Media's New Beef with Fast Food: Now Salads Are Bad, Too

     “Stop and drop those tongs,” because salads might not be good for you after all, warned NBC’s Campbell Brown as she teased a “Today’s Consumer” segment on the morning show’s August 2 program.


     The latest storyline to float down the parade of diet worries that the broadcast media force-feed consumers: that salad you’re loading on your plate might be high in fat and calories!


     “We purchased over a dozen salads at eateries in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City to find out,” consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman explained.


     Asides from the usual culprits: salad dressing, cheese, and add-ons like bacon and chicken, “Most salads are just too big,” Lieberman noted.


     While Lieberman’s report lacked professional food police advocates, such as Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), her story is yet more pounding of the media’s ever-changing scare-a-minute anti-food industry drumbeat.


     In July, the Business & Media Institute examined coverage of food stories by the media and found that by “airing numerous stories on the anti-food-industry antics of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the media lend credence to the idea that restaurants and the government are responsible for what you eat.”


     That survey of recent coverage found that the media soaked up complaints by CSPI about the use of trans-fat heavy cooking oils in fast food chains even though the same group demanded that McDonalds use the same oils in the 1980s in lieu of beef tallow and palm oil.


     For example, in a laughable but telling moment of nonchalance on the June 17 “In the Money,” CNN’s Jennifer Westhoven teased a segment about an anti-KFC lawsuit filed by CSPI by promising that “We’ll look at who’s to blame for the stuff you put in your body.”