Gov. Christie greenlights fat bashing

Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013, 3:06 pm
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By Kent Bush
Aren't fat people funny?

Admit it, when you see someone who is around 300 pounds, you can't help but giggle.

Fat people deserve to be mocked. They must want to be fat because, if they didn't, they would put down the doughnuts and pick up a dumbbell and do something about it.

Sure, making fun of fat people compounds the problem. Sure, the jokes are all recycled and about as creative as a typewriter instruction manual. Sure, if you said something similar about someone's religion, race or sexual orientation it would be considered hate speech.

But it is about fat people, so it considered hilarious, no hateful.

"Torturing overweight people is one of the last acceptable forms of bigotry," said Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D. I know some of you will not assume that just because she is a Ph.D that the good doctor is right. Aren't people who get upset over fat jokes are just super-sensitive. Dr. Shurman-Kauflin said the problem was the mocker, not their victims.

"Those who attack fat people are bullies and predators, pure and simple," she said.

But don't fat people really welcome the super funny jokes? After all, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on the "Late Show with David Letterman" this week and he told the comedian that his weight was "fair game" for attack.

He even congratulated the host because about 40 percent of his Christie-related fat jokes are funny. That would be a higher rate than Letterman's other topics, but it is also probably an overly generous estimate.

The fat jokes are so funny that when Letterman questioned the governor about why he hadn't tried to lose weight, Christie pulled out a doughnut and started eating it during the interview.

That is so funny. Not only is he fat, he is eating a doughnut on television.

Christie might actually not mind being overweight or being made fun of for it. Maybe his political success is enough to keep his self-esteem at appropriate levels. I doubt it.

Having been there myself, I know that he is probably trying to make the bullies stop picking on him by convincing them that it doesn't bother him. I would wager that he is overcompensating to hide the pain that being a popular governor of New Jersey but being best known for his weight. If he can make them think he enjoys the friendly ribbing, they will move on to other targets to bully.

You can see that it bothers him because the governor held a press conference the next day to address how being overweight doesn't affect how he governs. He told the reporters that he has a plan to lose weight.

"Talk to anyone who has struggled with their weight and they will tell you that every day, every week, every month, there is a plan," Christie said.

Of course, if you talk to anyone who has struggled with their weight, they will also tell you that the governor giving permission to all of the idiots of the world to make fun of them wasn't the best idea.

I can't believe Christie went on television with that schtick. How many people just got the green light to continue or begin bullying people who have weight issues?

Many people with weight issues overeat to compensate for depression. Making fun of them will help a lot.

Christie must be a smart guy. You can't rise to the level he has in politics if you aren't.

But just because he doesn't mind fat jokes – or at least he wants us to think that – doesn't mean he should make it open season on fat people for all of the amateur comedians out there.
Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta, Kan., Gazette.


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1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

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