Just when you thought you might never have to read the two cringe-worthy, appetite-killing words "pink slime" next to one another again -- or at least for a while -- a new lawsuit has brought the finely textured beef product (bllllughh) back into the headlines. A former beef worker named Bruce Smith is suing celeb chef Jamie Oliver, ABC News (ABC journalists Diane Sawyer and Jim Avila are named defendants), and a food blogger named Bettina Siegel for -- get this -- simply using the term "pink slime." OMG.
Smith says he and 750 others were fired from a company that makes the product called Beef Products Inc. (how creative!), and he says that his former employer was "maligned" by the phrase, which, according to the suit, was being used to describe "a food product that did not exist." He's seeking $70K in damages. What the ...?!
I can certainly sympathize with Smith and other workers' frustration, if their whole livelihoods hinged on a totally gross product that Oliver, ABC, and Siegel exposed for what it truly is and made notorious in the food biz. But it seems to me that they're pointing fingers at the wrong people. Perhaps they ought to be more discouraged with their former employer for processing the concoction of leftover meat trimmings and ammonia no one wants anything to do with anymore? Gross.
But no. Instead, Smith is seeking retribution from people who should be able to say whatever the hell they want about vile processed food and be protected under the First Amendment. I'm sorry the guy and his colleagues lost their jobs, but that's not the media's fault. And there's absolutely no way they should end up having to pay up or fear future censorship for simply doing their jobs.
Do you think this guy has a good case or is he seriously misguided?
Image via really short/Flickr