Why Did the Former Mrs. Ted Turner Bother with All That Aerobicizing?

Cable titan Ted Turner, a man who rose to media gigantism on the backs of nose-fingering, ball-breaking professional wrestlers and then announced during 1993 testimony to Congress that TV was "the single most important factor causing violence in America" has seen the future of thin and it's got nothing to do with ex-wife Jane Fonda, leg warmers, and exercise. From a GQ Q&A, as excerpted in the Boston Globe:

You've traveled to a lot of these countries we're talking about ... What was North Korea like?

I had a great time there! I was there last year. They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat.

More here.

Given the right amount of booze, lack of oxygen, and threats of violence, I'm more than willing to argue that Ted Turner's Goodwill Games, more than any U.S. defense budget buildup under Ronald Reagan, was what really bankrupted the Soviets. But "The Mouth of the South" continually proves the maxim that "You can never be too rich or too stupid."

Just a few weeks ago, reason's Ron Bailey reported on the Castro Diet Plan that swept through that tropical prison like a hurricane after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Surprise: reason was Fonda Hanoi Jane's 2005 memoir.

Update: The full Turner Verbal Diarrhea Experience is online here. Here's another snippet that underscores the notion that Turner is in fact the eponymous hero of the Devo song "Mongoloid" ("...And he wore a hat/And he had a job/And he brought home the bacon/So that no one knew..."). When asked how America has changed in the past 50 years, Terrible Ted replies:

Two billion people all over the world live on less than $2 a day, in absolute, abject poverty, and the overcrowding and overpopulation leads to desperation. That's the cause of terrorism.

And here we all thought that Osama bin Laden was thin because of kidney problems, not because he couldn't afford enough to eat.

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  • ||

    Well, he's probably right. North Koreans are thin because they exercise a lot. What else could it be?

  • ||

    Boy, them Etheopians sure are healthy then. You know what you call an Etheopian with diarrhaea? Show-off.

  • ||

    Please tell me that he said more than that.

    I really don't want to believe that there is anyone that stupid.

  • VM||

    Aresen -

    see "john", "ed", and "whit" in the MIT thread below. you'll see that they're even "more stoopider".

  • ||

    Of the comments on the Castro Diet Plan thread, I find the second commenter was extraordinarily prescient.

  • ||

    It amazes me how people's brains can be so compartmentalized. Ted Turner really was brilliant in buying the Braves and sticking his local UHF TV station up on the satellite back in the 1970s. Starting CNN was brilliant. I hate to call a guy who did all of that stupid regardless of his political views. That said, I can't see how you could call anyone who makes this statement anything but stupid.

  • ||

    I'm sure Ted Turner blamed the US for this because we stopped our shipments of leaves, grass and twigs that make up the average North Korean diet. We're evil.

  • ||

    de stijl = Ted Turner. How obvious could it be?

  • ||

    "Aresen -

    see "john", "ed", and "whit" in the MIT thread below. you'll see that they're even "more stoopider".

    Yeah, VM because only a fucking genius takes a circuit board and a nine volt battery tapes it to their jacket and goes wondering around an air port only to be shocked when the cops show up with guns and hall them off.

    In our next VM will be telling us how guys who walk around in white hoods and robes through black neighborhoods have every right to be surprised when they get their asses kicked.

  • Sal Paradise||

    John, the reason they separate comments into different threads is to keep your crazy talk "compartmentalized".

  • ||

    I had a great time there! I was there last year. They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat.

    Words fail me. And I know lots of words!

  • ||

    de stijl,
    I hope you didn't sprain you arm there. ;-)

  • ||

    Ted Turner - A more promising victim of a freak yachting accident, there never was.

  • ||

    I'm going to hold off judgement until I see the whole quote.

    You can do an awful lot with a tight edit.

  • ||

    Hey, isn't Ted Turner a libertarian hero right out of Ayn Rand? Didn't he make a huge fortune out of nothing, win the America's Cup, and bed any number of classy broads? Excuse me, but where's the respect?

  • Me Jean, big tree||

    You can do an awful lot with a tight edit.
    a hat or a broach. or a flying pterodactyl...

  • ||

    Wish he still owned the Braves, even if he loves oppression. For that matter, I wish he still ran CNN.

    I can't relate it publicly, but I have a Turner story. Let's just say that he was crazy before he was crazy.

  • Naughty Moose||

    How can you tell it's October?

    The Yankees are still playing baseball. The Braves are playing golf.

  • ||

    Hey, isn't Ted Turner a libertarian hero right out of Ayn Rand? Didn't he make a huge fortune out of nothing, win the America's Cup, and bed any number of classy broads? Excuse me, but where's the respect?

    He's rich, should be free to keep or spend his money as he sees fit. He should be free to spout nonsense if he wants. He isn't a hero of mine, and I suspect he is a hero to very few, < 2%, libertarians.

  • ||

    VM,

    I've enough vicarious championships to keep me happy for a while. Even the Braves managed to find the Indians in time to avoid the 90s being in exercise in talented futility.

  • VM||

    yup, ProGLib. sigh.

    why dontcha just mention the Marlins to cut across both of my favorite teams...

    *wails. runs off*

  • Damian P.||

    More on North Korea:

    "Their economy is not as big as Cleveland, Ohio! Does Cleveland, Ohio, pose a threat to the U.S.?"

  • ||

    "Their economy is not as big as Cleveland, Ohio! Does Cleveland, Ohio, pose a threat to the U.S.?"

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.....or the outside of a giant laser? Think about it, a Hall of Fame for Rock and Roll. Nobody would ever build something that stupid.

  • ||

    Any day now Ted is going to buy a casino, lock himself in his room and put tissue boxes on his feet.

    It's the old old story. Boy gets screwed by the system. Boy gives system the finger. Boy concurs the world. Boy looses all touch with reality. If I've heard it once I've heard it three or four times.

    BTW John's comments on the MIT thread are even stupider than Ted's musings on Asian health.

  • VM||

    Warren:

    indeed! Aresen @ 2:16 is on board!

    Damian P: not so much now that Art Modell has been gone for more than a decade.

  • Nephilium||

    Bah!

    Cleveland has already launched it's main weapon.

    Kucinich.

    Nephilium... Clevelander

  • VM||

    Nephilium.

    what part of cleveland?

  • ||

    I'm going to hold off judgement until I see the whole quote.

    You can do an awful lot with a tight edit.


    Read the interview if you have a moment.
    It starts out ok, then gets bad fast.

    Real bad.

  • ||

    VM,

    I've enough vicarious championships to keep me happy for a while. Even the Braves managed to find the Indians--curiously enough, located in Cleveland--in time to avoid the 90s being in exercise in extremely talented futility.

    Warren,

    I like the typo. Concurs the world, indeed. William the Concurrerer!

  • ||

    Maybe this thread should become a haven for people from Cleveland and Cleveland-like places (Akron).

  • ||

    [blockquote]I like the typo. Concurs the world, indeed. William the Concurrerer![/blockquote]
    I agree.

  • ||

    Fucking preview...

  • ||

    VM:

    Grew up on the Near East side (Willowick), currently living on the Near West Side (Lakewood).

    Much easier to walk/stagger to/from the bars in Lakewood... but Kucinich is my state rep... which causes me to walk to those bars more frequently.

    Nephilium...

  • VM||

    cool. I grew up in Chagrin...

    cheerio.

  • dhex||

    was it much to your chagrin, or only a little?

  • ||

    Damn, that really was the whole quote.

    What an idiotic thing to say. What could he have been thinking?

  • VM||

    joe - indeed!

    dhex - depends. there were these falls, you see...

  • ||

    joe,

    He misses the glory days, when Ted was Ted and Jane was his Wo-Man.

  • ||

    I came. I saw. I concurred.

  • Xaq Fixx||

    "...One Chromosome too many" this will now be stuck in my head for the next few hours.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Of Jane Fonda's husbands, it is ironic that Ted Turner would be the one to praise North Korea.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate,

    100% of Ted Turners agree with the statement, "I was better off when Germany was divided and I was banging the chick from Barbarella."

  • ||

    de stijl,

    Excellent. Isn't concurro a Latin word? Can anyone conjugate this?
    Veni, vidi, _______________!

  • Urkobold™||

    JOE,

    THAT CAN BE SAID FOR MOST MEN, CAN'T IT?

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    *BOUNCY BOUNCY*

  • Urkobold™||

    INDEED, VIKING MINION, YOU HAVE LEARNED WISDOM. HAVE A COOKIE.

  • Paul||

    Ted Turner really was brilliant in buying the Braves and sticking his local UHF TV station up on the satellite back in the 1970s. Starting CNN was brilliant.

    Turner understands the broadcasting business. But when he's not in his element...

  • Paul||

    Damn, that really was the whole quote.

    What an idiotic thing to say. What could he have been thinking?


    Joe, after watching...well, anything from Michael Moore, I totally respect your giving pause to wait until you knew what the entire quote was, due to the potential of a "tight edit". But on the other hand, this was Ted Turner. FWIW, I didn't feel the need to wait for the whole quote.

  • NP||

    I thought Dan T's comment in the earlier Myanmar thread was the most idiotic thing I'd see for the next 24 hours. I stand corrected.

  • Booji Boy||

    Props for the Mongoloid reference!

  • Franklin Harris||

    In other news, Rose McGowan has been tapped to star in the remake of the Jane Fonda camp epic "Barbarella."

  • ||

    She's worthy.

  • ||

    Speaking of Jane Fonda, I tried her workout videos many years ago. The only one I could seem to get the hang of was "Klute". Am I the only one that happened to?

  • Chavez is a thug||

    I believe part of that quote was missing. If I'm not mistaken, he also praises the greatness of Hugo Chavez. At least that is the only thing I can think of that would explain joe's hesitancy to condemn him. Either that or he was extolling the virtues of Cuba's wonderful healthcare system.

  • ||

    Turner makes the occasional glib or asinine comment, but he's not as ignorant as some of his quotes may make him seem. The guy may be a polymath, but he sounds like he's trying to be an expert on too much and comes across kind of banal or clueless sometimes, but in his defense, he does bring up a lot of relevant issues.
    FYI, Mr. Turner, the Army is actually becoming more CONUS-based. Several battalions, in fact whole brigades are inactivating and being stood back up in the U.S.
    So, despite the Iraq war, the military's posture in some ways is actually becoming less "imperial".

  • ||

    Or it could be that some of us like to base our criticisms on real, not imaginary, things that people say.

    You wouldn't know anything about that.

  • ||

    ? joe, who is you comment directed at?

  • ||

    My bad, joe, you were talking to Chavez is a thug, right?
    Not a non sequitur in that case.

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