The Paula Deen backlash backlash
So by now everyone knows that Paula Deen, the overweight 65 year old who eats, promotes and has made her fortune off of peddling ridiculously unhealthy and frankly disgusting foods, has type 2 diabetes. There have been a number of responses on the internets so far and as MSR has not exactly held its fire when it comes to Food network hosts (see sg-dubs various takedowns of Paula and Sandra Lee, as well as my vitriolic rant about Guy Fieri) I don’t see how we can’t comment on this.
Sadly, I have for years been a devotee of the Food network. In 2005 when many of us were writing for the old TVgasm we contributed to the mass Food network thanksgiving day coverage (reposted here, here, here and here because TVgasm never paid us so they don’t own our writing, Heh). Alas, the channel has disintegrated into gratingly annoying hosts of questionable talent and a glut of bad food game shows. With the end of Good Eats, one of the consistently best cooking shows on cable, it leaves the channel itself a sad shell of its former being. I turn to No Reservations and The Layover for my food tv needs (not that Bordain is free of criticism. He has spent the last decade living the rich life with world star chefs and the elitism has definitely seeped into his work, with his self indulgent and snobbish El Bulli episode a standout. however he does admit it and takes criticism well, and he’s still a hell of a writer)
So now Deen has come out to say that she has type 2 diabetes, Unlike Anthony Bourdain, I will not take the (somewhat) high road, when he tempered his comments about her diabetes by saying that he doesn’t wish it on anyone and there’s nothing funny about it. I believe that the woman is trash and is desperately trying to spin her way out of this while also at the same time trying to squeeze a few cynical bucks off of it too.
So first off, I do not feel sorry for her for having diabetes. If she had cancer, yes. But this is entirely of her own doing. How many times have people commented and made jokes about how her awful and disgusting diet, coupled with her weight and age will lead to severe health conditions such as… diabetes? She is simply reaping what she sowed. And her pathetic spin that “hey y’all, I always said to eat my fried butter balls and bacon hamburgers wrapped in donuts in moderation!” is total horseshit. This is a woman who is peddling butter flavored lip balm for fucks sake. She broadcast shows were she literally drank melted butter. My favorite comment from the desperate spin from her pathetic Today Show interview where she said, and I paraphrase “People see my on TV two or three times a day, so that’s only 30 days out of 365 and it’s just for entertainment!” is like saying hey, sure Hitler killed millions of Jews, but that was only during his day job, when he went home he played with his dog and listened to Wagner. No one ever talks about that do they!?!” And if you’re saying to yourself right now “did EdHill just compare Paula Deen to Hitler”. The answer is yes. Ridiculously overblown rhetoric isn’t just for Fox News you know. (Did I also mention that Sandra Lee is worse than Pol Pot? Well, she is. Pol Pot never cut corners when he cooked).
The facts are the facts. She is a 65 year old overweight woman whose main claim to fame is telling people how to make fatty unhealthy foods, which is really her worst crime. She wants to eat that shit fine, god knows there’s millions of fat Americans eating crap ever day, but to make millions pushing that shit onto everyone else and making cooking and eating high fatty unhealthy food into her own little cash cow media empire (with her two douchey sons also getting shitty “cooking” shows as well) is her real sin. Whats worse is she even pushed this stuff on kids. From Wikipedia:
She faced particularly strong objections with the release of Lunch-Box Set, a cookbook aimed at children, with Barbara Walters saying of the book, “You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast. You tell them to have chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch. And french fries. Doesn’t it bother you that you’re adding to this?”
Clearly the answer is no. She built her name on that shit. It made her rich. And when four years ago she was diagnosed with diabetes she hid it, and we all know why. It would hurt her brand. Her awful, trashy brand. Then her handlers came up with a way to spin it by coming out on the offensive and say she always said “moderation” and then she can now ‘teach people” about the disease. Really? Here’s lesson one, ignore every piece of advice about food you have ever given in your entire life.
The truly ironic thing that people seem to forget is: Her food sucks. It’s not just fatty food, it’s BAD fatty food. I love a meaty four cheese lasagna, or a rich chicken cordon blue with prosciutto and Swiss cheese. Heck I even love hot wings from Hooters. I don’t eat them very often, but I do love them. Know what I don’t like? A bacon cheeseburger wrapped in donuts. That’s fucking disgusting. or “fried butter balls”. Why would I eat nothing but butter? The idea is vile.
I only say the obvious because there is a backlash brewing about the backlash over attacking her. I say fuck that. I hope this does the following:
1. Forces her to change her diet and eat better.
2. Disappear from my goddamn television FOREVER and take Guy Fieri with you.
EdHill | 01.18.12 | Filed in Food Network