Media's anti-Java Jihad Continues on Morning Shows

            The kids aren’t alright. An epidemic is sweeping the nation as teenagers down the addictive brew by the pint. Underage alcohol consumption? No, coffee.


            As anti-food industry advocacy groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest sharpen their legal knives against Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), the media are brewing up alarmist reports on teenage caffeine consumption.


            CBS’s “Early Show” followed ABC’s lead from two days ago. That network’s June 19 edition of “Good Morning America” presented Starbucks like a drug pusher preying on young addicts.


            “Coffee has always been considered an adult drink, but today coffee drinkers are much, much younger,” noted CBS’s Julie Chen as she introduced the story on the June 21 “Early Show.” But “many teens are making coffee a daily ritual, and that’s raising concern among health experts,” the morning show co-anchor warned as she introduced a story by correspondent Susan McGinnis.


            “With more than 300 million cups of coffee consumed a day, this is one caffeinated nation, and increasingly, the customers are getting younger,” the CBS business contributor added. “Some might enjoy it too much.”


            McGinnis featured nutrionist Elisa Zied who recommended no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. That’s “about the amount you’ll find in a medium cup of gourmet coffee,” McGinnis noted, as she held aloft a coffee cup in a Caribou Coffee (Nasdaq: CBOU) franchise before warning that “most of the teenagers we talked to don’t stop at one drink.”


            McGinnis left out that Zied counts the anti-food Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as one of her favorite nutrition news sources. CSPI is behind the anti-Starbucks push which spurred the biased coverage BMI noted on the June 19 “Good Morning America.”


            “Though some say this publication is alarmist in its tone (e.g., don't eat movie popcorn, chinese food, etc.), it makes the public aware of what's in our food and what food companies aren't telling us,” Zied wrote on the links page of her eponymous Web site.


            “Because they attract headlines, the CSPI has been successful in nudging food companies to change their advertising/marketing of less than healthy or inaccurately labeled foods,” Zied added approvingly.