Thursday, May 17, 2007

Super-Sized Hypocrisy With Extra Fries

There are plenty of reasons to slam Corporate Red Bull. Marketing and promotion of the current squad and the 2007 season is horrible, the game atmosphere at Giants Stadium is pathetic and the television broadcast situation is spotty at best. But when the crooks at St. Barnabas Health Care start piling on, things are going way too far.

MLS Underground (an excellent soccer blog, btw) gets the ball rolling with a post on St. Barnabas's supposed reasons for parting company with Corporate Red Bull:
From MLS Underground:
"MLS Underground has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation that St. Barnabas decided to drop their sponsorship of the Red Bulls because they didn't want to be associated with the drink after which the Red Bulls are named. The Health Care company believed that the organization was pushing the drink on children and because they consider the drink unhealthy, St. Barnabas made the decision to sever ties."

So, according to this, St. Barnabas Health Care is all about the children and what is healthy for them, right? And to associate with a company that tries to hook our precious babies on nasty, bad products was just too much for the altruistic, wonderful folks at St. Barnabas Health Care, right?

Ha! Hypocrisy, Thy Name is St. Barnabas!

As anyone who has ever entered St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, NJ would know, those folks could not care less about pumping up tykes with crap food and drink. Otherwise, why the hell would they have a freakin' McDonalds in their hospital? And this nonsense about healthy selections and other items available in the cafeteria is hooey. The hospital MickeyD's is packed with kids scarfing down fat-laden burgers and fries and the cash registers ring out in joy during every purchase.

Trust us, parents with a loved one actually in that hospital are hard-pressed telling Junior, "Thanks again for being a trooper while your little sister is getting ready for surgery, son, but sorry, you absolutely cannot have the Shrek Happy Meal you've seen a million times on TV. Buck up and have an apple."

The Red Bull drink may be junk (we at Red Bull Rising have posited that opinion several times) but it is an indisputable fact that McDonald's has pushed more unhealthy products on children than Red Bull can ever in a million years imagine to sell. Odd, isn't it, that St. Barnabas trots out the "protect the children" talking point when it's Red Bull, but they have no problem entering a far, far more profitable business arrangement with McDonald's?

Or perhaps, if you care to learn a little bit about St. Barnabas Health Care, it isn't odd at all.

From the NY Times:
"By systematically inflating the bills for their sickest elderly patients, the prosecutors said, the executives of the St. Barnabas Health Care System bilked the federal government of at least $630 million from 1995 to 2003. The hospital system ... and its executives who had been threatened with criminal prosecution ... agreed to repay the federal government $265 million."

Corporate Red Bull may or may not be bad guys, but in the interests of fairness and decency, we can all agree that until federal prosecutors find they've robbed over $600 Million Dollars from the American Taxpayer, they at least ain't as bad as St. Barnabas Health Care. Now, pass the fries and let's get back to soccer.

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