The Silence of the Lamb Chops

"Say 'compensatory damages' and I'll let you up. Say it!"

Item: Beef Products, Inc. is suing ABC News and others for $1.2 billion for allegedly defaming their product, Lean Finely Textured Beef.  

"Boys! Boys!! Break it up, ya hear!"

“Land sakes, look at the both of you, fightin’ and scrappin’ like a couple of wild monkeys. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

Eldon Roth, what on Earth possessed you? You, the CEO of a successful beef supply company.”

“It’s not so successful anymore, is it, Eldon?”

“Quiet, Jamie Oliver. I’ll get to you in a minute. Eldon, what would your mamma say if she caught sight of you filing that $1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC News, Diane Sawyer, and what all? Why, she’d tan your hide, sure as I’m standing here.

“Young man, you can’t go running to the courts just because someone calls you names or bad mouth’s your company. Just ain’t right.”

“But Jamie called our beef products pink slime, and it’s just not true!”

“Is SO!!”

“Is NOT!!”

“Hush up, the both of you!

“Jamie, you are in no position to be declaring what’s true and what ain’t. You know darn well Eldon’s company don’t use household cleaning products and washing machines to make that … er, that, uh, finely textured beef product. That was a flat-out fabrication, Jamie Oliver, and you know it.

"And Eldon, you shouldn't be trying to hush people up by draggin' 'em before a judge. The First Amendment allows all of us to speak our mind, even people who say dumb and hurtful things. Especially them, come to think of it.

“The problem ain’t that some folk are telling made-up stories about your company. The problem is that you didn’t tell your own story your own self. You knew three years ago that some of the kids was saying mean things about Beef Products Incorporated, but you didn’t hardly lift a finger to set them right. You can’t let other people tell your story for you and expect everything’s gonna work itself out. You got a responsibility to tell your own story.

“Now, this whole mess has gotten clean outta hand. I want you two to shake hands and make up.

“Jamie, no more fibs outta you.”

“Yes’m.”

“And Eldon, I appreciate how you feel. There was a whole bunch a dog-piling-on-the-rabbit and not much truthin'. But trying to silence people with lawsuits ain't right and it ain’t good for your reputation. It starts tongues a waggin’ and rekindles the untruths for Lord knows how long.

“Now you boys go on and skedaddle. You’re prolly late for supper.”