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Cavuto Loses It With McDonald’s “Food Police Advocate”

Reported by Guest Blogger - May 20, 2011 -

By Brian

In a segment FoxNews.com called, Cavuto Takes on ‘Food Police’ Advocate, Neil Cavuto pretty much shouted his way through about seven minutes of what passes for “debate” on Fox – this time about efforts to retire Ronald McDonald. Unfortunately for Cavuto, his guest, law professor John Banzhaf, who is behind the effort, kept his cool and even confronted Cavuto on his tactics of “stupid hypotheticals.” Unable to intimidate his guest, Cavuto resorted to shouting and suggesting Banzhaf deserved to be arrested. Cavuto even told his guest, “Ronald McDonald loathes you.” Say it ain’t so, Neil!

Banzhaf said "I'd love to see Ronald McDonald retired, although I'd rather kill him off like we killed off Joe Camel. When he goes into schools, as he does as a 'health ambassador’, and says to the kids, ‘You can eat as much junk food as you want as long as you exercise enough,’ which is a lie, unless you want to play eight hours of volleyball, it's like Joe Camel going into schools and telling kids, ‘Yeah, you can smoke, just don't inhale.’"

Cavuto argued that Joe Camel "only sells one product" whereas Ronald McDonald “has salads, he has yogurt, he has water."

In support of Cavuto’s position, a banner on the screen read: McDonald’s fights back against food police. Another one read: McDonald’s tells food police it won’t retire Ronald McDonald clown.

Banzhaf retorted, "You're bringing up irrelevancies… He sells to kids, and you and I know that when the kids go in there, Neil, they’re not going for the salads, they’re not going for the other stuff. They're going for the fattening foods. He's a major factor in getting kids to eat those foods… There are two lawsuits pending against McDonald’s right now, and the key element is whether they're appealing to kids, and when you're using a cartoon character… you’re obviously appealing to kids. So he's a legal liability as well as antiquated. Let's kill him off like we did Joe Camel."

Cavuto asked, "What do you want them to do, do you want them to get rid of the burger and fries?"

“We got Congress to pass a law requiring all fast food restaurants to post a calorie count," Banzhaf told him.

Cavuto started losing his temper then. "And they did, and they did, so now what? …Now you want Ronald out?"

Banzhaf remained calm. "We are using zoning to keep McDonald's foods away from schools. We're getting Ronald McDonald out of schools where he never should have been in the first place. We may have appropriate warnings on fattening food, just as we did other dangerous products."

Cavuto in an obvious gotcha attempt, “asked,” "What if McDonald's went into the business of just selling yogurt and salad?"

Banzhaf did what more Fox News guests should do – confronted the agenda. "That's a stupid hypothetical question. Why don't we talk about remedies?"

Cavuto shot back, "What's more stupid, saying that a company has to get rid of a logo or a metaphor for its product or you policing what is that product?"

"I'm not policing anything,” Banzhaf said. “…We have an epidemic of obesity which is costing about $150 billion a year.” As Cavuto started yelling and interrupting again, Banzhaf confronted that tactic as well. “If you shout, you never learn anything."

Cavuto sneered,"If McDonald's were to shut down, would you be happy with tens of thousands of people out of work – by the way those people are both fat and thin.” Railing against Banzhaf’s “arrogance,” Cavuto said, “The parents decide! …You’re taking peoples’ choice away.” Cavuto later asked if Banzhaf or his kids " ever had a McDonald's burger?"

"Why do you ask stupid questions?" Banzhaf taunted, knowing, apparently, that he was getting under Cavuto’s skin by confronting him in this manner.

"Are you deaf? The choice is mine.” Then, in what must have been desperation, Cavuto now resorted to the most ridiculous accusation of all, “Ronald McDonald loathes you.”

Banzhaf agreed."And they actually keep me out of their stores and try to arrest me."

"I would too,” Cavuto said. “In fact, I’m glad you’re not here with me (in the studio) now."

Presumably, Cavuto was joking.

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