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'Dayside' Preaches Against Blaming Corporations for Unhealthy Food

Reported by Judy - August 23, 2006 -

No subject is too far-fetched for Fox News if it somehow involves the bible and Christianity. And no topic is safe from having a political message subtly inserted into it. "Dayside" proved both those observations once again on Wednesday (August 23, 2006) when co-host Juliet Huddy lauded a bible-based weight-loss program for not blaming fast-food companies for causing obesity in America.

Huddy, taking a day off from declaring Iran ready to pull the nuclear trigger, was questioning guest Gwenn Shamblin about a program she started to help people lose weight by praying.

"It's taking personal responsibility," said Shamblin.

"Amen," said Huddy.

Later, Huddy said, "You talked about, we blame, in this world, we blame fast food companies, McDonald's, for making the food fattening. That always makes me crazy. We know when we’re eating Ho-Hos that they’re not healthy for us … Don’t blame the food.”

If American consumers know that Ho-Hos -- or any other foods - are bad for them, it's certainly not because the corporations selling it have told them that voluntarily. It's only because of citizen groups and health researchers that have campaigned for truth-in-labeling requirements that the public has become aware that corporations selling food do not necessarily have the public's best interests in mind. Their goal is to maximize profits for their shareholders, and that is not always compatible with selling healthy food.

In Fox News' world view, corporations should be able to bombard Americans with millions of dollars in advertising for unhealthy food -- and unhealthy amounts of it -- from the time they are children. And somehow, individuals are supposed to resist that advertising, which surrounds them all the time, even as scientists continue to study whether fat consumption may be addictive.

Or consumers are supposed to take "personal responsibility" by exercising to rid themselves of the unnecessary calories they have consumed -- even though there are not enough hours between meals to exercise off a super-sized fast-food meal and still get anything else done.

Suppose you have a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese (730 calories), a large order of fries (520 calories) and a triple thick chocolate shake (1,160 calories) for lunch. That's 2,410 calories.

Now suppose you want to be "personally responsible" for eating the food that McDonald's has been conditioning you to eat since you were able to watch television or ask for a Happy Meal. If you decided to ride a bicycle, on a flat surface at a moderate speed, you (assuming you weighed about 140 pounds) would burn 411 calories an hour. At that rate, you would need to exercise nearly six hours to burn off lunch. By then it would be time for supper.

This push for "personal responsibility" is a recurring theme on Fox News as a way of supporting the Republican agenda for limiting lawsuits against irresponsible corporations, against national health care (i.e., health care costs wouldn't be so high if people took better care of themselves), and for stopping any criticism of corporations whatsoever.

"Personal responsibility" is a code phrase for advocating corporate irresponsibility -- letting corporations go unregulated, insulating them from lawsuits for careless or wrong behavior, and forcing consumers to sort things out for themselves.

Anytime the phrase "personal responsibility" is uttered on Fox News, it's a signal for viewers to ask themselves what hidden political agenda is being conveyed.