Shame on Morning Joe for encouraging obesity

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.

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4 Responses to “Shame on Morning Joe for encouraging obesity”

  1. Jack Marshall Says:

    Well, the question is whether eating one of these belly-busters is dangerous if you do it just once. Who would eat this stuff regularly? Every few weeks, I might have a Bic Mac, and not eat dinner, since it sits like a bowling ball in my gut.

    By the way, Bob, the Amos and Andy TV show is terrific, and featured wonderful black comics who have been forgotten because of politically correct censorship. There’s no reason why that show should be any more taboo than “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “Green Acres.”

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    And I have a Five Guys whenever I can, which fortunately is only every month or so. But there are lots of people who do it regularly. Obesity is an epidemic, and Joe was joking about it and saying it’s fine to gorge oneself.

    I don’t remember Amos and Andy on TV, but I listened to the radio show regularly. It WAS funny. When I was growing up in segregated Delaware I thought Negroes were a race apart and talked like that. And my favorite comedian was Joe E. Lewis, whose shtick was drunkenness. (“You’re not really drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.”)

    But the old jokes about wily Negroes, drunks, and obesity don’t seem so funny to me any more.

  3. sasoc Says:

    I agree with your sentiment Bob. Americans eat like pigs and then wonder why they can’t lose weight. Human biology doesn’t help, as the body tells itself to keep packing it away for a potential starvation episode long after the fat layer is big enough to last 10 years.

    But each of us has the ability to not give in to this. Other cultures have figured out how not to, why can’t ours.

  4. Ethics Bob Says:

    Our culture may figure it out someday, but meanwhile millions of Americans are wrecking their health and that of their children, many out of ignorance. I think it’s a public responsibility to get information out there, as the US government and many non-profits and for-profit companies are trying to do. Morning Joe behaved foolishly and unethically by joking and ridiculing the problem.

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