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NBC Panel Agrees: 'God Bless' Mike Bloomberg for 'Revolutionary' Soda Ban

Discussing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban large soft drinks with liberal panelists on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer skeptically wondered: "Do we want local government telling us what we can and can't consume?" Advertising executive Donny Deutsch replied: "God bless this guy....every time you make a revolutionary move, there's going to be some complaints of overstepping the boundaries. I applaud him." [Listen to the audio]

Moments earlier, Lauer put the same question to NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman, who denounced the sugar in such drinks as if it were a drug: "A very famous doctor, Dr. David Lustig at UC San Francisco says that sugar is toxic and should be regulated like tobacco. It's rewiring the brain. It is not necessary for anything in the human diet. I think it's a very bold, big move, but I have no problem with it."

Deutsch backed up Snyderman's assertion: "To Nancy's point, this is no different than tobacco. We solve obesity, we solve the health care problem. We've got to do something."

After Lauer explained that people could still buy multiple smaller sized beverages, attorney Star Jones rounded out the discussion with this observation: "...what's interesting about that is, it will curb obesity in some ways because you're too lazy to get up and carry the extra soft drink, and that's why this is a good idea."

In October of 2011, the same panel literally applauded a "fat tax" implemented in Denmark, with Snyderman demanding: "...there should be a tax on colas with sugar in it, foods you don't need...the junk that's processed should be taxed higher. I have no problem with it at all."

Here is a full transcript of the May 31 segment:

7:01AM ET TEASE:

MATT LAUER: Also ahead on a lighter note, should this container of soda or this one be illegal? Well, according to a proposal from the mayor of New York City, any soda or sugary drink that comes in a container larger than this one here, which is 16 ounces, would be banned. You wouldn't be able to buy, for example, this monster right here. This is all because of the obesity epidemic. It would involve energy drinks, some iced coffees and teas as well, and this proposal could become law as early as next March if it goes through. We're going to find out how Today's Professionals feel about that subject and some others as well.

ANN CURRY: There's going to be a big fight on their hands if they do this, because there’s going to be a lot of controversy about this.

8:11AM ET SEGMENT:

LAUER: We're back now at 8:11 with our latest installment of Today's Professionals. Our team of power players Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman here to weigh in on the hottest issues of the day. Good morning all, nice to see you.

NANCY SNYDERMAN, STAR JONES, DONNY DEUTSCH: Hi, Matt.

LAUER: New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposing a ban on the sale on all sugary drinks and sodas that come in containers over 16 fluid ounces. That would be this guy right here (points to fountain drink). So these back here would be illegal (points to fountain drink). This would clearly be illegal (points to fountain drink). This is an attempt to tackle this epidemic we've talked about, Nancy, of obesity in this country. Is this the way to go about it?

SNYDERMAN: A very famous doctor, Dr. David Dustig at UC San Francisco says that sugar is toxic and should be regulated like tobacco. It's rewiring the brain. It is not necessary for anything in the human diet. I think it's a very bold, big move, but I have no problem with it.

LAUER: Star, what are the legal obstacles that he faces with this?

JONES: Well, actually, he has avoided a lot of them by doing it municipality. You know he tried to tax soft drinks, and Albany stopped him there. He doesn't have to go to the federal government for this, and so because he has really health department issues only to try to get this passed, and the health department is appointed basically by him. So, he has very few obstacles.

LAUER:  Donny, do we want local government telling us what we can and can't consume? Are you comfortable with that?

DEUTSCH: We complain politicians don't take stands, aren't courageous. God bless this guy. To Nancy's point, this is no different than tobacco. We solve obesity, we solve the health care problem. We've got to do something. So of course, every time you make a revolutionary move, there's going to be some complaints of overstepping the boundaries. I applaud him.

SNYDERMAN: There's no need for this in the marketplace other than it sells.

DEUTSCH: I want to hear a company defending it.

LAUER: And remember, you can also still go out. These people can go out and buy two of these.

JONES: Well you know Matt, what's interesting about that is, it will curb obesity in some ways because you're too lazy to get up and carry the extra soft drink, and that's why this is a good idea.

-- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.