CNN Promotes Food Industry for a Change

     Has CNN’s reporting on food gone to the dogs?


     The audience of the August 5 edition of “In the Money” might suspect as much. On that program business contributor Andy Serwer narrated a “Brainstorm” segment looking at the “latest trends and innovations the food industry has in store for you” such as “foods you can eat along with your pet.”


     Foods you can scarf down with Skippy while channel-surfing past CNN on your way to Animal Planet? Tell me more.


     “For a look at some hot new products appearing on a store shelf near you, we recently headed to a food trade show in New York City,” the Fortune magazine editor explained as he opened his segment.


     Aside from food fit for Fido, the CNN reporter also purred about candy being peddled as health food.


     “Good news for humans as well. Call it health by chocolate. Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is all the rage and listening to some suppliers tell it, there’s no limit to the benefits,” Serwer cooed.


      The light-hearted promotion of a food industry trade expo was a stark departure from the usual slant that CNN has often employed against the food industry:


    On the Oct. 20, 2005, “American Morning” Serwer scoffed that “the only thing sillier than suing McDonald’s for being fat is passing a law preventing people from suing McDonalds from being fat.” Of course Serwer didn’t explain how harmful those lawsuits are to the American economy, even if he agrees they aren’t helpful for the American waistline.


    On the Nov.26, 2005, “In the Money,” co-hosts Christine Romans and Andy Serwer joined dietician Lisa Young as they blamed the FDA and food producers for ‘misleading’ consumers on what constitutes a serving size. Meanwhile co-host Susan Lisovicz blamed restaurants for “offering even less healthy choices” after healthy offerings were going unpurchased.


    The July 4 edition of “American Morning” gave viewers a condescending sermon on how not to shop in the grocery store, warning the Independence Day audience that they are slaves to foods that are “packaged and placed in a way that says ‘buy me.’”


     BMI recently published a look at how TV networks serve as dutiful deputies for the food police.