Thursday 12 December 2019

Forget Man v Food – this is Adam v the fatties

Adam Richman was pilloried by the fat lobby
Adam Richman was pilloried by the fat lobby

It's hard to listen to Bruce Springsteen's 57 Channels (And Nothin' On) without feeling rather nostalgic – did they only have 57 channels in 1992? How did they live in such primitive times?

As we've seen over the last few years, however, it's actually quite possible to have 157 channels and still find yourself cursing the listings because there's nothing jumping out at you. Adam Richman was one of the few things that did jump out, however. When he first appeared with Man Vs Food, he was the proverbial breath of fresh air – a portly, engaging everyman who wandered around America, visiting the kind of barbecue joints the rest of us can only dream about.

It was a wonderful little show that worked primarily because the host was a man who was happier with a good pastrami sandwich than the fayn dayning so often featured on other programmes. But as you might reasonably expect from a man who made his living eating meals that were the size of several small people rolled into a bap, his weight and health began to suffer. In fact, later episodes seemed to offer the tantalising concern that the next time he undertook an eating challenge his arteries were going to burst like a blocked hose pipe and his head would explode in a vast mushroom cloud of transfats and bacon gristle. And I mean that as a compliment.

Through the force of his own good nature, Richman has become quite the cult figure in the last few years and, having listened to medical advice, he had lost 70lbs and was feeling healthier than ever as he prepared for the launch of his new show, Man Finds Food.

Well, that was the plan – the Travel Channel have 'indefinitely postponed' (i.e. cancelled) the show after their host reacted rather badly to online abuse he received. Richman's original crime was to post a picture of his newly svelte self with the hash tag 'thinspiration'.

Of course, for Generation Outrage, the use of that particular phrase is enough to send the berserkers of the online realm into an apoplectic rage. One 'fat activist' – I'm not making that up – called Amber Sarah decided to round up a few of her porkiest friends and they all electronically waddled over to Richman's Instagram page so they could, in their words, 'educate him.'

Having been chased, however slowly, by the furious fat rights brigade, he then responded by calling one them the kind of word you normally reserve for politicians and told another of his internet inquisitors that she should: "Get a razor blade and draw a bath, nobody will miss you."

Cue squeals of outrage and delighted hysteria from his corpulent critics and the immediate cancellation of his new show.

In more moderate times, someone from the network would have had a quiet word in Richman's ear and that would have been the end of that. Not any more, of course. Because we no longer live in moderate times.

Now that they have seemingly sunk, or at least stymied, his career, you would think that was enough for the critics.

But the fat activist wants even more apologies and, interestingly, they are more annoyed by his use of the word 'thinspiration' than his suggestion that someone open a vein or two.

I would say that his critics have got their pound of flesh, but considering they're mostly fat-rights campaigners, they'd probably think a pound of flesh is only a starter.


A Donegal farmer has been forced to defend his JobBridge offer of a whopping 50 quid a week, on top of their benefits, for the lucky applicant who manages to bag a job picking potatoes on his farm.

Patrick Doherty remains defiant and says that he is also going to "invest in training", although how much training you need to pick potatoes remains unclear.

So, for 30 hours a week picking spuds, you will earn just over a euro an hour. Who wouldn't want to do backbreaking work for that kind of money?

And does the farmer receive the gratitude of the workshy?

No, people have instead accused him of the cynical exploitation of unemployed people who are now so desperate for some dignity that they will effectively work as serfs. Why not just give everyone on the dole a hi-viz vest and stick them in the fields for a euro an hour so we can all gather to laugh at their misfortune?

Actually, now that I think about it, my grass is a bit long, can I commandeer someone from the dole queue to cut it for me?

I'll give him a euro an hour, which is only a fraction of what I pay the young fella down the road to do my garden.

And if none of these damn parasites want to do that job (I'll even train them how to use a lawnmower) then I demand that their benefits are immediately stopped and they be thrown out of their home.


Proving that even the most cunning people can say the most stupid things, Hillary Clinton walked herself into even more doo-doo when she lamented that herself and her husband were 'dead broke' when he left office.

It's an interesting definition of 'dead broke' coming from a woman who trousers a quarter a mil per speech but La Clinton insists she will not return a $225,000 fee for a speech in the University of Nevada.

Instead she says that her speeches are important and value for money because she brings "ideas to people across the country which will help fight income inequality".

Good old Hillary, fighting income inequality – $250,000 a time . . .

Ian O'Doherty

Irish Independent

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