My favorite TV program is MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The hosts are conservative ex-Congressman Joe Scarborough, liberal television journalist Mika Brzezinski, and humorist/sports fan Willie Geist. While their politics are very different, they are intelligent and good natured as they talk about the world. They have interesting and nice guests—the kind of people you’d enjoy having over for dinner.
So I was disappointed Wednesday morning when, after Mika introduced a report by NBC reporter George Lewis on the threat to public health posed by super-sized restaurant meals, Joe and Willie and guest Mike Barnicle started clowning and joking about how great it was to eat huge meals at the restaurants identified by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as contributing to America’s epidemic of obesity.
CSPI cited P. F. Chang’s double pan fried noodle combo (1820 calories), California Pizza Kitchen’s tostada pizza with grilled steak (1680 calories), and the king of the gorge plates, Cheesecake Factory’s pasta carbonara with chicken, weighing in at 2500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat. That’s 250 more calories than the Mayo Clinic recommends for an average fairly active man in an entire day. Clearly such meals consumed regularly are deadly. No joke. Not funny, Joe.
We used to laugh at comedians who acted drunk. Falling-down drunk routines were hilarious, along with Amos and Andy. No longer. We know that drunkenness kills. So does eating meals of 2500 calories.
Television sometimes has the chance to serve the public with life-saving information. Mika and George Lewis were trying to do just that on Wednesday. Shame on Joe and his friends for ridiculing the life-saving information and for encouraging life-threatening behavior. They might as well have been encouraging people to drive drunk.
Tags: Amos and Andy, California Pizza Kitchen, calories, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Cheesecake Factory, comedians, double pan fried noodle combo, drunk routines, drunkenness, epidemic, George Lewis, Joe Scarborough, Mayo Clinic, Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle, Morning Joe, MSNBC, obesity, P. F. Chang, pasta carbonara with chicken, public health, restaurant meals, saturated fat, television, tostada pizza with grilled steak, Willie Geist