Gov. Newsom Signs Bill On ‘Body Shaming’ – OpEd


Before his recent trip to Israel, which was followed by his trip to China, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 10, which calls for government policy and resources on “body shaming.” That means, “the action or practice of mocking or stigmatizing a person by making critical comments or observations about the shape, size, or appearance of the person’s body.”

The measure has some Californians worried about incurring state wrath if they told their children they were overweight. Others might wonder if shows such as “My 600-lb Life” would qualify, since comedians have mocked supersized stars and speculated about the correct height for their weight. That Gov. Newsom should sign such a bill is no mystery.

He has long contended that the state’s school physical fitness test leads to body-shaming, bullying, and discrimination, and proposed a three-year pause on the assessment. This time he targets “comments,” which are part of speech, and that recalls another action by the governor.

In 2019, Gov. Newsom signed Assembly Bill 730, which prohibited “deceptive audio or visual media” of a candidate, within 60 days of an election, “unless the media includes a disclosure stating that the media has been manipulated.” The ban on so-called “deep fake” material came after a video that showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing to sound drunk gained millions of views on the internet.

Gavin Newsom was once Nancy Pelosi’s nephew by marriage, and when he issued the stay-at-home order in March 2020, the governor said Californians were “blessed to have her leadership.” So it was personal, not just business, and he signed the bill despite opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The video ban did not show much respect for the First Amendment and that is also true of the body shaming measure that is now state law. In reality, the state itself could use some fat shaming for its bloated and redundant bureaucracies. For example, California has its own environmental protection agency, CalEPA, and deploys the California Air Resources Board, known as CARB. Consider also the California Coastal Commission (CCC).

This unelected body overrides scores of California’s elected city and county governments on land-use issues. Since its inception in the 1970s, the commission has run roughshod over property rights, combining regulatory zealotry with high-level corruption. During the 1990s, for example, commissioner Mark Nathanson, extorted payments from Hollywood celebrities and others seeking building permits.

On the Commission’s watch, the coast has become a millionaires’ enclave, with housing prices beyond the reach of working-class Californians. This drives development inland, where temperatures and energy demands are higher. Water demands are also high, particularly in southern California, and the Commission is ramping up the state’s water deficit.

Last year, the Commission voted unanimously to reject the Poseidon Water desalination plant in Orange County, which would have provided 50 million gallonsof freshwater a day. “The ocean is under attack from climate change already,” proclaimed commissioner Dayna Bochco, president of Steven Bochco Productions, producer of shows such as “Doogie Kamealoha M.D.,” “Doogie Howser M.D,” and “Cop Rock.”

Late last year the Commission did approve a desalination plant that provides only five million gallons per day. In a state with fathomless water needs, the full resources of the Pacific Ocean remain untapped. If parched Californians thought that was a shame it would be hard to blame them.

Ending the Coastal Commission would restore power to the people, roll back waste and corruption, and put the Golden State at the forefront of meaningful change. Unfortunately no governor, including Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, has summoned the courage to take on the task. It’s not likely to happen on the watch of Gov. Newsom, who has other things on his mind.

On his China trip he met with Xi Jinping and supported the Communist regime’s One-China policy, “as well as our desire not to see independence” for Taiwan. Newsom said pastor California pastor David Lin, held prisoner in China since 2006, “should be released,” but made no demands on Xi to release the pastor or other Americans held by China. For Gov. Newsom it’s all about climate.

“Divorce is not an option,” Newsom said. “The only way we can solve the climate crisis is to continue our long-standing cooperation with China.”

This article was also published in The American Spectator

K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *