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Let Them Eat Cake (Or, in This Case, Cheeseburgers)

Reported by Melanie - April 19, 2006

Leo Terrell, a lawyer and KABC (Los Angeles) radio talk show host, was a guest on Your World w/Neil Cavuto today (April 19, 2006). Terrell was on to discuss how McDonald's targets black kids with its "Dollar Menu" and his concern that they are being taken advantage of, exploited, and lured into eating food that is making them overweight and sick.

By way of background, an article appeared in the New York Times today titled, Salads or No, Cheap Burgers Revive McDonald's. In it, the author reports that,

In three years, revenue has increased by 33 percent and its shares have rocketed 170 percent...

Yet its turnaround has come not from greater sales of healthy foods but from selling more fast-food basics, like double cheeseburgers and fried chicken sandwiches, from the Dollar Menu.

Dollar Menu ads aimed at young blacks and Hispanics often focus on how much hearty food can be bought for just $1, a message many young consumers are eager to hear.

Terrell made the argument that, for example, in South Central Los Angeles, there are "McDonald's all over the place" but there aren't any at all in Beverly Hills. He also said that McDonald's advertises very heavily on black-oriented television shows.

Initially this segment peaked my interest. I had no idea McDonald's was doing anything like this. Unfortunately, Fox stuck to its corporations-can-do-no-wrong mantra. Ignoring the point (and protecting McDonald's), Cavuto insisted throughout that nobody forces kids to eat there; if they're overweight it's their problem; there are fat people all over the country, and there aren't any Wal-Marts in Beverly Hills either. Additionally, Fox aired a chyron at the bottom of the screen throughout the segment that read: "Blaming Fast-Food Chains for Overweight Black People?" which wasn't the point at all.

As is so often the case, a potentially interesting and informative segment quickly fizzled into more news you can't use on Fox.

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