If you want a snapshot of the national debate over menu labeling laws, check out this piece from last night’s CBS broadcast of 60 Minutes. Correspondent Lesley Stahl ditched the pretense of journalistic objectivity in no time flat — obviously buying the activist spin hook, line, and sinker in her voiceovers — and relentlessly grilling more fair-minded observers when they didn’t follow suit. Stahl’s bias couldn’t be any more obvious than in the screen time given to two of the menu labeling movement’s most formidable champions: New York City health czar Thomas Frieden and nutrition professor Brian Wansink, who can barely contain the giddy delight he takes in ridiculing people’s food choices.
The singular bright light in the piece is Stahl’s acknowledgment that “there’s little scientific evidence that posting calories will make people eat less.” What’s Frieden’s response to this obviously inconvenient fact about consumer behavior? The usual activist spin. He reiterates the equally unfounded claim that rising obesity rates are devastating the nation’s health, and then blindly asserts that the government has the right to take “action” to control and influence peoples’ eating habits.