If you were one of the 20 million Americans who watched 60 Minutes last night, you probably saw a profile of Center for Consumer Freedom Executive Director Rick Berman. If you did, you also caught a glimpse of CCF’s nutty foil, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) food-scold-in-chief Michael Jacobson.
As a recurring villain in the fight for personal freedom, Jacobson uses junk science and sensationalism to scare Americans about the food they eat, even boasting that "CSPI is proud about finding something wrong with practically everything." [Click here for an in-depth exposé on Jacobson.]
His attacks cover the entire spectrum of food favorites from French fries to coffee. Under the mantra of "regulation through litigation," he uses lawsuits to force industry change, and employs equally hyperbolic measures to push extra taxes on foods he considers unhealthy, and government-mandated nutritional labeling on restaurant menus all across America.
The hero in this battle for consumer choice is Berman, whom 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer dubs a "six-foot-four, 64-year-old weapon of mass destruction." Safer follows Berman in his fight to ensure that America does not become "a nation of passive children ruled by the iron thumb of self-appointed ‘nannies.’"
After the piece aired, the public responded with emails by the hundreds to our campaign for freedom with cheers, thanksgiving, and the occasional call of "Rick Berman for President." But the audience’s assessment of Jacobson and his food-police movement was not so favorable. Though we normally give Jacobson the somewhat restrained title of nutritional scold, CBS viewers offered a few more colorful suggestions, such as "dweeb," "fruitcake," "snake oil doctor," "freak," "pathetic twerp," "goody two shoe granny," "elitist hypocrite," and "mad scientist."
For a full transcript of the piece, click here. For a video of the feature in its entirety, click here.