First lady depicted as fat, chowing down hamburger platter in cartoon
February 14th, 2011
02:26 PM ET
12 years ago

First lady depicted as fat, chowing down hamburger platter in cartoon

Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama is often praised for her taut arms and athletic physique. So why is a cartoon depicting her with fat cheeks, a double-chin and chowing down a platter full of hamburgers?

The cartoon appears on The man behind the site is blogger and conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart.

In the cartoon, the first lady is shown saying: "I've stepped up my efforts to control America?s eating habits by telling restaurants to lower portion sizes and fat content." The drawing shows a plump Mrs. Obama working her way through a plate full of hamburgers and fries.

In contrast, President Obama thinly drawn at her side- is shown eating what appears to be light vegetables from a near-empty plate.

"Michelle, I want to get re-elected. What you're doing is only going to annoy a lot of people," the cartoon depicts the president as saying.

"Shut up and pass the bacon!" the first lady shoots back in the drawing.

The real Mrs. Obama is pushing a nationwide initiative to decrease childhood obesity. A website devoted to the effort lays out how the waistlines of American children have been growing at alarming rates over the last 30 years.

"The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake," Mrs. Obama is quoted as saying on the site.

Some conservatives see the campaign as an effort by Mrs. Obama at using her public platform to tell Americans what to eat.

Last year, Sarah Palin told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham: "What [Michelle Obama] is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat."

More recently, Palin let out a slam in a recent episode of her reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." While making s'mores at one point, the former Alaska governor said the marshmallow and chocolate treat is "in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert."

Palin's comments echo public criticism from other conservatives.

Meanwhile, there's been attention given to some of the first couple's food choices. The president and First Lady are known for eating hamburgers, even publicly visiting burger chains like Five Guys. And the menu at the recent White House Super Bowl party had some people talking.

Mrs. Obama addressed the chatter about the menu, a few days later, on NBC's Today Show.

Today Show host Matt Lauer asked the First Lady about the "buffalo wings, the deep dish pizza, potato chips and bratwurst, kielbasa."

Mrs. Obama said: "Yeah. I've always talked about balance in this campaign. I mean, we're really trying to make some changes." She added: "So I do talk openly about my obsession with French fries because I want people to understand the changes that we have to make in our lives are not whole scale changes. Many of the changes for kids are small things, things like adding fruits and vegetables and getting our kids moving and taking–putting more water in the diet."

Reader comments posted after the cartoon are telling.

"I just figured out how MooShelle plans to control Americas eating habits. She plans on eating everything herself," one person posted. "It's really proof for me that we've gotten so hateful toward each other that the Obamas could do nothing that you would agree with. They could kiss a baby and you would find something wrong with it," is the comment from another poster.

In a recent USA Today interview Mrs. Obama denied that she is trying to tell Americans what to eat.

–CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney contributed to this report

–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @shantravisCNN

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. chelka

    No one elected this sad excuse of a "first" ? "lady" (?).
    She's here on a free pass.
    She should keep her mouth shut at the dinner table and in the press.

    February 14, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Adam

    Breitbart is an idiot of the Glenn Beck fashion.

    February 14, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Denise

    The message is moderation. Moderation is lost on the extreme Conservatives you mention here, including the 'critics'. They don't care about the people of this nation, they just care about their checking account and how much fame they can garner making total asses of themselves which they seem to excel at. They do a total disservice to the people that suffer from being overweight. The obesity problem in the US is huge and this problem affects our nation's competetiveness on a global scale, both economically and with the military.

    February 14, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. tnwoman1948

    I am not surprised this type of garbage is on this website. Breitbart is a right-winged media whore who will do anything to insult President Obama and Mrs. Obama. Mrs. Obama is not demanding people give up their bad eating habits, she is suggesting that it is better for us to develop more healthful habits beginning with our children. Also, she is not saying we should give up the foods we love completely, but do not eat them as often. Eat them as occasional treats. I think is it called discipline.

    Mrs. Obama is hardly fat. She is a normal healthy-looking, middle age woman. We in America have been brainwahed to think the ideal female form should resemble an undernourished adolescent male without curves. That is ridiculous because age and hormones working on the metabolism will change most people's bodies.

    February 14, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. dave

    CNN, stop using the terms "turns heads" and "raises brows" on every mildly controversial story in the Ticker. You're not Fox News so please stop trying to be.

    February 14, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. al in memphis

    You know what they say about people who can only make a name for themselves by trying to debase others. I guess this guy Breitbart is in that group of people who Republican say add nothing to society. Looks like he is just entertainment for the willingly irrogrant.
    I wonder how his family conversation go– dad what did you do today. Oh I just spent my time hiding behind a blog talking bad about other people so I could make some money and feel good about myself. Child walks away in shame.

    February 14, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Gaylon Barrow: "Yes you called it on the one who hated white america. ..."

    She never said that; why don't you read her dissertation and find out for yourself?

    Oh, I forgot, you're an ignorant idiot whose brain goes blank after the first two pages of Dick and Jane ...

    February 14, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    My previous post probably won't get posted. I talked some smack about Laura Bush, and her mother-in-law.
    Oh well.
    When trash like Palin gets a "pass", or more than likely a wink and a nod, for trashing the Mrs. Obama you have to stop and wonder. Why is the unspoken line being crossed with this FLOTUS and not with others?
    Michelle Obama is an extremely accomplished woman in her own right; takes excellent care of herself; has a distinct and trendsetting sense of style; and is so classy that the Queen of England deigned to break protocol and warmly interact with her.
    So what is the problem for this little snot Breitbart, and for those in America that are breaking one of our unspoken golden rules when it comes to this First Lady.
    But then again in the 100 plus years of Congress no one EVER yelled out to the President of the United States: You lie! And God knows that while MANY Presidents did lie before him in Congress, Wilson was proved wrong.
    Not even being President and First Lady can save the Obamas from the stigma of being Black in America.

    February 14, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. cecilia

    I understand we have free speech and I believe it is a good thing. but this jerk along with palin, beck limbaugh, coulter and bachmann – really should shut up

    February 14, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. randaxe

    Low blow. Where is the respect nowadays.

    February 14, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. geecee

    This Breitbart guy is just plain hateful. And the comments on the website that featured this bizarre "cartoon" were just as bad, if not worse than the cartoon itself. Guess the insane right-wing conservative racists need to vent their hatred daily so they can feel better about having African-Americans as their President and First Lady. Sad for these bigoted morons that this kind of immature bullying makes their day. What miserable lives they must have if this makes them happy. Their level of ignorance makes me wonder how they function on a daily basis. Breitbart and his minions of haters need some serious mental health treatment.

    February 14, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @ralph: " is amazing how the first lady picked the last thing anyone should object to as her cause,the problem of childhood obesity,and yet the palins and other idiots of this country say she is taking away our freedom to eat dessert. ..."

    That's because the Palins and the other idiots don't have any ideas or policies that actually work, so all they can do is try to stir up people's unthinking fears and hatreds of the Obama's and the President's policies.

    This is what happens when a group of people, in this case Republicans, are PROVEN TO BE INCOMPETENT.

    February 14, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. jda

    I'm sorry, but you can call her a hypocrite all you want. It doesn't change the fact that Americans are some of the unhealthiest, fattest people on the planet. Over 30 percent of youth and adolescents are considered obese. If the Obamas can enjoy fast food and stay in shape more power to them, I really don't see what this has to do with changing how healthy this country's citizens are. The cartoon just seems like a low-blow.

    February 14, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. GailS

    Michele could walk on water and the only thing they would say is that she couldn't swim. These people would be funny if they weren't so pathetic.

    February 14, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. gw

    I guess it also fits his racist stereotypes. The Obama-haters have no shame. They are mean-spirited bigots who demean a great family who are role models for Americans.

    February 14, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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