MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski displayed her Food Police views across the country Sunday in the nationally circulated Parade Magazine newspaper supplement.
“In our country when it comes to processed foods, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup, unless they’re regulated, we’re going to continue on a downward spiral toward obesity and bad health," she proclaimed. "I think the government should step in. One way to do that is to put a tax on soda.” She was matched by Joe Scarborough mocking her as a nanny statist:
JOE: Mika’s vision of the nanny state is so overreaching. She is obsessed with telling people what to eat, what to drink, how to live their lives. And to a small-government conservative like myself, that’s offensive. The fact is, most people don’t want the federal government involved in their bedrooms or in their refrigerators.
MIKA: The amount of sugar our kids ingest is absolutely insane. If America’s parents were educated on what it does to their children’s teeth and bodies, they would be horrified.
Scarborough can sound like the conservative in this scenario. Or he can be seen as the classic moderate, as you can see from the bedroom-and-fridge metaphor. Joe is the sybarite fighting the Puritans on both sides. Just as he's ripping into Rick Santorum for daring to disagree with the notion that contraceptives are the greatest invention of all time, it's easy for Scarborough to grip the Majority View and mock Mika for eating twigs and berries:
JOE: I’m sure that Mika was raised in the woods and ate tree bark, but I grew up in a middle-class family, and most of my breakfasts were Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops, or Lucky Charms. I was healthy and slender -because I led an active life, just like most of us a generation ago. My grandmother poured sugar into just about everything, and she lived to be 93. Instead of focusing on telling -people what to eat, we need to focus on encouraging kids to get up off the couch and go outside to play. I think most Americans have changed a lot of their bad habits over the past decade. That’s why I don’t think the federal government needs to aggressively step in and dictate what people eat.
And there's more of this cute-bickering routine:
JOE: Mika’s diet is healthy and well rounded—if you’re a rabbit. Sometimes when we’re having lunch, I look at the leaves and twigs that she’s eating and I don’t know how she does it.
MIKA: My guilty pleasure is the popovers at BLT Steak. I eat a lot of those.
JOE: Mine is a super bacon cheddar bagel with cream cheese from Bagelheads in Pensacola, Florida.