One hell of a birthday gift

25th January 2008

One hell of a birthday gift

The-F-Word turns one year old today – hurrah! I meant to celebrate the anniversary with a video shot Balloonson my brand spankin’ new MiniDV, but to be honest, I had no clue what the date was today until just a few hours ago.

So, no video blogs, at least, not just yet. But the blog is not entirely without its birthday dues. I received a call today inviting me to be on Fox’s Morning Show with Mike and Juliet on Monday morning in New York. The fabulous Mo from Big Fat Deal will be joining me in response to the New York Times article on fat acceptance bloggers.

Wait, wait. Here’s the best part. We’re on with a Dr. Jennifer Ashton and….. drum roll…. Meme Roth.

I had vowed never to mention Roth’s name on my blog – she’s vile and I don’t want my blog’s good karma tainted with her hate-mongering – so I never thought I’d ever share oxygen with the woman. But the chance to promote the idea of fat and body size acceptance on a national platform is too good to pass up.

The show’s producer has promised to provide me with Roth’s talking points before the show, but we can probably deduce the bulk of them already – “fat’s unhealthy, fat’s ugly, I shouldn’t have to pay more for fat people’s health care” ad nauseum. I pointed out to the show’s producer that people engage in all sorts of activities that increase their change of injury or illness and we don’t deny those people health care. Women who visit tanning beds have an increased risk of skin cancer, I told her. People who eat red meat have an increased risk for colon and stomach cancers.

“Yeah, and what if Meme blows out her knee one day exercising?” pointed out the producer. “I never thought about that before.”

I suddenly felt much better about the interview.

So, my husband and I are flying out Sunday night to do the show live at 9 a.m. Monday morning. The producer asked me if I would be willing to do a pre-recorded segment to air before the show telling my “story.” Hmm… an additional 5 minutes talking time without Roth and company to interrupt me and try and prove me wrong? Okay! So, a camera crew is coming to my home on Saturday to film yours truly and maybe her introvert husband. This is gonna’ be real great, considering our upstairs landing is in the state of remodeling and looks like a bomb exploded.

I have to admit, when I was told the show aired on Fox, I had my concerns. My Republican, conservative brother will never let me live it down – as he points out, “I watch Fox, but at least I’m not on Fox.” But I’ve watched a few clips of past shows, including one on the Kimkin’s Diet scam and another where Joy Nash and Kelly Bliss totally one-upped Meme Roth in the wake of Nash’s Fat Rant video. The show seems pretty fair, with both sides able to present their views.

I do have to wonder about just how fairly our views will be presented by a show that recently sent an overweight girl to fat camp so she can begin “the first day of the rest of her life.”

I’m really nervous about this and just hope I’m able to offer quick and clever rebuts to the doctor and Roth. Fat acceptance is truly a radical notion for so many people. I don’t expect to change the minds of everyone, but if my message reaches even a few people, I’ve been successful.

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 12:13 am and is filed under Arts and Music, Fat Acceptance, Personal, Pop Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 45 responses to “One hell of a birthday gift”

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  1. 1 On January 25th, 2008, Arwen said:

    Yay! Good luck!
    Although I must say I’m happy not to have ever seen Meme Roth before. And I will look to avoid her in the future.

  2. 2 On January 25th, 2008, Charlynn said:

    Holy crap! This is awesome! I will definitely be watching Fox News for what may be the first and only time I’ll willingly be watching the network. :)

  3. 3 On January 25th, 2008, Charlynn said:

    Oh, and happy birthday to The-F-Word!

  4. 4 On January 25th, 2008, Harriet said:

    Knock ‘em dead, Rachel!

  5. 5 On January 25th, 2008, Meowser said:

    What time is that on? I might actually be able to stand the sight of M*M* R*** if you’re going to be on with her.

  6. 6 On January 25th, 2008, Fatadelic said:

    Go Rachel!

  7. 7 On January 25th, 2008, vesta44 said:

    Yay!! I’m so glad they contacted you for this. They emailed and asked me, but there was no way I could do it (good thing, too, I can’t stand MMR and probably would want to deck her just to shut her up… DH has to work that day, so I’ll be up early enough to catch this, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes.

  8. 8 On January 25th, 2008, Emo said:

    Happy Birthday! You are so smart and neato and articulate I’m sure you’ll do great, though I know how scary debating can be. Oh, I really hope someone puts this on YouTube (please!)

  9. 9 On January 25th, 2008, chaoticheartt said:

    Not being from the US, I had never heard of MeMe Roth but after seeing most of the video you linked to (for some reason it wouldn’t load so I couldn’t see all of it) I don’t think I could stand to be in the same room as that woman for more than about 3 second! I wish you the best with the segment, knock ‘em dead!

  10. 10 On January 25th, 2008, littlem said:


    OK. Just two things. ‘Cause I’m sure you have your own talking points.

    Wear strong, solid colors on top. Think primary – red, yellow, blue (probably royal blue is best; goes with your hair; less “confrontational” than the other colors.)

    SHORT SENTENCES. Subject, Verb, Object. We progressives tend to get caught up in the profundity of our genius. And we’re smart, but it’s one of the reasons Senator Kerry was defeated. His sentences were TOO LONG for the American sound-bite mind.

    Plus, it’s Fox.

    (If you want to know how come I know all this, it’s cause I do it for a living, in a way. But you don’t have a lot of time for prep. Oh — one more thing — ASK AGAIN if anyone else will be there in your segment. Then if they’re honest with you, you can be prepared, and if they’re not honest, you don’t have to answer.)

    *fingers crossed*

  11. 11 On January 25th, 2008, pennylane said:

    Mike and Juliet are really Fox Lite. They’re very conventional wisdom and they tend to just let people air their opinions which can be good or bad. (Dear lord I’m admitting I watch their show. And while working out no less!). But over the last few weeks they’ve been running segments on “diet scams” in which they look at diet pills, etc. They tend to be very deferential to medical professionals/expertise. I seem to remember them being put off by Roth’s comments about Jordin Sparks. I’m sure you’ll be fantastic.

    And for your conservative brother, you’re ON Fox but you’re on the Fox with The Simpsons, not the one with John Gibson and Bill O’Reilly. So you have more in common with Lisa Simpson than you do with a Fox Babe. :)

  12. 12 On January 25th, 2008, Michelle said:

    Rachel, Happy BlogBirthday! Also, congratulations and good luck with the FOX Stint. You are one of the front runners here in the fatosphere because you care so much and I think you would do a great job in conveying our messages. Good luck!

  13. 13 On January 25th, 2008, Paul said:

    This promises to be a heck of a segment. TiVo is set and ready to go! Rachel, you’ll do well – have fun in NYC!

  14. 14 On January 25th, 2008, Jae said:

    Rachel, congratulations. You’re a brilliant, witty, person and I know that you will do an excellent job! I am a terrible public speaker, so I don’t really have advice, but if I had anything to offer it would be, just speak your mind and know that karma is on your side!

    We are so proud of you!

  15. 15 On January 25th, 2008, cynth said:

    What a fantastic gift and opportunity! I trust someone will make the segment available online so we can all see it? hint hint :)

    Oh and happy birthday F-Words!

  16. 16 On January 25th, 2008, Tari said:

    Wowzers! Congrats on both counts, and don’t sweat the Roth. She bangs the same old drum every time, so it’s not like she’ll have something fresh and interesting to say. I say the best way to couneract her hysterics is to laugh at her. Plus, you know, just be your fabulous self.

  17. 17 On January 25th, 2008, Kate Harding said:

    Woohoo! You’re going to be awesome!

  18. 18 On January 25th, 2008, OTM said:

    How much do you rule? Enough to get me to watch Fox, that’s how much you rule.

    I am so excited for you and for the whole movement. What fantastic exposure!

  19. 19 On January 25th, 2008, Fillyjonk said:

    You’re going to kick her ass. I can’t wait.

  20. 20 On January 25th, 2008, Lindsay said:

    That woman is a fat-hating bigot and I cannot wait to see you shoot her down! And someone YouTube that, because that show is going to be The Shit.

    I say force-feed Roth your fist, but then you’d lose a perfectly good hand.

  21. 21 On January 25th, 2008, Becky said:

    Wow, Kelly Bliss is awesome.

    Happy anniversary Rachel. Kick some ass on the show!

  22. 22 On January 25th, 2008, Fillyjonk said:

    BTW if you ask Me! Me! about her credentials on camera I will shower you with gifts and affection.

  23. 23 On January 25th, 2008, Sandy said:

    Congratulations on all accounts!!!

    Here’s my 2 cents:
    Prepare strong, short soundbytes (“talking points”) in advance and stick to them. Practice saying them with conviction. If you get flustered, fall back on them. Never feel you have to respond to exactly what Meme might say – you can redirect the conversation to your points. Don’t let her call the shots.

    And be absolutely dead certain that what you say is sound because anything that isn’t will come back to discredit anything else you say. (Avoid repeating that red meat causes cancer myth, for instance).

    And have fun!!

  24. 24 On January 25th, 2008, celsou said:

    Congratulations Rachel! I can’t tell you how much your blog has helped me on my journey to self acceptance. I will actually watch Fox news (with butterflies in my tummy) just to see you put MeMe Roth back in her place:)

  25. 25 On January 25th, 2008, Nicole said:

    This is great! Congratulations and good luck. You’ve got all of us behind you!!!

  26. 26 On January 25th, 2008, jamboree said:

    How exciting! Get this on YouTube post haste, so I can watch it in the UK.

    Break a leg!! Or, preferably, MMR’s!!!

  27. 27 On January 25th, 2008, FashionableNerd said:

    Yay! Congrats and good luck!

  28. 28 On January 25th, 2008, JeanC said:

    Happy 1st blogaversary :)

    So sorry you have to be in the same room as MeMememememe…., but you’ll do great. Every time that woman opens her mouth it exposes her as a twit who hasn’t a clue.

  29. 29 On January 25th, 2008, Thorn said:

    ZOMG! Holy crap!

    Gotta get my Tivo programed!

    Good luck and give ‘em hell!!

  30. 30 On January 25th, 2008, Beth said:

    I am a theater geek. So I will say “Break a Leg”

  31. 31 On January 25th, 2008, CarolK said:

    Good job Rachel!!!
    Don’t be nervous, you will do a great job.
    We are so proud of you

  32. 32 On January 25th, 2008, Fat Chick said:

    CONGRATS AND THANK YOU!!! This is soooo great, and it will be the first time I’ve ever tuned in to Fox!

  33. 33 On January 25th, 2008, Rose said:

    Show no mercy! Kick her ass ten times ’til Tuesday! I’ll be setting the DVR for you.

  34. 34 On January 25th, 2008, Rachel said:

    Ack. Thanks for the advice everyone. The camera crew is coming tomorrow at noon, so we have to clean like mad. The history department at my university is also so, so proud and excited, too.

    I’m excellent at memorizing information. I gave the commencement speech at my college graduation before 13,000 people – and delivered the 5-minute speech completely from memory. In high school, I won a speech competition where I had to memorize one 10-minute speech and four 3-5 minute speeches. But, I didn’t have to worry about curveballs and unexpected questions with those speeches as I do on the show.

    Now I just have to decide what to wear (I leave everything for last minute).

  35. 35 On January 25th, 2008, kitten_kat said:

    Oh how sweet! I hope everything goes well!

  36. 36 On January 25th, 2008, littlem said:

    “Now I just have to decide what to wear (I leave everything for last minute).”

    Again, primary colors. (Preferably blue; goes with your hair.)

    No small patterns, no squiggly patterns, no checks.

    More makeup than you ordinarily wear; otherwise the camera will wash you out. (Ask if they have a makeup artist for you in the green room.)

    SHORT SENTENCES. Subject. Verb. Object.
    SPEAK SLOWLY. Makes you sound authoritative.

    Go get ‘em.

  37. 37 On January 25th, 2008, red_delicious said:

    “Fat acceptance is truly a radical notion for so many people.”
    Even other fattiez hate on us, unfortunately.

  38. 38 On January 25th, 2008, Alex said:

    I have to say, I am so glad you’re going to be representing for the FM. More witty, inspiring, and talented people need to be up there showing that “fat” is more than just a word describing weight. It is beautiful too. Will be eagerly waiting to see you on T.V.! Good luck :)

  39. 39 On January 26th, 2008, jane said:

    Delurking to say congratulations on both the anniversary and the invite!

    I’d never heard of either Meme Roth or Kelly Bliss until watching the video you linked, and I have to say: Meme Roth–who the hell is this woman and why has no one ever taught her about logical fallacies? Kelly Bliss–where’s she been all my life?

    You and Mo will knock ‘em dead.

  40. 40 On January 26th, 2008, Stacy said:

    I’m a producer and I have some advice. Try not to be defensive. Whenever it’s your turn to talk, repeat the question/comment that you are responding to, and then give your “answer,” which should be your actual “message,” regardless of what the question was.

    For example –

    Them: why should we have to foot the bill for the insurance costs for those of you who are overweight?

    You: you’re asking why taxpayers should have to pay for healthcare for others? The fact is that people are a range of heights and weights each with their own combination of inherited and acquired health concerns, and science shows those at the lower,i/> end of the scale actually have a higher risk for disease and suffer from higher mortality rates. [Throw in a stat.] There are so many myths that have been propagated by faulty studies where relevant data is excluded and inaccuracies prevail, that the truth has been lost in a sea of misinformation. The REALITY is that people can be healthy whatever their size, and this is the important thing to remember. Real Science has shown this time and again. [And then throw out some stats.}

    See how you didn’t answer the question because it isn’t the point? Instead you used the floor to put your own info out there.

    Keep a blue card in your lap if you can, or keep a list of notes and refer to them. If your whole body will be on camera, refer people to your site and say that you’ll post the study/relevant details there after the interview. OR post them in advance and then refer people to them.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!!!!

    P.S. There’s a great book entitled “How to Think on Your Feet” that you should pick up if you have the chance.
    P.P.S. The other thing is to try and keep your energy down in your stomach. I know this sounds weird, but put your energy in your belly and your feelings where your heart is (you will seem more legit than if you have a tight/nervous stomach and all your energy in your chest.)

  41. 41 On January 26th, 2008, Sarah said:

    Happy first blogging birthday and happy first television interview.
    I adore this blog and cannot wait to see you sharing your wisdom with the less enlightened.
    Please put it up on your website for international readers.

  42. 42 On January 28th, 2008, Fillyjonk said:

    How’re you feeling? I’m all worked up just from watching it so I can only imagine. I thought you were great, and I cannot express how much I desperately want your hair, but there was a lot of bullying going on.

  43. 43 On January 28th, 2008, Krista said:

    I saw it, and you rocked! Congratulations on a great interview. You looked fabulous, and were well spoken :)

  44. 44 On January 28th, 2008, cynth said:

    I saw the show this morning, you guys were great!

  45. 45 On February 2nd, 2008, MSeeger said:

    Okay, I have to post a relevant Robotnik-themed Youtube Poop, or else I’ll explode because this is exactly the right place for it.


    Stupendous work, Rachel and Mo! It’s nice to actually meet the people I read from!

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