Friday, June 8, 2012

A Peek Inside the A.P. Newsroom; Taco Bell Goes "Upscale"

As far as I can tell, The Associated Press (AP) is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yum Brands, Inc.—also the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut.If that’s not the case, you really have to wonder why the AP is putting out onto the wire what appears to be a verbatim press release written by the marketing department of Taco Bell. The title? "Taco Bell Introducing Upscale Menu Items."

Reading this article, you get the feeling that the intrepid AP journalists were, perhaps, told to “cover more Latin American news.”  After all, the Mexican presidential elections are only a month away, and student uprisings, and… nevermind.

As it happens, I have been made privy to a secret transcript of a conversation recorded in the AP Newsroom on Wednesday, at 4:15 PM:

AP Journalist One (J1): Man, Latin America is SOOOOOoooo boring!
AP Journalist Two (J2): Dude, you’re totally right. Why don’t they ever have any news that involves anyone important, like that chick from The Bachelorette?
J1:  Yeah, who cares about Mexico anyway?
J2:  I like their food, tho. What are those deep-fried things? They’re like little tacos, but in a roll? Like a little deep-fried cigarette?
J1:   Jalapeno poppers?
J2:  No, but those are AWEsome….Those other things. Chalupas? Chimichangas?
J1:  Man, I could go for some jalapeno poppers right now!
J2:  Me, too. But I was supposed to write some shit about Latin America....
J1:  Hey...why don't we "think outside the bun"? By "the bun," of course, I mean, "actual news"...
J2:  Real news is for pussies.
J1: We can just re-print this crappy press release we got from Taco Bell Marketing Headquarters, and call it a day. Taco Bell, that's Mexican news, right?
J1:  Close enough. Then we can cruise on down to Chili’s for some half-price Margaritas!
J2:  Is Chili’s Mexican?
J1:  Totally. Or whatever. It's happy hour 'till 6, anyway.

And.... SCENE.
"I'd like a side of Rainbow Chard with that..."
But, regardless of how this came to be "news" that is printed in "newspaper," is there anyone who seriously thinks that Taco Bell customers are clamoring for healthy dining options? This is the place that--as noted in the Taco Bell Press Release article written by totally legitimate journalists--sold 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos (tacos with shells made out of the same crap that's in Doritos) in only ten weeks! (Some have hinted that wasn't their idea, but, rather, the U.S. Government's plan to prop up the flagging acid-indigestion medication industry, but let's leave that aside.)

If you're at Taco Bell and you're not already drunk to the point that you're hitting on the cardboard cutout of a NASCAR driver in a sombrero propped up by the entrance,  then you're in a deep chasm of self-loathing that is going to necessarily preclude healthy dietary choices.

NOTE TO TACO BELL EXECS: Nobody is going to purchase a Doritos Locos Taco "with a side of sauteed organic kale."

Not that this is an option. Instead. it's more likely to be a Doritos Locos Taco with "NEW! Non-GMO salsa packets!" But it's on the side, in opaque packaging, so patrons won't have to come into contact with anything that might evoke unpleasant memories of actual fruits or vegetables they may have seen in the past. It's one thing to be "loco," but forcing people to look at vegetables would be taking the whole thing a little bit too far....

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