The cowardly editorial: Stemming from the Delta Airlines incident with an overweight passenger, one Bert Show member – who is anonymous, (even to the rest of the cast), is sick of being politically correct around overweight people.
Quick note: we drew names out of a hat, and Wendy was selected to read it…this doesn’t mean that she wrote it (and it doesn’t mean that she didn’t, either). And the editorial is anonymous, so it’s not necessarily endorsed by all members.
From the top:
Read the editorial below, then let us know what you think.
One listener, Ann, was really offended by the editorial on an emotional level.
This editorial has hit listeners hard emotionally, and gives us some more insight:
Some callers agree with the over-arching message, but not the delivery.
One listener blogged her response to the editorial and posted it on our Facebook page.
Bert writes am editorial to the Cowardly Editorial.
Editorial to the Cowards Editorial
By Bert Weiss
Regrettable. That’s how I feel about allowing the Cowards Editorial to air.
No matter how strongly we’ve shared opinions over ten years, I think there has mostly been a sense of fairness, tolerance, or at the very least, balance. The show is designed so that one member should always have a differing view. The Cowards Editorial (a bit that I take responsibility for designing) mistakenly didn’t allow for counter-opinions. If we all shared our thoughts it would have obviously identified the writer. It was a flawed plan. Regrettable.
When you do a morning show you story tell. We’re taught to embellish. I know everybody on this show professionally and personally. Not one is a bully. I wouldn’t consider anybody “mean.” I think that this piece was misguidedly embellished. Even at its core the writer’s truth is controversial: most overweight people choose to be overweight. But the embellished tone made for a hateful and harsh sounding judgment.
Don’t read this and assume I didn’t write the editorial. I won’t say either way. I made a promise to my team that if an editorial was read that the person wouldn’t be identified. If I said it wasn’t me that would allow you to point the finger at another show member. Even now I want to express my opinions on the subject but can’t. I put the integrity of each individual member of the show at risk by designing a segment that didn’t call for accountability. I can’t breach their trust anymore than I have. Regrettable.
What’s lost is that I really had a chance to engage all of us in open dialog about attitudes regarding weight and weight discrimination. It’s a totally missed opportunity. Very regrettable.
But I feel as though I have breached the trust of many of you guys. We have built a confidence with you and I designed a segment that didn’t allow for the thing that makes the Bert Show work: differing opinions. I’ve never seen such deep hurt on any subject that we’ve done before. What a shi%%y way to start your morning.
From my Facebook page, Maia has really communicated everything I want to say:
Maia Moss Fife
My heart breaks a little bit for everyone involved in this situation. I feel for the people who were deeply hurt by that nasty editorial. I feel for the members of The Bert Show who did not write this piece and are having to deal with the fallout (and feel guilt by association). I feel for the person who did write this because they are learning a hard lesson right now about having compassion for others. And I feel for whoever made the decision to put this thing on the air…it was a bad call but sometimes we don’t realize these things until after the fact. This show has a lot of heart and has helped a lot of people and one mistake doesn’t change that. God bless
“I’m frustrated with political correctness when it comes to overweight people. This whole situation with Delta Airelines is ridiculous. Delta, you don’t even think about asking the overweight person to grab a later flight? The healthy, skinny person is penalized?
Excuse me? Time for honesty. Haven’t most overweight people gorged themselves? You make choices to eat poorly and NOT exercise. But you want me to feel sorry for you? Do something about it.
You get offended if you are stared at. You get offended if you are pointed at. You get offended if you are laughed at. Instead of focusing on what’s going on around you, you should be focusing on yourself and shedding a few pounds.
We are aware that there are 7 deadly sins, one of those being gluttony. And all you have to do is walk out your door and it’s thrown in your face like a giant cream pie.
Approximately one third of this country is considered obese. Obesity is a plague that has transformed this nation into a lazy bunch of slobs.
Most of you made a decision, and that decision was to be fat. What’s worse is, being fat is taking the easy way out. It takes effort to eat right and excercise. It takes zero effort to be fat.
And here’s a bigger slap in the chubby cheek. 1/3 of the country is obese yet the weight loss industry was valued at 60.9 billion dollars last year. You know what that says? It says one third of the country is still obese and we are blowing that much dough on diet fads that obviously aren’t working? It screams failure. It screams zero will-power.
Oh Wait…you need a break? You’re out of breath? Having a hard time walking up those three whopping stairs? Give ME a break…
And now here comes the whining. The only thing worse thatn a fat person is a fat person who whines about being fat. Quit complaining and do something about it. And I can’t believe you want me to empathize with you and make you feel better about your incredible lack of will-power and sheer laziness.
And don’t feed me the excuse that you don’t have the time. They actually have TVs at the gym these days, so you can peel yourself off your sofa and you won’t have to miss a minute of the Food Network.
To all the overweight children out there, it’s OK. It’s not your fault. your parents are the ones to blame, and you should be blaming them as well. It’s their respoinsility to teach you proper nutrition and to encourage physical activity. Instead, it’s easier for them to let you eat whatever you want and stay inside and watch another cartoon.
Yup it’s all about what’s easiest. This nation is always looking for the easy way out. Why work hard at something when you can be content being miserable in your own skin, and at the same time make those around you miserable.”
There was such a big reaction yesterday, and it affected so many listeners on an emotional level, something that Bert, as someone who has never been overweight, missed yesterday. Since the letter was anonymous, no one in studio commented on it (if they did, it could give the author away). Bert wanted a better understanding on it all, so he talked to a friend who’s overweight to get his take on it.
BERT: You read that anonymous editorial on our show this a.m.?
BERT: Not being mean. In all honesty, I’d love to get your take on it ’cause I know you’ve struggled with your weight for so long. Here’s the link.
TYLER: Reading now
BERT: One of us on the show wrote it. None of us know who.
Sent at 3:22 PM on Wednesday
TYLER: You want my honest opinion…
Sent at 3:25 PM on Wednesday
BERT: Of course
TYLER: They are right.
BERT: Whoa. Wasn’t expecting that
TYLER: Being fat is a very hard thing to deal with, I have battled it all my life, but it is no different than being an alcoholic that beats an addiction.
If they have the will power to beat it… they can
and that is the hardest part.
I look at it like this
Hard to type into words but I would say 85% of people are fat because they are lazy.
I think there is a small group who are addicted to food
For instance, take me…
I work out…I lose weight… I have fluctuated over 200 lbs in the last 3 years (losing and gaining), and no matter how much I work at it…I crave food…
I spoke to an alcoholic about it and we have the same cravings
The same feelings when we eat/drink
The same guilt when it is over
Yes, laziness plays into that as does the ability to gorge/binge drink to make yourself feel better and then spiral more…
Sent at 3:32 PM on Wednesday
TYLER: The reason the diet world is making so much money on “us” is that we want nothing more than to be skinny, but are trapped in the quagmire of our own lives and the convenience of unhealthy food…. it is a beast to fight through… also, being fat is cheaper than being skinny.
I can get a burger, fries and a coke for under 5 bucks and an organic veggie costs that much by itself.
BERT: wow. That’s powerful. thanks. The show has been beaten up pretty good over one teammate’s opinion. Just wanted your take.
TYLER: Am I ashamed to be fat… yep…I really am…it makes me look unprofessional and un productive…I would even go as far as to say I would take years off my life to be skinnier….
It is a very depressing state… and even harder to get to a more healthy state of mind.
Sent at 3:36 PM on Wednesday
TYLER: I cry at times when it comes to my weight… and I cry even harder as I eat bad things…. knowing that I am abusing myself and not having the will power to stop it… knowing that the current bite in my mouth could be stopped if I had the strength to do it.
Sorry to get deep on you… but you asked for it.
BERT: This is exactly what I needed.
TYLER: When you are a fat person, you know you are judged… you know that people look at you and think you are lazy and powerless…. and we are, to an extent.
Fat is an industry that America has played into…. and we have accepted it…
We have a decision to make every time we eat… the problem that fat people have is this… we have to eat to live….we can’t live with out eating.
TYLER: So when we eat, we justify it in our brain that we have to eat and then we eat more and then we justify more and eat more… next thing you know we just downed 2 big macs, fries and a diet coke (ironic, isn’t it) and feel horrible but satiated at the same time.
….I am not afraid of my weight…I am ashamed of it…
BERT: What else do you want judgmental skinny people to know about heavy people?
TYLER: That we use anger and attitude to hide the fact that we are in so much pain inside…
We say we are happy in our skin but the reality is we would rather cut it off with a knife than have to be the size we are.
I would rather be a heroine addict than a fat person.
BERT: Holy sh**, dude.
TYLER: Yeah… it is sad
BERT: I didn’t realize it bothered you that much ’cause you joke so much about it.
TYLER: That’s our defense mechanism.
Jolly fat guy, right
There are times I have eaten so much that I have thrown up in my sleep.
It is hard my man
BERT: Wow. You just are incapable of putting the food down?
TYLER: At times yes…. I binge…
BERT: Like there are few things I hate worse than that overeating feeling.
TYLER: I try so hard and then I snap and just destroy stuff (food that is)
BERT: You know it’s there but you can’t help yourself?
TYLER: Yep…I now have to keep my fridge and cabinets bare or I will binge on them.
Lucky I am not going up in weight anymore… I stopped that… I need to figure out now how to go down
and a quick diet/weight loss weight watchers/pill whatever… just isn’t the way to do it.
It is a full lifestyle change… and I am sure counseling.
Food is more than food… it is a mental trigger
BERT: You honestly have me tearing up
TYLER: Glad I can share with you…I haven’t shared this before in such detail.
It feels good to just say it
People think a few salads and a few workouts and you will just drop the weight and be healthy… not true.