The news cycle is familiar:
1) A government bureaucracy proposes some ridiculous progressive idea based on equity, gender ideology, climate change, or whatever the current faddish thing is.
2) Conservative media reports on the outrageous proposal and mocks the idea.
3) Mainstream, left-wing media scolds conservatives for “pouncing” and “seizing” on something for the sake of the culture war, insisting that the original insane idea has been misconstrued or isn’t really happening.
3) Some government official doubles-down on the ridiculous idea.
5) Mainstream, left-wing media says the ridiculous thing they insisted was never happening is happening and actually that’s a good thing.
This week’s episode features propane stoves.
Here’s a headline from the New York Times: “No, Biden is Not Trying to Ban Gas Stoves“
Here’s another one, same topic, same day, from CNN: “A US federal agency is considering a ban on gas stoves“
So what’s going on?
The controversy started with Richard Trumka, Jr., a commissioner for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. He let slip in a Bloomberg interview that the government was prepared to crack down on gas stoves. Gas stoves have drawn the government’s ire over a study of other studies purporting to show that the appliances are linked to a whole host of adverse health outcomes, including childhood asthma.
Social media had a field day with this latest display of Nanny Statism.
The White House rushed to assure reporters that President Joe Biden was not interested in banning gas stoves, especially considering such a move would disproportionately impact low-income African-American and Latino households.
Undaunted, Trumka went to the media for another push, insisting that when the government did finally come for the gas stoves, the regulations would be forward looking.
In what he surely thought was a reasonable thing to say, Trumka assured CNN that the government was not looking to barge into people’s houses with guns and steal their gas stoves.
“We are not looking to go into anyone’s homes and take away items that are already there. We don’t do that,” he said.
Instead, Trumka’s gas stove regulations would simply prohibit new gas stoves from being sold on the market.
“If and when we get to regulation on the topic, it’s always forward looking. You know, it applies to new products,” he said.
Despite Trumka’s statement that the federal government does, in fact, want to ban gas stoves, the White House said Thursday, and the New York Times printed, that the federal government is not interested in banning gas stoves.
“A White House spokesman, Michael Kikukawa, said President Biden does not want to prohibit gas stoves. ‘The President does not support banning gas stoves,’ he said. ‘And the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves,'” the New York Times wrote.
While it’s technically true that Biden is not the author of this idea, it seems apparent that some employees of the federal government are lobbying for action on gas stoves.
As more than one Twitter user suggested, the message from the Feds seems to be: “If you like your gas stove, you can keep your gas stove.”