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Are Reporters Drinking Four Loko?!

October 26, 2010

All over the media, from CNN to mid-market newspapers, reporters are spouting off about Four Loko and other alcopops and the idea that they should be banned. Why are we listening to this? Journalists should report the news, not their opinions on social matters. If a report states the facts and includes the newsworthy information that large organizations are pushing for the banning of a product, fine. But to take hold of a national audience (I’m looking at you, Mike G.) and declare that the reporter “thinks these drinks are dangerous and should be banned” goes far beyond journalistic integrity and needs to be stopped. These news outlets have completely given up on objectivity and are now just cow-towing to the masses they believe are currently in control of the TV remote.

As for Four Loko, let’s look at some simple facts:

• A ‘standard’ drink is considered the equivalent of a 12oz 5% beer, a 1.5oz 40% liquor, or a 5oz 9% wine.

• Four Loko is a ~24oz drink with alcohol content ranging between 6% and 12.5%.

So, it can be the equivalent of as much as four ‘standard’ drinks. Yes, there’s tons of variety from this standard (Sam Adams makes a beer with 27% alcohol), but this is a good example.

So, Four Loko (contrary to its manufacturers’ claims) is likely named for the fact that it is essentially four drinks in one can. Sounds evil! Until you consider the mixed drinks people consume on a regular basis (like the Zombie with five different alcohols in it).

But wait – they also add caffeine… evil doers abound! Ever heard of Red Bull and Vodka? It’s only the most popular drink in bars with a younger clientele. Yes, 80 proof vodka mixed with high-stimulant Red Bull. And this has been going on for years. Four Loko simply packaged the concept for retail consumption.

Like all other alcoholic beverages, it is up to the consumer to make a judgment call, not the manufacturer. If you really believe a particular alcoholic drink should be banned, you should be pushing for the return of prohibition. And I would back you on that. But don’t buy into the sensationalized hype thrown about by desperate ‘reporters’ whose sole purpose in life is to garner higher ratings than the last guy. College kids (like the ones that invented Four Loko) will drink, get drunk, and pass out. The brand they use to do it really isn’t the issue.

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