About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    By kyle | July 30, 2013

    Now The Telegraph has picked up my McDouble piece. Also I was on BBC Radio 5 today, but I haven’t listened to how they edited me. (The interviewer was slightly hostile and asked whether McDonald’s has paid me or promised me anything. Semi-reasonable question –that isn’t the way journalism works, at least in the US–, but the answer is of course no.) I made the Wall Street Journal’s “Notable & Quotable” column. The Huffington Post UK took a bite but is under the impression I write for “The New York Times.” A nurse (who hasn’t heard about the new study questioning the value of a low-sodium diet) took a poke at me on Yahoo. (Yes, the McDouble is high in fat, but it doesn’t follow that those who eat McDoubles maintain high-fat diets overall. Nor does it follow that if you eat a high-fat diet, you’ll necessarily be fat. Case in point: me.) Reason’s Nick Gillespie called me “always entertaining” in a blog post. I’m on Fark with the tag “Obvious.”

    Lesson: people get very, very angry when you tell them McDonald’s food isn’t going to kill you.

    Topics: Food | 22 Comments »

    22 Responses to “Viral!”

    1. lh Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Good work “getting their knickers in a twist.”

      By “their” I mean that panoply of pantloads on both sides of the pond… the America haters, nutritional nannies, and cranky commies.

      I like the comment on the newspaper site that asked “who let this get published?” Our first and second amendments really rile the Brits.

    2. Obama bin Biden Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      NYers like burgers but they prefer a Weinerrrrrr!! WHooHOO!

    3. Union Jack Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      finally, smith fiction gets wide audience

    4. Union Jack Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      wonder when was last time smith set foot in mickey ds

      and if smith has kids—last time he brought home happy meal for em

    5. Kyle Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Bizarre ad hominem argument. Answer: last week. (Double cheeseburger in hand on way to 2 Guns July 24).

    6. Union Jack Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      if u have kids, you bring em happy meals? they mcd fans?

      bet the family goes there all the time—-

      no adhominem mr smith—love me some mcd’s—had bigmac last week

    7. Union Jack Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      bet if smith has kiddies theyve never set foot in mcds—not once

      wonder if anyone would bet against that

    8. Moe Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Eating a McDouble every once in a while is no big deal. Yes it’s cheap and it will get you through a day without starving. I applaud McDonalds for offering cheap meals for the population to digest. occasionally. The problem is that some poor people have increasingly fewer options when it comes to food, and this piece’s exaltation is a immoral lie. I just hope we can all agree to help pick up the tab when all these future beneficiaries need medical attention for their morbidly obese frames or failing hearts/body. If we want to continue to be a nation that refuses to offer health care for large swaths of the population, then at least let’s promote better living through consumption. There are certainly better alternatives out there, but then again that would go against your transparent cultivated narrative. i don’t understand half of what Union Jack says, but his “Smith fiction” stabs at the heart of your blatant insincerity.

    9. Union Jack Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 7:56 pm


    10. Peter Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      I really enjoyed your sensible piece. I may only make to McDonalds twice a year but I love it. A little of what you fancy does you good, as the Brits say.

    11. Moe Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      And since I studied economics I know the difference between positive statements and normative statements in the field. The latter, which is what your sources use, is called nothing more than an opinion in the real world. Reading two or three excerpts, it’s obviously apparent that they belong to one of the countless neoclassical groups. Nothing wrong with that, but then again, your just cherry picking people who’s views jive with your own. It’s misleading to assume that they have some objective knowledge on these issues. The truth is that eating McDoubles every day will probably kill you quicker (unless you were born with Keith Richard genes, which I then say god bless you and have another) than a good chunk of other foods in the same price range. And when all these adherents to McDonalds start rushing themselves to emergency rooms then we have a real problem. That one dollar they spent haphazardly is now biting all of us in the butt since healthcare is not guaranteed in this country. And then we cry and moan as the demand curve for medical needs continues to shift right, and affording doctors becomes increasingly unattainable for many.

    12. kishke Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      The problem is that some poor people have increasingly fewer options when it comes to food,

      Sure, b/c the food stamp program has shrunk so alarmingly in recent years!

    13. Union Jack Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      clearly mr smith has a kid or kids

      clearly mr smith’s kid/kids’ve never set foot in mcd’s

      wonder why

      mr smith’s silence = qed

      smith turns out to be better @ fiction than we’d thought

    14. DOA Says:
      July 30th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      Misleading title– as McDonald’s is far from being the greatest food in
      human history. But, Kyle reiterates the same point that Food,
      Inc. and several other topical documentaries and articles have over the
      recent past: eating healthy is expensive. There is an affordability
      factor for lower income communities. It’s not responsible to say McDs
      is healthier– unless, by that, you mean that it’s healthier than not
      eating. The whole organic movement has become big business which
      targets high-income consumers like those mentioned in Smith’s article.
      However, demonizing wealthy soccer-mom types doesn’t change the
      nutrient content of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, fried on a griddle with
      hi-cal oils and most often with hi-cal and sodium condiments added.
      The truth is that, given the choice between feeding your kids two
      apples or a burger and fries for dinner, with the cost being the same,
      it’s not much of a choice. Cheap food isn’t as healthy and healthy food
      is more expensive. Therein, lies the problem.

    15. Kyle Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 8:13 am

      UJ, Exactly how much do you want to bet?

    16. kishke Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 10:12 am

      The truth is that, given the choice between feeding your kids two
      apples or a burger and fries for dinner, with the cost being the same,
      it’s not much of a choice. Cheap food isn’t as healthy and healthy food is more expensive.

      Nonsense. Throw away the bun and skip the fries, and you have a perfectly fine piece of meat, as well as a healthful slice of cheese. Protein and fat, zero carbs. Far healthier than two apples, full of sugar, and almost no nutrients.

    17. Union Jack Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 10:12 am

      story of smith kid(s) in mcds makebelieve

      never happened for sure

    18. SK Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Bananas (non-organic) are 19 cents each here in Southern California. Dollar stores are stocked with food for a dollar or less per can or other package.

      The phony part of this discussion is contrasting McDonald’s food with organic food from a farmers market. There are many other options, even for the poor.

    19. Kyle Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 10:53 am

      mutter mutter mutter mutter
      shift key on my computer busted
      smith obvs a flaming liberal
      despite attacking them every week
      mutter mutter mutter mutter

    20. Don Reed Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      “It’s true! He DOES work for the NY Times!” — Nancy Pelosi.

      “And I thought I was THE guy in the Big O administration who gets these things delightfully wrong. Imagine having to work with her.” — Biden (Veep).

      “Biden you asshat, you haven’t done a stitch of work in five years. Pipe down!” — Nancy

      “Your table will be set up in the White House kitchen the next time we have a Ronald McDonald’s cancer benefit on the premises!” Joe The Veep.

      “They FRACK the cows to get the meat to make the Double Pounders!!!” — Former House Speaker in vegan straight jacket (on the back, her medical face-lift sponsor’s ad) being dragged away.

      Kyle, meanwhile, is wondering how many more movies like the “Smurfs 2 (Regurgitated)” he can sit thru and not end up sounding like Joe. And Nancy.

    21. Don Reed Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Meanwhile, Kyle, 24 hours later, according to Puff & Huff, you’re still working for NYT (the article is uncorrected).

      Maybe that’s the biggest standing insult in their repertoire and, mistake or not, plan to keep it as is.

    22. Don Reed Says:
      July 31st, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Now, it is time to go to White Castle for some Smurf-sized DP’s.