Banzhaf: I Think I Put It Best


My favorite John Banzhaf press release of the last few hours carries the headline "Ronald McDonald Compared to Joe Camel." The anti-smoking activist turned anti-fat crusader, whose love of litigation comes second only to his love of seeing his name in print (I know–I'm just encouraging him), reports that "using Ronald McDonald in a new campaign as a 'Health Ambassador' and 'Active Lifestyles Advocate' to teach children that an active lifestyle, rather than cutting down on overeating and fattening foods, is the key to avoiding obesity has been compared in the Financial Times with using Joe Camel to teach children how to inhale less deeply to avoid lung cancer while smoking." See if you can guess which clever wag, identified in the press release only as "a critic," drew this insightful comparison in the Financial Times. Needless to say, Banzhaf did not acknowledge his rhetorical debt to Yale obesity maven Kelly Brownell, who has been comparing Ronald McDonald to Joe Camel for years.

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  1. “Exercising cannot possibly compensate for eating fattening meals of the kind that McDonald’s spends billions of dollars to promote.”

    (emphasis mine)

    I guess existence proofs don’t mean anything to that lawyer.

  2. It’s not how true his words are, it’s how much money he can make by saying them.

  3. Clowns are evil.

  4. I think Evan Williams put it best when he said something to the effect of: “Banzhaf is a deep-fried piece of shit.”

    That was funny.

  5. Clowns are evil.

    “To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I was a little kid and went to the circus with my family, and a clown came over and killed my dad.”

  6. Oops — was supposed to attribute that quote to Jack Handy.

  7. Jack’s a bright guy. I hate clowns too. The clown killer that stalked our neighborhood looking for little girls didn’t help much.

    And speaking of bright guys, that guy LIGHT (emphasis mine). He sez, let’s market more to kids than we already do. That’ll work well when the Bahn Zai gets him on the stand and he tries to deny that Mickey Dees markets to kids (but only in a good way).

    And what is that crap that when Mick speaks kids listen? Another sword to fall on? Take the podium away from this guy. Now.

    So, Mr. Light, you admit it then? McDonalds wields tremendous power over the eating decisions of minors.

    Of course, you gotta remember that Old Lady Kroc (an apt name) is a staunch Democrat and is reaping what she sowed with all those millions in political contributions to idiots who think like Bahn Zai and the coffee spillers.

  8. There’s a fundamental difference between Joe Camel and Ronald McDonald: Ronald represents all products offered by the restaurant while Joe represents one very particular product offered by his parent company. You *could* make the case of equating the Hamburgler with Joe Camel, but not Ronald doesn’t fit.

    McDonald’s offers more menu items than just the (allegedly) deadly hamburger and fries. Ronald represents those other products too, although I can’t say I’m aware of Ronald shilling salads.

  9. Wine: “Jack’s a bright guy. I hate clowns too. The clown killer that stalked our neighborhood looking for little girls didn’t help much.”

    Oh my god, don’t do that! You just reminded me of the clown in that song I heard on Dr. Dimento way back in the 80’s (is he still on?): “Kinko the Clown” Took me years to get that damn tune out of my head and now, thanks to you, it’s back… “Kinko, Kinko, the kid loving clown; If the kids just love me back, I’ll never wear a frown!” Nooooooooooooooooo!! Make it stop!

  10. Oh, make that Dr. Demento… and yes, it was Kinko, not Jacko, despite what some of you clowns tried to tell me…

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