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Gasp! When TV News Investigates the Scourge of Unregulated Dinner Parties

A recent CBS New York investigative report, flagged by Reason for its silliness, is replete with the most lamentable tropes of local news.

Wednesday evening’s exclusive undercover report exposes the latest scourge plaguing these good streets of New York. You might want to sit down for this, but there are adults consenting to pay for a meal prepared knowingly without the oversight of government health inspectors. Quelle horreur!

If you’re familiar with how local media operates, you’re likely aware how reporters employ shocked tones to grab eyeballs. “Tonight, kids are twerking now. And here’s how it might affect your family,” is an Onion-like tease you’d typically expect to hear on the 10 o’clock news.

You can hear that same faux-alarmism in this CBS reporter’s description of eight people sharing a meal in a stranger’s home, completely unregulated and sometimes hosted by people who are not chefs.

Here’s the story: a bunch of foodies and tourists want an out-of-the-box dining experience. Some experienced chefs offer that via “exclusive” dinner parties that feature “progressive” cooking techniques like the use of vacuum cookers. Seems harmless, right? Consenting adults can do what they want with their bodies, etc., right?

Wrong. Because — cue local news trope — some say these parties can be dangerous.

And who represents the “some” demographic? A restaurant consultant who employs retired health inspectors. Naturally, he says, there ought to be a law governing these dinner parties.

So because the attendees happen to pay their hosts, these dinner parties are illegal, underground, and warranting a primetime exposé — with undercover cameras! — that effectively alerts the government to this “growing trend.”

Next week: A groundbreaking CBS report on the scourge of consenting adults engaging in consensual sex… for money. Oh, wait.

Watch the segment below, via CBS New York:


[h/t Scott Shackford]

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