'Evening News' Attacks 'Controversial' $200 Burger

     “CBS Evening News” went after British Burger King restaurants for offering a $200 burger it called “controversial” on June 18 and cited an anti-corporate advocacy group to support the claim. But the report downplayed the burger’s purpose: to raise money for a British charity.


     “It may be the most exotic, the most expensive, the most controversial burger ever flipped in a fast food joint,” said CBS correspondent Mark Phillips.


     The burger is made with expensive Japanese-style Wagyu beef and garnished with Italian truffles, Spanish-cured ham, aged Balsamic vinegar and champagne-fried onions on a saffron-and-truffle-dusted bun.


     “To some – this is just a burger – a high-end-burger and it would have to be at $200-a-pop,” Phillips said, while eating the one of the burgers on camera. “To others though, this isn’t a hamburger – this is grotesque on a bun.”


     According to the report, it costs the chain restaurant $80 to make each burger. Phillips waited until the very end of his report to briefly mention that the $120 proceeds from each sale go to charity. According to a June 18 Sky News report, the beneficiary, Help a London Child (HALC), assists “young people experiencing abuse, homelessness, disability, poverty and illness.”


     But that wasn’t good enough for CBS which called it the “wrong burger.”


     “To food crisis campaigners trying to draw attention to the millions of poor around the world who are struggling to survive at a time of shortages and rising prices for basic commodities – this is the wrong burger and the wrong message at the wrong time,” said Phillips.


     Those “food crisis campaigners” Phillips referred to was the anti-corporate advocacy group War on Want: an organization that blames “trade rules rigged in favor of rich countries and their multinational companies” for keeping undeveloped nations in poverty, according to its Web site.


     “Outrageous,” said Dave Tucker of War on Want. “To come out with this kind of hugely expensive and over-the-top burger and to have 800 million people going to bed hungry every night is just to shoot yourself in the foot.”


      Phillips didn’t even name HALC, the London charity for homeless and impoverished children that the burger sales would benefit. In 2007, HALC awarded £1,040,406 (a little over $2 million) to 481 children and young people's groups, benefiting over 120,000 children and young people.