(Becket Adams) The country let out a collective “Gross!” last year after details and images of “lean finely textured beef” (i.e. “pink slime”) started to make their way into nightly news reports.
And although America’s negative reaction to the images seems reasonable, the extremely unfortunate downside to this story has been the loss of jobs and revenues at Beef Products Inc., the company that produces the meat product.
“[T]he South Dakota company’s revenues have plummeted from more than $650 million to about $130 million a year, and three of its plants are shuttered,” according to a recent Reuters report.
And all of this after the product was in widespread use. It’s not like it was new thing; we just hadn’t seen it in production before.
So perhaps it’s not that surprising that BPI officials blame the loss of jobs and revenues on the ABC News program that popularized the term “pink slime,” meaning they are looking directly at this woman:
“BPI hired a high-powered Chicago trial lawyer and in September slapped the network, star anchor Diane Sawyer and other defendants with a 27-count lawsuit that seeks at least $1.2 billion in damages – about one-fifth of the fiscal 2012 net income of American Broadcasting Co parent Walt Disney Co.,” Reuters notes
“Now, the case, which many observers initially wrote off as a public relations ploy by a desperate company, is shaping up as one of the most high-stakes defamation court battles in U.S. history,” the report adds.
In short, BPI is dead serious about its lawsuit and they’re coming after ABC and Diane Sawyer.
“The court fight could put modern television journalism on trial and highlight the power of language in the Internet Age,” Reuters notes.
Indeed, as mentioned in the above, it was after her use of “pink slime” that the term caught on and went viral.