Filed Under: Big Fat Lies

A Shark Smells “Blood in the Water”

Acknowledging on Thursday that big-money trial lawyers are already swapping lucrative strategies for applying the Big Tobacco lawsuit plan to fast-food restaurants, tobacco-tort king John Banzhaf told CBS News un-self-consciously that “the lawyers have definitely smelled blood in the water.”

Banzhaf should know that scent when he sniffs it. The George Washington University professor visited with CNN’s Crossfire the following evening to tout his latest effort: a lawsuit against the University of Michigan alleging sexual discrimination, for having more men’s bathrooms than women’s. On that program, CNN’s Robert Novak showed the public a photograph of Banzhaf’s own license plate, which reads “SUE BAST.”

Faced with this unflattering bit of information, Banzhaf acknowledged that it “stands for ‘sue the bastards’” and expressed concern that “if Virginia ever finds out what it stands for, they’ll probably take it away from me.”

Meanwhile, Sean Carter asks in’s Writ journal whether the current lawsuit against Big Food is “a legal case, or just a lengthy whine.” Carter notes the widening chasm between the legal arguments used against tobacco companies and those likely to be front-and-center against McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and KFC. “Although McDonald’s French fries are very good,” he writes, “they are not addictive.” And besides, “no one ever claims to have been affected by second-hand fat.”

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