As Media Matters reports, Fox News is leading the media charge in support of the GOP's attempt to weaken school nutrition standards which were promoted by Michelle Obama. On Tuesday, "Outnumbered" co-host Sandra Smith supported the Republican legislation with GOP talking points drawn up, in part, by the School Nutrition Association, a lobbying group which receives its money from big food suppliers such as Domino's Pizza and Coca-Cola. Today, on America's Newsrooom, Fox medical A-Team member and serial medical misinformer Dr. Marc Siegal pimped the same GOP/food industry talking points.
Martha MacCallum reported that Michelle Obama is "pushing back" against those House Republicans "who are looking to ease nutrition rules that she helped to put in place." She noted that "critics" say that the rules are too costly and that there's "too much waste" because the kids won't eat the healthy food. After describing FLOTUS as "ripping" the new GOP proposal, MacCallum played video of Ms. Obama's commentary. She asked Dr. Siegel if Ms. Obama was "right."
After Siegel praised Ms. Obama's school nutrition program, he launched into agitrop mode. He claimed that there is misinformation on compliance rates, a claim made by the aforementioned School Nutrition Association. In keeping with the GOP talking points, he claimed that "there's a ton of plate waste." MacCallum validated him with "that's the problem." MacCallum, whose network believes that the poor are lazy "takers" who are not entitled to food stamps, expressed concern about how there are starving children in this country while other children are discarding their food. She blithered about how the solution is make school lunches "buffet style." She played commentary from GOP House Rep. Kristi Noem who, of course, supports the weaker standards.
Siegel's concern about the cost of the lunch programs was also taken from the GOP playbook. In advocating a "waiver" for the food requirements, he managed to tie it into the hated Obamacare which has waivers. He gave the new policy the Fox seal of approval: "I think the House Appropriations Committee is on the right track." He advocated for flexibility.
MacCallum made this nutritional assessment: "If you eliminate their choices and there's no cake and no cookies and they're hungry, they'll take a big spoon and have some vegetables because they want to eat." Siegel and MacCallum, neither of whom face the problems faced by those living in "food deserts," agreed that the whole problem would be solved if parents fed their children nutritional foods.
"America's Newsroom" is allegedly part of Fox's "fair & balanced" programming. Yet, no mention was made of the school departments that have no problem with the current requirements or that the president of the national PTA supports the rules as they stand. Fair & balanced at its finest. Ya think!