Tuesday, August 17, 2010

morning TV and the best quote from Governor Huckabee

So I was walking on my treadmill yesterday flipping through morning TV (we are going to get a DVR box as I can't stand live TV, especially in the mornings...)

So the Huckabee Show was on Fox. He had three "experts:" Meme Roth, Miss Plus-sized Elite and Kathy Ireland. Same old same old from the guests (Meme-"but obesity is the devil!!!"/Miss Plus-sized "accept and love yourself...") but Huckabee came out with a few choice lines given his history...

I paraphrase as accurately as possible without a rewind or text:

"For the six weeks I'm doing this show, I'm back on my rigid health plan and I've lost 14 1/2 pounds in two weeks!" cue wild audience applause... (BTW, he looks somewhere in between the two above photos if you're interested...)

"But it's not about weight, it's about eating right and being healthy, and doing it for your Creator, or your family..."

Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas (Also author of Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork...) who brought in BMI monitoring to Arkansas schools, intense obesity prevention- in the standard approach- and celebrated having the first state to halt the increase in overweight in children (0.1% reduction.) Except that this was actually a national trend that other states also experienced without the expensive and potentially harmful intervention, and over the same time period in Arkansas, African American girls experienced continued dramatic weight increases, and the number of "underweight" children increased...

I try not to be snarky (not trying very hard this morning) but I guess he decided to pick up that fork again. He talks like it's easy, that anyone can "eat right and exercise" (like Meme Roth who won't eat until she runs 4 miles a day, even if it's in the afternoon) that anyone who honors God should be able to lose weight. His personal story makes me sad for him. Years of misery, self-loathing and crash yo-yo dieting, jokes about his large children etc. What I don't feel sorry for is his preaching, his use of his position of power to shove the same nonsense about weight loss, restriction, dieting (though couched in more palatable terms) on the public at large.

Ugh. I hope someone out there appreciates that I watched a full 10 minutes of Meme Roth and Huckabee so you don't have to! (By the way, The View featured "cleanses" that were "healthy and not a diet" with between 1000 and 1200 calories, and also had a family that "banded" together (the whole family, minor children as well had lap band.) I did not watch this...


  1. There is speculation around the internet that Huckabee actually had bariatric surgery... http://plutarch01.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/new-121007-300pm/

  2. I did watch that episode of the View (the fitness center in our apartment only has one TV and someone else got there first and had turned it on), and it was probably exactly as you are imagining it. Also, The thing that really bothers me about Meme Roth isn't really that she is completely insane (many people are full of their own personal crazy) but that somehow she has established herself as some kind of health expert and that people listen to her. She has NO credentials as a health expert, and people either don't notice this or don't know enough to realize it. I mean, *I* would be more qualified to speak about children's health issues than her. Why do people listen to her? Personally, the dearth of critical thinking in American to evaluate information and assess its credibility worries me far more than the obesity epidemic.

  3. Fourteen and a half pounds in two weeks...yep, that sounds fabulously healthy and not about the weight at all. And since he's gained since the book picture was taken, obviously it's both easy and permanent

    (You're awesome for trying not to be snarky...I'm apparently making no such effort. :) )

  4. Lap band surgery on a minor should be considered child abuse.

  5. This is such a coincidence; I just saw Huckabee on something yesterday or the day before, and I thought to myself that it looks like he's gaining weight back. Not that I really care one way or another, just that it reinforces my opinion that very few people can keep it off over any length of time.

  6. Huckabee's whole shtick is evangelism. If he can believe in a thing, he wants to preach the gospel to everyone not as "saved" as he is. Zealots can hold a lot of contradictory material in the same brain with little effort. Somehow the arrogance of (self-)righteousness is a shield against cognitive dissonance.

    Weight loss has the drama built in, fits the narrative cycle of "sin-sorry-saved-sliding-sin-sorry-saved-and so on" perfectly for evangelist egotists like Huckabee.