ABC 'Pink Slime' trial opens with attacks on media bias

(HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) — Where’s the beef? The question brings to mind the popular 1980s slogan of the fast-food chain Wendy’s that made its way into politics courtesy of a 1984 presidential debate. More than three decades later, that question is again being raised in a high-stakes, politics-infused showdown between Beef Products Inc. and ABC News.

On Monday, both sides presented opening statements in what could become the biggest defamation trial in American history. With billions of dollars on the line, BPI told jurors how a series of ABC News reports in March 2012 about its product, officially called “lean finely textured beef” (LFTB) and dubbed “pink slime” by critics, is to blame for the loss of 75 percent of its business. ABC, in turn, defended itself with a scathing attack on BPI’s product while defending the integrity of its own journalism.

The proceeding, expected to last a couple of months, is happening in Elk Point, S.D., a town with a population of just 2,000. About five dozen people crammed into a makeshift courtroom in the building’s basement. According to one local newspaper, the county spent $45,000 preparing this windowless scene of the “pink slime” trial with the expectation that both sides would bring an army of lawyers and the national media trailing closely behind.

ABC 'Pink Slime' trial opens with attacks on media bias
Source: WND