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.
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.