An issue that is worth its weight
If I were a journalist of less integrity, I might have some incendiary words for Mr. Rush Limbaugh. I might, for example, point out the fact that perhaps persons in lard houses should not throw cupcakes. Elaborating, I might make the observation that a man who is the size of an adult Hawaiian monk seal could be a bit more tactful about what he chooses to say about another person’s weight. But I have unquestionable journalistic integrity, and I would never say such things about a beloved national media figure. I do, however, have a few respectful pieces of advice to offer Mr. Limbaugh.
To bring you up to speed: last week, First Lady Michelle Obama indulged in a vacation meal of “a braised ancho-chile short ribs” according to CNN. Mr. Limbaugh, on his radio show, took umbrage at this meal. “She is a hypocrite,” he said. Mr. Limbaugh would have you believe that Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity prohibits her from eating braised ribs. It would be easy to forgive Mr. Limbaugh for his indiscretion. It would be easy for me to say, “here’s a guy who clearly has very little grasp on how dieting works; here’s a guy who doesn’t understand that a person does not have to subsist solely on soymilk and baby carrots to be healthy, and probably considers it a huge personal victory when he chooses to get only one helping of mayonnaise on his baconator. I can let him go this one time.”
But I will not do that. Someone has to inform Mr. Limbaugh how dieting works. Sure, it will be awkward—interventions always are; but we need to inform him that his self-destructive habits are only hurting those who care about him (most of America, according to a recent survey). Projecting one’s own deficiencies onto others is a proven psychological defense mechanism, and it is embarrassing.
I wish I could tell you that the attacks against the First Lady’s campaign are limited to the misguided rants of this pillow-bodied pundit, but there have been other attacks. Sarah Palin, perpetually on the news for some unknown reason, has labeled the campaign a government takeover. She believes that Mrs. Obama is insulting American parents, saying that they do not know what is best for their own children. This argument makes a lot of sense until you think about it for a second and realize that it actually makes very little sense and is clearly a trite platitude designed to appeal to average Americans by creating a simple “solution” for a complex problem.
Former Gov. Palin, I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt. Sadly, however, I have an uncomfortable feeling that you have failed to answer a big question: have you seen the children of American parents? They are not exactly, to put it mildly, “svelte.” To put it less mildly, and more scientifically, they are morbidly obese. Sarah Palin’s argument that these parents do not need any advice and are quite aware of what they are doing to their children, constitutes nothing less than an endorsement of child abuse. If these parents are intentionally letting their children eat unhealthily, they are committing serious harm. Look, America, we all love Goldberg from The Mighty Ducks, and it would be great if all children could be wisecracking tubs of lard, but at what cost?