Reason Staffers on Tube: Nick Gillespie on Stossel, Talking Food Police


Last night, I appeared on John Stossel's eponymous Fox Business channel show, as part of a program discussing nanny statism and the food police who have already come for your salt shakers, trans fats, and more.

The YouTuber therightscoop has clipped the relevant portion below:

The whole program is well worth watching, as it features former fattie and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.), gastronomic Gauleiter John Banzhaf, and my nemesis from the above segment, Meme Roth, along with Eric Oliver, a Univ. of Chicago prof who is really interesting on the politics of food restrictions.

Reason on The Nanny State here.

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  1. Nick totally hooked up with the nodding blonde later.

  2. Didn’t Missus Obama just recently name herself head of the Food Police?

    Gosh, it just makes ya all warm’n’fuzzy, knowing that government caaaaaares about us…

  3. Too bad The Jacket didn’t fly off Nick and wrap it’s lethal, leathery sleeves around Meme’s head and crushed it like a tin can.

    1. You just *know* that she’s a secreted binge purger.

      She has an in-home incinerator just for the Ho-Ho wrappers alone.

      1. From an interview with Roth in the Guardian:

        “I discovered when I was in college that I work best when I get a workout in and eat after that. Sometimes I’ll delay when I eat until I get a workout in. But I don’t let a whole day go by without running four miles.”

        OK, I go on, but supposing you couldn’t work out until four o’clock in the afternoon – would you not eat until after that?

        “I might.”

        I look at my watch. It’s 3.30pm. Alarm bells start to ring in my head. How about today, I ask. Have you eaten at all today?

        Roth is a little quiet.

        “No,” she says.

        There is a pause.

        “But I feel great!”…..-nutrition

        1. To be honest, when I go through periods where I eat nothing but meat, I often forget to eat because I’m not hungry.

          1. Somehow I don’t think you’re talking about beef jerky Warty.

      2. Bulimia, anorexia… either way, it’s a toss-up.

    2. I love that Nick’s signature leather jacket is renowned enough to deserve capitalization! I dated a girl who owned heels that got similar treatment 😉

  4. The line where the lawyer tried to argue a political science PhD. wasn’t fit to argue health issues because he wasn’t a doctor, right after his lawyer self got done arguing health issues, was priceless.

    1. The Irony glasses! They do nothing!

  5. One of the things I wish The Jacket would’ve brought up is how subusidized health care enables poor health choices. I really don’t think that ever gets anywhere near enough play.

  6. Another thing he could’ve mentioned is how instead of weighting children, perhaps try some meaningful science education that will give kids the information on how hazardous poor dietary choices are, all while teaching them something actually useful like science instead of raw weight-control vanity.

    1. Or they could just dissect some fatso’s bloated cadaver. Scared skinny.

      I think the underlying message in all of this is that fighting obesity via public means, whether it’s through Medicare or school cafeterias, is a fool’s errand.

  7. There needs to be a name for the new super villains. The fat lawyer arguing that people are too fat and unhealthy and the bimbo.

    1. Well, Fat Bastard and Alotta Fagina have already been used in the Austin Powers trilogy…

      1. +1

  8. The conundrum of radical feminism: If eating too little is a disorder, why isn’t eating too much?

    1. For the same reason that being too ugly isn’t either.

  9. The Jacket debates like a child. He actually framed the issue of weighing kids in school as replacing the 3 ‘R’s.

    I believe in personal choice for adults. But kids do not have it. And if they have shitty parents that make shitty choices for them – that completely sucks. I’d rather a nanny state fill in some care-giving gaps than nobody.

    1. I believe the Jacket was debating a child – and the weighing is replacing the 3 Rs. You think it’s just weighing, or is it more likely that the weighing was followed up by hours upon hours of food “education.” And obviously children don’t have complete freedom of choice, but the whole point here is that if you have dumbass parents permitting obesity, a school weigh-in is not going to help anything.

      1. interesting. in elementary school, i recall being:
        1) checked for scoliosis
        2) given weekly fluoride rinses
        3) checked for lice
        4) being weighed in gym class
        and yet my school consistently ranked as one of the best schools in the state. i.e. – none of this was at the expense of actual education.

        not only that, but i remember throughout school learning about nutrition – which is a science based discipline. somehow, you oppose educating children on the principles of nutrition. why exactly?

      2. No, I believe he meant “weighting,” as in “weighting them down just before jettisoning them into the canal like a burlap sack full of pudgy, unwanted kittens.”

    2. I’d rather the state not fill in gaps in any care and society does.

      I’d also rather have pie than cake.

  10. “thank you for the career planning”

    skinny bitch doesn’t like it when someone tells her what to do.

  11. Another MeMe Roth takedown hier.

    1. The link. It does nothing.

  12. Jacket/Stache in 2012

  13. I thought Nick was way too gruff and angry with the lady.

    Maybe they should send Matt out next time. If he can put up with Michelle Goldberg for a whole hour without losing his cool, he can do anything.

    1. This. Nick is too smart to become another loudmouth like Oreilly. He could have handled her better.

      “The government in most cases cannot even properly educate our children. How can we possibly expect them to continue to do that along with monitoring what they eat in the sixteen hours they’re not in school?”

  14. I’m normally a big fan of Nick, and I myself get very angry when I think about the extent of the nanny state and the portion of my paycheck that goes to endless federal programs that produce no tangible benefit to me. I do think, however, that more polite discourse is more effective in convincing the audience in this kind of situation. I fear that Nick got too close to the O’Reilly method of shouting at your opponents and not allowing them to finish their arguments in this instance.

    That said, I haven’t watched the entire program yet, and it’s possible that Meme was being a PITA throughout the show, warranting such treatment. I’ll withhold final judgment till tonight.

  15. What perfect example of liberal progressive hypocrisy.

    “We have to tax fat people because they burden MY socialized healthcare costs .”

    so lets dump socialized healthcare .


    Thats a nice hole you’re digging. Say hi to Chony for me.

  16. Yeah, Nick looked a little defensive there with the hand motions.

    But his point about getting rid of socialized medicine was 100% spot on.

    Meme must have worked for Huckabee which explains why you cannot believe conservatives when they say they are for smaller government. Socialized medicine is a vehicle for control by all kinds of busybodies.

  17. Nick, are you having an affair with MeMe Roth? ‘Cuz that whole exchange looked like the prelude to The Best Anger Sex EVER.

  18. I’ve never seen Nick so angry. It was awesome. Just saw it on Stossel. Really the best part of the episode.

    We thought Stossel was a bit weak on the Nazi’s. Nick made up for it bigtime.

    Good job!

  19. Obesity Rates Hit Plateau in U.S.
    The New York Times

    Americans, at least as a group, may have reached their peak of obesity, according to data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Wednesday.

    The numbers indicate that obesity rates have remained constant for at least five years among men and for closer to 10 years among women and children ? long enough for experts to say the percentage of very overweight people has leveled off.

    But the percentages have topped out at very high numbers. Nearly 34 percent of adults are obese, more than double the percentage 30 years ago. The share of obese children tripled during that time, to 17 percent.

    “Right now we’ve halted the progress of the obesity epidemic,” said Dr. William H. Dietz, director of the division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity at the disease control centers. “The data are really promising.

    Dr. Ludwig said the plateau might just suggest that “we’ve reached a biological limit” to how obese people could get. When people eat more, he said, at first they gain weight; then a growing share of the calories go “into maintaining and moving around that excess tissue,” he continued, so that “a population doesn’t keep getting heavier and heavier indefinitely.”

    1. “Right now we’ve halted the progress of the obesity epidemic,” said Dr. William H. Dietz,

      Perhaps I’m just naive, but I can’t get over how they take credit for shit they had no effect on.

  20. OK, The Jacket did get a little animated but no way did it rise to O’Reilly-style inanity.

    PS. Anyone else notice that Stossel’s audience has become noticeably more libertarianish over the weeks? Either that or it’s just fans of The Jacket packing the house.

  21. On second watch I feel The Jacket was entirely justified. Not only did MeMe get a ton of airtime on the show, but she consistently interrupted everyone else, and she consistently ignored weak spots in her arguments, opting to just reiterate instead. If I was Nick I would be pissed too!

    I loved his one line quip for the LA councilwoman. Pwned!

  22. On second watch I feel The Jacket was entirely justified. Not only did MeMe get a ton of airtime on the show, but she consistently interrupted everyone else, and she consistently ignored weak spots in her arguments, opting to just reiterate instead. If I was Nick I would be pissed too!

    I loved his one line quip for the LA councilwoman. Pwned!

  23. PPS. I was hoping The Jacket (or Stossel) would raise the point that these nanny laws only apply to “cheap” food. At least there was some mention of the paternalism involved in dictating what “stupid” (i.e. “poor”) people can be allowed to eat, which was good.

    Plus, I was also waiting for Stossel to question Banzhaf on how rich he’s gotten off his many years of lawsuit-a-palooza–but alas, it didn’t happen.

  24. I’m surprised no one called Fattie Banzhaf out on his taking credit for increased life expectancy via smoking restrictions. The graph that was posted showed no statistically significant spike in life expectancy, so it’s awfully ballsy to credit a policy position with a general, steadyish increase.

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