The Food Police are pursuing their latest criminal: The Hamburglar.
In a statement released on June 22, the liberal Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announced it was filing a lawsuit against McDonald’s for marketing toys with their signature Happy Meals. The statement’s creepy hyperbole nearly implied that Ronald McDonald should be featured on an episode of “To Catch a Predator:”
“’McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner.
As usual, the media ran with the story, giving a soapbox to CSPI’s executive director Michael Jacobson while burying dissent:
“It’s not just the meal. It’s the technique you’re using to get kids to buy a meal,” Jacobson told ABC News’s Yunji de Nies.
Both ABC News and NBC News aired stories on the lawsuit and both stories featured interviews with Jacoson. Jacobson’s interview totaled 26 seconds while the McDonald’s response totaled 16 seconds. Additionally, while Jacobson’s interview appeared within the first thirty seconds of the story, the McDonald’s response was not featured until the very end.
“But would children still be happy with their meal without the joy of a new toy? That’ll be up to kids, and possibly a judge,” chided NBC’s Erika Edwards.
The networks focused on kids as the ones “buying the meal,” as Jacobson implied, as though happy-meal aged children and not parents were purchasing their own food without supervision. Additionally, de Nies conveniently featured a Happy Meal with fries and chocolate milk and failed to mention that other Happy Meal options include apple slices and 1-percent lowfat milk.
The mainstream media always eats up reports from CSPI, reporting everything from fruits and vegetables to movie theater popcorn. Additionally, the media never report CSPI’s left-wing ideology, but rather refer to them as a “consumer group” or “watchdog group.”
Regardless of the food in question, the CSPI and media combine for a biased meal.