A San Francisco blogger posts a vicious attack on the entire meat production industry. Nothing new there — only his hatred is triggered by one company buying another. Seriously.
Somewhere, the late, great Hall of Famer Jimmy Dean is turning in his grave.
HOFer, as in a Member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Meat Industry Hall of Fame — although for accuracy sake, let the record reflect that Dean was elected by his peers to the latter institution before he was (posthumously) recognized by the stuffed shirts in Nashville.
Why would he be agitated? Because some no-name wanna-be journalist smeared one of the most prestigious brands in the industry, a franchise that the legendary entertainer spent the better part of his career building from the ground up, starting from little more than a bright idea.
And Dean wasn’t one of those celebrities who loans out his name to some third-party marketer that capitalizes on his fame for a cut of the deal. As was true with his recording sessions, television shows and hundreds of live performances over the years – he was hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves, cowboy boots-on-the-plant floor-entrepreneur. And when the Jimmy Dean brand faltered in the late 1980s due to misguided marketing by then-owner Sara Lee, he personally stepped in to film a series of TV spots that injected new vigor into the product’s image and put black ink back into the line’s sales performance.
Now, enter one Mark Morford, a blogger who writes for SFGate.com, a San Francisco-based Hearst Communications property. I’m not aware of any journalistic credentials he may have earned, but I’ll give him credit for one thing: his vicious, venomous diatribe against Tyson Foods was as thorough an anti-industry rant as I’ve read in quite awhile.
So what was Tyson’s “crime” that prompted the linguistic middle finger? Announcing the acquisition of Hillshire Brands, the current incarnation of the Sara Lee legacy, which includes the Jimmy Dean line (and Sara Lee, Ball Park and of course, the Sara Lee meat brands).
Morford fantasized that the deal triggered a “weird, painful spasm in the national colon.”
It apparently produced a visceral reaction for Mr. Morford, since he posted close to a thousand words of hate-filled screed taking the company and everyone associated with it to task for a litany of evil that was breathtaking in its scope and scale.
“Something rather dire has transpired,” he wrote. “Something creepy and banal, fatty and soaked in synthetic hormones, blasted with bleach, injected with filler, ground up with various leftover animal bits, grease, feces, oil fumes, a few million fingernails, lost and desiccated dreams.”