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Super Size Me and the Spin

Reported by Melanie - June 21, 2005

Yesterday (June 20, 2005) during Your World w/Neil Cavuto, Cavuto came back from an ad break and began to introduce his next guest, a woman who ate at McDonald's for "60 days straight" and produced a film about her experience, in order to "prove that the guy behind that documentary Super Size Me was ah, well, super-misrepresenting things." (Super Size Me, produced by Morgan Spurlock, is a hilarious and captivating film which examines "the legal, financial and physical costs of America's hunger for fast food.")

Cavuto's guest was a perky woman named Soso Whaley. According to the chyrons, Whaley is an animal trainer associated with Literary Llama Productions.

During their discussion, Cavuto repeated his point that "this guy" (Spurlock) "just had it all wrong." Whaley admitted she hadn't seen Super Size Me when she "started the project because when I heard about it, I said this is aversion therapy."

During the interview a chyron said Whaley "lost 18 pounds and cut cholesterol by 40 points."

Cavuto said Super Size Me showed "fast food vilified" but that "in moderation, everything's fine." He wondered if the "McDonald's people" have said "man, oh man, you're the best publicity we could ever hope for"? Whaley said McDonald's "whole take on this is basically hands-off" because "it would taint the project." She said, "this is not about eating at McDonald's. This is about addressing this whole knee jerk response we have to our fears about food."

Comment: "This is about addressing this whole knee jerk response we have to our fears about food"? I don't think so. This is about pro-corporate think tanks funding pro-corporate films. Turns out, Soso Whaley isn't just a perky animal trainer who decided to form a film company and produce a documentary. No, Whaley is an Adjunct Fellow at the pro-corporate Competitive Enterprise Institute and according to an article posted on its website, "Ms. Whaley estimated the cost of the film to be $30,000 to $50,000. That does not include her time spent or the staff help from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank advocating free markets."

As an aside, Whaley's "moral values" are exposed when one notes that she has posted glowing reviews of books written by CEI staff members on Amazon.com without revealing she is one of their colleagues.

Whaley's film, "Downsize Me," is being touted by conservative organizations such as the Center for Individual Freedom, the National Review, the Washington Times, and of course, Fox News.

Here is some information about Whaley from the Center for Media and Democracy. They point out that the "Competitive Enterprise Institute issued a press release claiming she 'Will Eat at McDonald's for 30 Days and Lose Weight', before she even started the diet."

My my. Perky Soso Whaley appears to be a whole lot more than an animal trainer turned documentary filmmaker. Funny. I read somewhere that Neil Cavuto's "caveat" is "disclose, disclose, disclose."

UPDATE 3:36 p.m. ET: Here is a so-called transcript (they're not exact transcriptions - they're "edited for clarity") Fox has posted on its site.

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