In August of 2008, Anthony Bourdain interviewed Ted Nugent for an episode of his now-defunct Travel Channel series, No Reservations, picking the brain of the aging “Cat Scratch Fever” maestro and NRA board member on the topic of obesity.
“How dare a nation, who clearly doesn’t care about their health, dare ask for health care?” Nugent argued at the time. “99 percent of the sperm whales walking the streets of this country, they got up in the morning and they go, ‘I’m fatter than a fucking pig, and here’s a list of things I should not do and I should not eat, and I’m doing all of them today.”
In the years since that enlightening political conversation, Bourdain’s career has skyrocketed while Nugent has gone further and further off the rails, calling President Obama racially-charged slurs like a “subhuman mongrel,” and a “chimpanzee.” Still, despite their very different paths in life, Bourdain and Nugent have somehow kept up their friendship. But during the chef’s recent meal with the president in Vietnam, it appears Bourdain was looking to be absolved for his unholy union with the former rocker.
“I said, 'Look … despite the fact that Ted Nugent and I disagree on absolutely everything, and about 98 percent of what comes out of his mouth is deeply offensive to me, it is a point of pride for me that I enjoy spending time with Ted Nugent,” Bourdain told the New York Daily News this week. “‘We have barbecue in common and a few other things. Is that ok?’”
Using his executive authority to pardon the guilty—and turkeys—Obama gave Bourdain a pass for hanging around Nugent.
“He said ‘absolutely,’” Bourdain told the Daily News. “Considering the things that Ted Nugent has said about him, which are shameful and horrible, I admire that.”
Over the weekend, Bourdain also ruffled some feathers when he appeared to give the owner of Chick-fil-A a pass for his anti-LGBT views in an interview with Adweek.
“I come from a restaurant business where you're lucky if the guy working next to you isn't like an armed robber,” Bourdain said. “I support your inalienable right to say really stupid, offensive shit and believe really stupid, offensive shit that I don't agree with. I support that, and I might even eat your chicken sandwich.”
[via New York Daily News]