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Classless Fox News “Asks” If Surgeon General Nominee Is “Too Fat” For The Job

Reported by Ellen - July 22, 2009 -

Is there no tactic too low for Fox News to use against the Obama administration? Their latest: “asking” whether President Obama’s surgeon general nominee is too fat for the job. This “question” is not only currently on the front page of Fox Nation (you know, the website that brags about its civility, diversity, tolerance and fairness), it was also discussed on Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday (7/21/09). Adding to the “fair and balanced” milieu, the sole guest wore a tee shirt that blared “NO CHUBBIES” across the front of it. The nominee, Regina Benjamin, is clearly not grossly obese, so one can only assume that Fox is raising the “question” as little more than an excuse for another sensationalized smear. With video.

Neil Cavuto treated the accusation as a light-hearted amusement, rather than a smear. He opened his discussion by saying, “Brilliant, dedicated, experienced and – Oh, yeah, fat. The president’s pick for Surgeon General is fat. Not a lot fat, but enough fat for my next guest to say, ‘Fat chance Dr. Regina Benjamin should even be considered Surgeon General.’”

“Bottom line is Dr. Benjamin is 50 pounds overweight,” Mr. No Chubbies, Michael Karolchyk, declared, apparently on the basis of viewing her public pictures.

Cavuto disputed that figure as the B-roll footage helpfully showed Dr. Benjamin from the side, so that viewers could judge for themselves.

No Chubbies assured Cavuto he had the experience to know how overweight Benjamin really is and then added 10 pounds to his estimate. “She’s a size 20,” he also insisted.

To his credit, Cavuto defended Benjamin, saying that even if No Chubbies were right, "She’d “still make a darned good Surgeon General.” Cavuto suggested she might have more empathy (yes, he used that word) for the obesity epidemic.”

No Chubbies countered with the ridiculous hypothetical about whether Cavuto would want the head of the Federal Reserve to be a homeless person so that he could empathize with the plight of poor people. “Would you want Michael Jackson’s doctor to be in charge of drug control at the DEA?”

But No Chubbies wasn’t through smearing Benjamin. “She has shown - not that she was born this way, not that she woke up one day and was obese - she has shown through being lazy and making poor food choices, that she’s obese.”

“Oh, no, no, no, no,” Cavuto argued. “How do you know anything about her lifestyle? There’re a lot of people who might be a little fat but they’re very fit.” Cavuto noted that if Karolchyk made the same statements about race, he’d be called a racist.

“You can then call me a chubbyist,” No Chubbies said. “Because I’m telling you right now, you don’t get 60 pounds overweight, Neil, by all of a sudden having a slow metabolism.”

Cavuto caught that No Chubbies had just added 10 pounds to Benjamin. “You just said she was 50… now it’s up to 60 pounds overweight.”

No Chubbies laughed and Cavuto chortled with him. This friendly disagreement was in marked contrast to the way Cavuto treated liberal radio show host Leslie Marshall when they argued over tea parties, for example.

“I hope the day comes when you gain a few pounds at your gym and they say, ‘We don’t think you should head this gym because you’re a little chubby,’” Cavuto said.

No Chubbies said he thought one should “look the part.” He added, “Just because you eat a lot of dinner rolls doesn’t make you a role model.”

Cavuto concluded the segment by saying, “Michael, always a pleasure.”

Below is the video of the Cavuto segment and the Fox Nation screen grab. The Fox Nation headline links to the much more delicately-titled ABC News article, Critics Slam Overweight Surgeon General Pick, Regina Benjamin.

(H/T Priscilla)