Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Glenn Beck Restores The Honor Of French Fries

Video: The Fox News entertainer unwittingly promotes Let's Move! to a new audience as he warns of global mayhem & "Friots"
UPDATE, Nov. 27: The First Lady discussed conservative pushback against Let's Move! during an interview with Barbara Walters
Update: At Right Nation 2010, Beck engages the First Lady's campaign again
Courtesy of our pals at Eater: Responding to First Lady Michelle Obama's speech on Monday to the National Restaurant Association, Fox New's Glenn Beck promised a "wild ride" last night as he delivered a Nanny State tone poem that flitted from early British history to the present, connecting the dots between an array of loosely related events in the culture. Beck had a dire pronouncement: Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign will result in global mayhem and riots over french Fries--or as Beck shorthands it, "Friots." (Above: Beck in action on his show, playing a clip of Mrs. Obama's speech)

Beck's 18-minute diatribe is filled with some excellent intellectual acrobatics as he manages to incorporate Obama admin touchpoints that Cons love to hate--from regulatory czar Cass Sunstein to ACORN--and it seems as if it was lifted off the cutting room floor of Saturday Night Live. Except Beck is serious. What set him off: On Monday, as Mrs. Obama called on America's eateries to join Let's Move!, she gave some very specific instructions on how menus can be improved with healthier options.

"You could make healthy sides like apple slices or carrots the default choice in a menu and make fries something customers have to request," Mrs. Obama said. She added "which would hurt me deeply--I'm a fry lover."

"Get your damned hands off my fries, lady. If I want to be a fat-fat-fattie and shovel french fries all day long, that is my choice," Beck responded.

Beck proceeded to take Mrs. Obama's campaign to its most illogical conclusion, warning that Mrs. Obama is the Food Police, and that eating French fries might eventually get Americans incarcerated.

"You're gonna have to tax. You're gonna have to make it more and more difficult. But when those options don't work, how do you stop people from eating french fries? What's left?" Beck asked. "Now you have to think about punishments. Maybe a fine! Maybe even jail." (Update: On Sept. 15, talk show host Rush Limbaugh told his audience that "in the not too distant future" "White House monitors" would "report" citizens "to Michelle Obama" for their food choices)

But as he tried to persuade viewers that Let's Move! is unnecessary and will lead to Friots, Beck spelled out all the reasons the campaign has become a broad national movement. He accurately hit all the high note reasons the initiative was created, including mentioning the estimated $150 billion annual cost of diet related disease on America's health care system--and that obesity can be fatal.

"I say let them die," Beck said, as he described profoundly obese people.

That's been one of Mrs. Obama's points since the start of the campaign: In her remarks, the First Lady frequently quotes a study that concluded that today's children might be on track to die younger than their parents' generation, should the current "epidemic" of obesity continue. Kudos to Beck for spreading Mrs. Obama's message to a whole new population.

It's worth noting that the video of Beck's monologue, when it was originally posted on Fox's website, contained an ad for a health care company, as did the website. Keeping French fries in active play as a staple side is just one swell way for health care institutions to continue to make plenty of profit.

*The transcript of the First Lady's remarks to the NRA is here.

*Thanks to Raphael Brion at Eater for sending Mr. Beck over to ObFo.

*Video & screenshots from Fox News