MSNBC's Monica Novotny Sympathetic to Anti-Happy Meal Campaign

Shortly before 11 a.m. this morning, a sympathetic Monica Novotny interviewed anti-obesity activist Meme Roth about a new law in Santa Clara County, California, banning the distribution of free toys in kids meals at fast food restaurants.

That's right, the food police have a warrant out for Ronald McDonald.

But rather than include a voice of dissent to challenge Roth on the government-expanding, free enterprise-attacking nature of the law, Novotny tried to tinker around the edges, wondering if it might be better to encourage restaurants to put free toys in healthier kids meal options. [full interview embedded at right, click here for MP3 audio]

Roth dismissed that notion as a "bribe" to get kids to adopt healthier eating habits, although she also absurdly argued that:

These fast food marketers use the toys as a device to lure children in and to coerce them to eat more junk food.

Really?! Does anyone believe the average American kid would be chowing down on bean sprouts and carrot sticks were it not for some evil fast food company hooking them on burgers and fries?

Yet Novotny failed to question Roth's argument and even lamented that Roth might "lose the battle" because of the machinations of the convenient arch-villain Big Business:

I think this is a big fight that you're taking on because these fast food chains have big endorsement deals with movie companies whenever there's a big film being released. These are big promotions and they've got big financial incentive to keep these. So I wonder if there's not a way to do it so that, I'm afraid you're going to lose the battle and I don't want to lose the battle, if you know what I'm saying.

Roth agreed, resuming her attack on business:

You know, you're right, Monica. Hundreds of millions of dollars are changed among hands for these kinds of deals, and industry ain't going to like this new push to get the Happy Meals, or these toys associated with the meals, taken away.... You can't say it's more important for the industry to make money than it is to preserve children's health. And that's what this is really about.

To both Roth and Novotny, this is an issue of public health vs. private profits. There's no consideration about the overreach of government or how average Americans would view this move as another maternalistic power grab by the nanny state.

Novotny's interview with Roth is just another textbook case of how the media further leftist attacks on industry while discounting personal (and in this case parental) responsibility.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters