’m also rather puzzled that Kneale would want to make a point of the fact that the FDA did nothing about this side effect during the Bush administration. On the other hand, I suppose that Kneale figures that eight deaths from samonella is nothing compared to all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that get eaten.

My friend TGirsch has encouraged me to do more posts on the daily inanities on CNBC. I hope he appreciates that just the thought of how much Tylenol I am going to need to get rid of the pain in my skull that comes from listening to this jackass is causing my liver to fail.



  1. There's always ibuprofen. :)

    But thanks for resurrecting the series. I hope my plug drives some small measure of traffic. Now if you'll just pile on my libertarian nemesis, you'll truly be my homie. :)

  2. Tgirsch's libertarian nemesis, here.
    T needs your help, see, he thinks my qualm with the FDA has to do with not liking Big Government, not the fact the fact that FDA suffers from a deficiency of good scientific studies.

    Feel free to stop by!

    -Shoothouse B.

  3. Hey! You really got under Kneale's skin by uncovering his naive & idiotic nature. Congrats! Can you now please do a piece on Melissa Francis? ..That lady isnt even qualified to talk about haircare products