Jeanne Moos, Taco Bell, And The Fine Art Of Media Prostitution

26 Jan

Just in case my last post about Taco Bell didn’t make you want to barf quite enough, CNN’s Jeanne Moos decided to ratchet up the Disgusting Factor by forgetting any kind of responsibility toward objective news reporting and instead leaping to her feet to service Taco Bell’s image, exactly like a lunatic hooker when her favorite John walks in.

Oh, yes, I know – that’s harsh isn’t it?  For the love of God, watch this video A Beef With Taco Bell, which features Moos in what I guess is an attempt to be funny.  The two main problems of course – it’s not funny, and she’s not a comedian anyway.

See, this is a story about allegations that Taco Bell serves hideously low quality meat products to millions of people.  It’s not a rumor or an urban legend, it’s a lawsuit filed by a former manager of a Taco Bell through an Alabama law firm. 

I can’t think of any reason for CNN to file this story in the “Off Beat” category – it’s actually very straightforward, and it’s about something that affects millions of consumers – unless CNN wants to help out its BFF Taco Bell with their new PR problem.

I also can’t think of any reason for this story to have a wacky tone.  You practically expect kazoo music as Moos starts audibly rolling her eyes within the first few seconds. 

“Looks like beef,” says Moos in voiceover, as we are treated to a close-up of either a Taco Bell product or veterinary surgery.  “But doesn’t this story ‘ring a bell?'”

Then they show us a clip of the old, crazy popular Where’s The Beef commercials for Wendy’s.  “They used to say it about hamburgers,” Moos continues.  “Now they’re saying it about Taco Bell.”

Except of course, the Wendy’s commercials involved surreal fictional characters commenting on the size of the hamburgers served at Wendy’s competitors, whereas we are currently talking about lawyers and scientists and former Taco Bell employees in the real, non-fictional world – and they’re saying it shouldn’t be called “beef” at all. 

But that’s her tone – Here We Go Again – as if this is just one of many times in a tiresome cycle of restaurants getting accused of serving food that maybe, legally, should not be classified as food.  Ho, ho, ho, it’s like the old hilarious Wendy’s commercials, remember those?

No.  It’s not like the old hilarious Wendy’s commercials.  Not even a little bit.  You know, since it’s not hilarious, it’s not old, it’s not Wendy’s, and it’s a lawsuit, not a freaking commercial. 

And just in case you don’t think that Jeanne Moos is here to give Taco Bell’s image a non-therapeutic massage, the next thing she does is slap down an actual bag of Taco Bell on her desk and then starts stuffing it into her face hole as she interviews the attorney handling the lawsuit over the phone.

It’s gross.  Plain and simple.  She’s not a particularly healthy-looking person anyway, so watching her eat Possible Dog Food, really close up?  Well, seriously, go ahead and look if you dare.  Might want to grab a bucket or a trash can or something, maybe a glass of water, because once you watch it, you won’t be able to unwatch it.  Probably want to clear off your morning.

But listen, I’m not just disgusted by watching this “news reporter” eat garbage at her desk – although it is most certainly disgusting.  No, I’m disgusted because it’s so obviously slanted.  Why is she assuming that this lawsuit has no merit?

That’s the message we’re supposed to get – why else would she sit there crunching down Taco Bell while she’s asking the lawyer “So what do you hope to accomplish with this lawsuit?”  The clear message is that she doesn’t believe or care what the person she’s interviewing says.

Then she tells us that the law firm took a Taco Bell product to a lab and found that the meat mixture was less than 35% meat, “instead of what they say is the 70% required by the FDA.”

Right after that, she says into the phone, “It tastes good!  Sorry, my mouth is full.”

Yes, we can see and hear you, Jeanne.  You look and sound like a some kind of mutant hog monster.

I know – I’m being really mean.  But again – aren’t you supposed to be a reporter?  So why do you have to rely on “what they say” about the FDA requirements?  Do you think you could stop shoveling crap into your face for a second and do a little research on your story? 

Perhaps then you could confirm that yes, it’s not just what “they say.”  It’s in fact what the USDA requires.  And that no, that bag of slop Taco Bell sent you as a prop for your PR story, it doesn’t even come close.

Why would you bother doing a news story about this at all, if you aren’t actually going to present the facts in anything approaching an objective manner?  The answer is of course that this isn’t a news story, it’s a commercial for Taco Bell.  We even get Taco Bell’s response blasted across the screen in big letters:  “We start with 100% USDA-approved beef.”

Yes, we know, Taco Bell.  Do you think we can’t see the word “start” in there?

If I take a bucket of 100% USDA-approved beef, and then take a crap in it and mix it around and make Meat/Craploaf out of it, can you see how both you and I started with 100% USDA-approved beef?  Isn’t it suspicious when your official statement does not even technically dispute the lawsuit you’re responding to?

If a responsible reporter were handling this story and not say, a metaphorical prostitute with an eating disorder, then that would have been the next question.  Say, Taco Bell, once you get started, what do you do next?  And what meaty percentage would you assign to say, I don’t know, the actual finished product that gets put in front of your customers when they order your goddamn food?

Since that’s the whole point of the lawsuit, and since that’s supposed to be the whole point of the story.  Let me go ahead and help you out – perhaps they simply use a really generous definition of “seasoning.”  Perhaps the Taco Meat Filling is 35% meat, and 65% “seasoning.”  And then let me guess – practically any batshit crazy substance or chemical qualifies as a “seasoning?” 

What do you want to bet that’s their defense, when you boil it all down?  Well, until an actual reporter gets on the case, I guess there’s no way to know, huh? 

What CNN and Jeanne Moos have chosen to give us instead is not even a cursory, thinly veiled attempt to present the facts in this story about a lawsuit against a giant corporation.  It’s spin, right there on the news, and it certainly seems designed to convince a swath of the population that the lawsuit against Taco Bell has no merit. And her two main sources?  Taco Bell and her own gaping mouth. 

Congratulations, CNN and Jeanne Moos – you just made me more nauseous than any kind Horsey Dorsey Organ Paste Product ever could have.  Go ahead and grab a twenty spot out of Taco Bell’s wallet on your way out of the motel room, for cab fare. 

You’ve definitely earned it.



Earlier:  Me And Taco Bell Are Here To Ruin Your Day

And:  Defenders of the Glomp


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6 responses to “Jeanne Moos, Taco Bell, And The Fine Art Of Media Prostitution

  1. robertgbobo

    January 27, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Calling out liberal journalists now? Spangler is cutting himself and speedballing as I write this. Good job Rush! (jokes aside, everyone should damn well appreciate Mr. Chalfant’s time, effort and looking at things for what they are…not what he is told to write or do. He is a slave to his craft and receives nightly beatings from his wife for it!)

  2. Go-Go Rach

    January 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Good Morning, Tom!

    I gotta tell ya, I’m feeling a bit sick to my stomach, after watching this video because I have not had breakfast. EW. I’ve never been a fan of taco hell. I prefer my food the way mother nature made them. Yeah, I spend the extra fee for food grown right, but I live in America, were we gotta pay through the nose for EVERYTHING, especially quality.

    Since it is always about the mighty (yet shrinking at a alarming rate) dollar, I wonder how much CNN was paid for this story? Sure looks like a commercial (minus a hot chick, or cute dog) to me. GROSS ME OUT THE DOOR.

    Excellent article.


  3. momsomniac

    February 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Well, if we don’t continually hear that we are a litigious society filing frivolous lawsuits willy nilly, then we might see more lawsuits. And then, companies might have to take steps that make a wee dent in the profit margin. And we can’t have that now, can we?

    After all, there was a lot of eye-rolling over the hot coffee lawsuit some years back, and that tactic played well then. Never mind that (insert TM) lost that lawsuit…and that it was one of several such lawsuits…and that they had all been filed because the temperature of the coffee was so high it had to be measured in Kelvins. Shoot, if they kept it any cooler, they’d have had to make it more than once a month. So with the help of “reporters” and comedians, we were all convinced it was actually a lawsuit about nothing more than “coffee being hot.” Which, I guess, literally, it was.

    But I like my coffee served slightly cooler than the surface of the sun. I like my meat products with some meat in ‘em too. I’m just nutty that way.

    I don’t know that I ever expected much in the way of real meat in a Taco Bell product. But I was optimistic that it might actually….be….food.

    Oh well.


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