Monday 9 November 2009

John Banzhaf ridiculed on TV

For John Banzhaf, the founder of ASH (US), suing restaurants for making people fat is the 'next logical step' in the public health crusade. As a bonus, it also offers him the chance to become stupendously rich. 

The rotund 'legal activist' has been trying to sue McDonald's for years and, as this recent televised interview shows, he hasn't given up yet.

It's worth watching for the presenter's sarcastic and incredulous reporting of the whole sorry farce, and also to see how Banzhaf keeps resorting to fallacious arguments. He talks about cigarettes again and again, as if to drill home the idea that fast food and tobacco are as bad as each other. After comparing his McLawsuit to lawsuits that fought racial segregation, he uses this piece of specious reasoning:

"Many of our most famous lawsuits - the ones my students studied and you studied in law school - were originally called frivolous."

Maybe so, but a lot of frivolous lawsuits have been called frivolous too. I'm reminded of the conversation in the movie Bedazzled...

- You're a nutcase! You're a bleedin' nutcase!

- They said the same of Jesus Christ, Freud, and Galileo.

- They said it of a lot of nutcases too.

Predictably, Banzhaf resorts to ad hominem attacks on his opponent, calling Congressman Rick Keller "the mouthpiece for the food industry". Keller responds with this gem:

"I think we should have labelling on the people who bring these lawsuits; a T-shirt that says 25% junk science, 50% greed and 25% seeking publicity."



Unknown said...

I mentioned on my blog that Banzhaf was an ambulance chasing, but inteligent, lunatic who will stop at nothing to make a buck from scaremongering about smoking, and other things besides:

This time he managed to 'persuade' an airline, Delta, that smoking an e-cigarette should be banned on their planes, not only that but SNUS, which does nothing to worry fellow passengers!

I am not the brightest tool in the toolbox but surely people can see through this man?

I despair of my fellow human beings sometimes.

Dick Puddlecote said...

This guy is turning into a liability for the anti-tobacco loonies.

The laughter of non-smokers when I said they'd be after them soon, eh? Not only does this prove it, it's also the same methods used by the very same person.

It's pure gold. Niemoller writ large.

Anonymous said...

What a great response from Keller and such a wonderful slogan for a T-Shirt.

He should go into business with them - I'd certainly buy one.

As for Banzhaf - at long last the people (and the media) are waking up to what he actually is. It's taken a long time and a lot of suffering from millions worldwide.

He should be tried for his crimes once this madness is over.

liberty for all said...

Just watched this lunatic and his pal, Meme Roth (the Jan Brady look-alike with a similar craving to be at the center of attention), spout their agenda on Stossel. When are these morons going to realize that we don't want, nor will we tolerate, them or the government in our lives telling us what we can and cannot do in regard to activities that are not hurting others or breaking the law. If I want to smoke 3 packs a day, that's my prerogative. If I want to consume 5,000 calories a day, that's my prerogative. If I want to engage in extreme sports, that's my prerogative. They are so starved for power and control that it sickens me.