[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/13/jc.art.drb..jpg caption=" President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
In the midst of perhaps the most contentious national debate since the Vietnam War, President Obama has nominated a paid consultant for Burger King to be the nation's top doctor.
Can you spell tone-deaf?
Dr. Regina Benjamin has been paid 10-thousand dollars since last year to serve on a scientific advisory board for the company that brings us the Whopper and the B-K Triple Stacker.
According to the Washington Times, Burger King says the doctor was on the company's nutritional advisory panel... which is meant to "promote balanced diets and active lifestyle choices."
The Department of Health and Human Services says Benjamin was advocating for food that was lower in salt and recommending that nutritional information appear on packaging. They add that she will resign from Burger King once she's confirmed by the Senate as surgeon general and will "continue to promote healthy eating and exercise." You want fries with that?
But, many aren't buying it and see a conflict of interest. After all, Burger King is still a fast food joint. And, in a nation where one-third of adults are obese, fast food restaurants aren't helping any.
Since her nomination, Dr. Benjamin has won support from both sides of the aisle, particularly for running a health clinic for the poor after Hurricane Katrina – but there's also been criticism. As we reported in the Cafferty File last month, some believe that the president's selection of an overweight candidate for the nation's top doctor sent the wrong message. Now we find out she works for Burger King.
SO HERE'S THE QUESTION:What does it say that the president's nominee for surgeon general is a paid adviser to Burger King?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Walt in California
Jack, Thank goodness fast food restaurants are consulting doctor and nutritionists to help provide healthier choices. When I was a kid, you got fries. Now I see that kids have the option of apple slices or yogurt. It is actually possible to get reasonably nutritious meals at fast food places. It's not her fault if a family chooses the Whopper, as you seem to enjoy, over the healthier options that are now available.
Brandon in Olympia, Washington
Every gym teacher I ever had was overweight. How is this any different? Just like so many other things, it's do as I say not as I do.
Deborah in Los Angeles
With all of the critical stuff going on in this country and the world, we're gonna create a crisis here? So now we are going to criticize Dr. Benjamin for advising Burger King to reduce salt content and post nutrition information on their offerings? Isn't that what we want fast food companies to do? Give me a break!
DS in San Diego
Ten thousand dollars? If that's all we have to worry about after Cheney and Paulson, I can start sleeping again now. What happened to looking at people's qualifications?
There is a conflict of interest here. Junk food chain restaurants and giant food corporations are poisoning our lives. They sell cheap food, but at what cost: rampant obesity, diabetes in children, hormone-pumped meat, poultry, and dairy products.
Having a paid advisor from Burger King as a surgeon general is akin to putting Bernie Madoff in charge of your portfolio, letting Michael Vick watch your dogs, or getting your information about health care from Sarah Palin.