Meat Meets Colbert

Cindy Zimmerman

A word of advice to agricultural lobbyists – throw your media training out the window if you agree to do an interview with Stephen Colbert.

American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle was the main dish Tuesday night on the Colbert Nation “Know Your Lobby” segment, which profiles lobbying organizations.

“Although I’ve had a lot of tough interviews in my day, that was definitely the toughest and most unique interview experience of my career,” Boyle said. “I was honored to play straight man to the hilarious Stephen Colbert and to demonstrate that while meat processing is serious business, we can be good sports.” AMI reports that Boyle’s interview with the comedian was two hours long, edited down to a four minute segment for the show.

The piece generated some conversation among meat industry PR types who questioned whether the comedy segment was good or bad for the industry, since the issue of E. coli was brought up by Colbert and some people might consider the program “serious news” as opposed to entertainment. If so, those people have an IQ equal to a bacteria, because this was hysterically funny, especially the intro by Colbert that featured his “pledge of allegiance” to a bacon flag: “I pledge allegiance to the meat of the United Steaks of America. And to the ribeye for which it broils, one bacon under God, with liver and onions for all!”

Colbert starts his interview segment with Boyle by chomping down on a huge turkey leg, and ends it by asking if AMI would endorse the eating of people if there were no more animals on the planet. “The American Meat Institute would not support a policy of cannibalism,” says Boyle with a straight face.

Watch it here on line.

Food, Media