CBSs Julie Chen Bubbly with Praise for CSPI Soda Ban

     CBSs Julie Chen approvingly congratulated liberal activist Michael Jacobson for his bold step in getting soft drinks banned from the countrys public schools. But the Early Show anchor left out how Jacobsons Center for Science in the Public Interest had been planning on forcing the policy into law through a court case.

     In this morning's HealthWatch, bold, new measures in the fight against childhood obesity. A major deal has been reached to take non-diet soda out of public schools during school hours, Chen opened her interview segment with Jacobson, a leading advocate in the separation of school and soda, she quipped.

     Chen lobbed softballs on CSPIs crusade against soft drinks like How big of a deal is this, and are you going to push to ban those sports drinks next?

     At the end of her interview, Chen thanked her guest and lauded the soft drink ban as definitely one bold step.

     Never in her interview, however, did the CBS morning show co-host hit Jacobson with any criticism of his organization, including its anti-industry positions and its willingness to use the courts to effect policy change.

     In a May 3 press release, Jacobson thanked CSPI lawyers for negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry and proving that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.

     Jacobson was referring to a Massachusetts lawsuit which Food & Drink Weekly reported on in its Dec. 12, 2005 issue. The suit will also cite the ways in which the large illuminated Coke and Pepsi machines lining school halls and cafeterias are an attractive nuisance, the article reported.

     The Business & Media Institute has documented the medias role in uncritically relaying the talking points of activist groups critical of the soft drink industry like CSPI.