Another day, another anti-business documentary pushed by the media.
Katie Couric, former ABC, CBS and NBC anchor, partnered with Laurie David, one of the climate alarmists behind “An Inconvenient Truth,” to attack the food industry in the new documentary “Fed Up.” In a recent Time Magazine article , Couric admitted her own activism and personal passion over the issue of childhood obesity. Unsurprisingly, the media praised this anti-industry message.
Couric called herself an “activist” and a “vigorous advocate” on obesity issues, denying that “our children’s health is a political issue.” While children’s health certainly isn’t, the tactic of using fear-based apocalyptic language to bash the food industry surely is.
Couric was the narrator and executive producer of “Fed Up.” The documentary featured prominent liberals like former President Bill Clinton and clips of First Lady Michelle Obama. It alleged that the food and sugar industries have conspired with the government to impose huge amounts of sugar on consumers. Continued after video.
This prevalence of sugar led “Fed Up” to make grandiose, often over the top, predictions about the future of American health. In fact, the film’s trailer expressed the ambitious goal of literally “chang[ing] the diet of America.” The trailer asserted that “Over 95 percent of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades,” blaming a “systematic political failure” for allowing the food industry to add large amounts of sugar in food.
But the majority of the documentary’s blame rested on the food industry, despite the obvious fact that, unlike the government, businesses cannot actually force people to buy their sugar-filled products. The film’s trailer proclaimed “The sugar industry’s extraordinarily powerful. They’re in business to make money” and included a clip of US Senator Tom Harkin, D-IA., accusing the “sugar industry” of “lying through their teeth.”
Pamela Bailey, CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, hit back at the documentary, saying “it adopts a short-sighted, confrontational and misleading approach.” She accused “Fed Up” of simply taking an anti-industry stance, rather than promoting cooperation and policy changes, according to The Wrap .
Bailey also claimed that “Fed Up” ignored certain facts, like the recent fall of childhood obesity. Even the New York Times reported  on February 25 that infant obesity dropped 43 percent over the past decade.
Both ABC and CBS promoted the documentary. Couric joined ABC’s Good Morning America”  on May 8 to hawk the film, with host George Stephanopoulos calling the so-called sugar epidemic “alarming.” Similarly, CBS News.com called  sugar “the greatest villain to appear on movie screens this summer.”
Print media, such as the New York Times and Washington Post joined the fray with glowing reviews. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis called  it “a very good advocacy documentary” and the Washington Post’s Michael O’Sullivan described  the film as “a rallying cry” that “succeeds in firing up the choir.”
— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.