From Congo to Cancer, Cell Phones Are Killing Machines, Sunday Columnists Argue

"Death By Gadget." Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Maureen Dowd embrace different variations of cell phone fear.

Reading the print edition of The New York Times can bring the paper's strange priorities into focus. Both the left-hand and right-hand columns on Sunday's op-ed page warned of the "carcinogenic" hazards and moral turpitude of owning cell phones.

On the left, the text box to Nicholas Kristof's Sunday column "Death By Gadget" warned: "That smartphone you're using may be financing killers and rapists." Kristof was warning his readers that their fancy phones may contain tantalum (a rare metal) "peddled by a Congolese militia."

On the right (or actually, the other left), Maureen Dowd's column "Are Cells The New Cigarettes?" warned that cell phones could be giving you cancer. Dowd defended San Francisco's crusading leftist mayor Gavin Newsom against the "brazenness of Big Business," when a wireless association announced they may not hold their convention in San Francisco.

They should be sending Mayor Newsom a bottle of good California wine for caring about whether kids' brains get fried, not leaving him worried about whether they'll avenge themselves in his campaign for lieutenant governor.