Howard Stern defends yesterday's rant about "enormous as a planet" Gabourey Sidibe: "Obesity in this country is out of control," and he just wants everyone to be healthy. Since when does acknowledging a fat person constitute "tacitly" promoting obesity?

Oh No They Didn't provides a clip where Stern softens his tone from yesterday's scoffing indictment of the "fattest black chick I've ever seen." Yesterday, the very mention of Sidibe's name caused Stern and co-host Robin Quivers to burst into groans. One blogosphere of outcry later, they defended themselves by citing "food addiction," concluding that those who applaud Sidibe's work and offer her roles are telling her "stay this way."

Which is so sweet of them, to feign concern for Gaby, who may not even be in so bad a place, health-wise. At least Gabourey can get an accurate assessment from her doctor, unlike scores of chemically-addled addicts, who generally don't divulge their habits until they're en route to rehab. Which brings up a second reason it's stupid to go after Gaby: Even if she has a "food addiction," how do we know she isn't dealing with it appropriately? Sidibe's weight is down from its highest point; she has admitted to struggling with her size. As long as "sober partner" stays in the celebrity press' vocabulary and alcohol-monitoring anklets appear beside catwalks, it's preposterous to shun someone just because they don't look "healthy" to Howard Stern and extreme diet aficionado Robin Quivers.

So, if Gabourey Sidibe's "food addiction" should have kept her away from the Academy Awards' cameras, to avoid the juxtaposition of "there's Meryl Streep, sixteen-time nominee, and then you go, there's the most enormous fat black chick I've ever seen," then the Academy should also have barred host Alec Baldwin (recovering alcoholic), presenter Robert Downey, Jr. (recovering drug addict), dozens of eating disordered starlets, everyone carrying cocaine on their pockets (how many do you think that was?) and maybe Nicole Kidman for plastic surgery addiction.

It is a requirement of both Howard's profession and mine to invade celebrities' privacy and speculate about their personal lives. We do it because we enjoy gawking at the beautiful, the strange, and the viscerally disgusting human offerings of show biz. And when Howard and Robin gape at Gabourey, they are reveling in their disgust at the spectacle of a "fat black chick." Don't pretend like it's anything else. [ONTD via Jezebel]