Corporate Death Burger: Aasif Mandvi & The Daily Show Fail

January 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm 3 comments

Aasif Mandvi shills for McDonald's

I’m a little irked at last week’s Daily Show segment that punk’d San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar for sponsoring legislation to ban McDonald’s Happy Meals in San Francisco. Aasif Mandvi mugs and pops his eyes at the suggestion that the government should have any role in preventing corporations like McDonalds from marketing toxic, cancer- and obesity-causing poison as food. Mandvi even uses the term “nanny state” to describe regulation, which is a straight-up Fox News talking point. He also suggests that the Board of Supes banning Happy Meals would be like forcing Netflix to send all SF residents free copies of Supersize Me. Sure, it’s a funny gotcha moment, but it’s really a stupid false equivalency–one prevents an action, the other mandates one. I’m no lawyer but even I could see the faulty reasoning behind that one.

Mechanically separated chicken, pre-Nuggets--yum!

I can’t believe I have to even say this but fast food has been repeatedly documented to be total crap, so what’s the point of siding with McDonald’s and its fucked up, evil and bottom-line driven agenda of stuffing people with garbage that kills them? It can’t be that hard to understand that marketing edible poison to little kids with the lure of a cheap and shiny plastic toy is inherently messed up and venal.

And invoking the “nanny state” is straight out of the conservative anti-regulation playbook. Sure, give multinational corporations like McDonald’s free rein to regulate themselves and of course they’ll do what’s socially, morally and ethically responsible. How’s that working out for you, Enron, WaMu, and Halliburton?

Mandvi and the producers at The Daily Show really failed with this one. I guess I’ve been lulled into thinking that The Daily Show has some kind of oppositional cred since in the past Jon Stewart & Co. have successfully satirized other corporate and governmental malfeasance. But the show itself is on Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom, one of the biggest communications corporations in the world. So I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to find that The Daily Show is reluctant to bite the pecuniary hand that feeds it.

UPDATE: Just in case you need more evidence, Taco Bell is being sued for false advertising because the “meat” in their tacos is only 36% beef.

UPDATE 2: Public health attorney Michele Simon busts out the legal argument on alternet.org: Why “Happy Meals” Are A Crime. She succinctly notes,  “Ample science, along with statements by various professional organizations tells us that marketing to young children is both deceptive and unfair. Why? Because young children simply do not have the cognitive capacity to understand that they are being marketed to; they cannot comprehend “persuasive intent,” the linchpin of advertising.”

This one’s for you, Aasif. MDC live, Corporate Death Burger

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Entry filed under: eric mar, politics, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. huckle  |  January 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    total fail. I don’t know what Aasif Mandvi is like as a comedian, and I never watch the Daily Show (although I do like Jon Stewart), but the timing was way off. I’m surprised they thought it was good enough to put on the air. maybe they were desperate?

    Reply
    • 2. valeriesoe  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      Yeah, Aasif Mandvi comes off as a complete tool–definitely not good. More like watching MadTV than The Daily Show, which can be pretty funny and astute when it’s on.

      Reply
  • 3. mrpoopypants  |  January 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I was surprised mr. Mar let himself be clowned like that.
    It was obviously a setup.

    It’s insane that we have allowed the fast food industry to run amuck for so long, and they have become so deeply entrenched, that criticizing them comes off to many americans as a personal attack on a beloved institution.

    As far as the sf board of supervisors tradition of symbolic
    proclamations, im starting to wonder if the job is mostly ceremonial at this point.

    Reply

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