In a façade of representing both sides of the issue, MSNBC hosted a panel as part of “Up with Chris Meyers” covering, among other things, another attack on the beef industry. Food critic, New York Times columnist and bestselling author Mark Bittman was given the floor to discuss his views on the topic unopposed for the entire first segment, after which the discussion moved on to the pros and cons of antibiotics in meat.
The Washington Times’s Kerry Picket, the token conservative facing four liberals on the show, had to change the conversation back to “Pink Slime” just to get her opposing viewpoint heard at all. Picket managed to get 3 minutes of highly interrupted air time in the entire 22 minute segment on beef.
Bittman and Meyers repeatedly made the hyperbolic comparison of pink slime to tobacco, arguing that the Lean Finely Textured Beef needed to be regulated for the survival of the American public. “There are tend of millions of people alive today who wouldn’t be except for the full scale assault that we waged on tobacco” Chris Meyers said, referencing a comment that Mark Bittman had made earlier in the show.
Amanda Terkel, another columnist representing the Huffington Post, compared “pink slime” in food to “mercury and lead."
Picket pointed out that all the hype about “pink slime” only began when “a disgruntled USDA fellow had a line in a report which was pulled out … in 2009 from a New York Times article, and then all of a sudden it was blown up into a big publicity issue,” but the other panelists quickly dismissed this comment.