Subject: re: Request for official statement

Justin Becker lives and works in Los Angeles. As a child, he snacked on Hunt’s Snack Packs, but now he prefers Heineken six-packs.


As I told your colleague on the phone this morning, our official press release will be forthcoming. I have been authorized to speak in the interim, but that we need to respond to such allegations is frankly ludicrous. Obviously, General Mills’ position is to deny that Bugles corn chips were modeled after the hoods used by the Ku Klux Klan. It is a completely spurious claim, as is the implication that the creator of the Bugle, Joe Appelbaum, was secretly a “grand wizard.” I have been informed that the picture in question was taken at a “wood T burning party,” which evidently was a common practice amongst food engineers in the 1950s. This is purely speculation, but perhaps the “T” stood for “taste” and the fire was meant to invoke the death and rebirth of the mythical phoenix? Appelbaum was obsessed with restoring taste’s “rightful place” in American culture—it was he who coined Bugles’ original catchphrase, “The taste shall rise again.” I cannot comment further as I have also been informed that the Appelbaum estate is considering taking legal action for libel. They are currently engaged in a civil case with the Southern Poverty Law Center, but I imagine you’ll be receiving a call from their lawyers once that is settled.

It should be obvious, but I will spell it out for you if I must—the Bugle’s cone shape is based on the bell end of a bugle, hence the name. Also obvious is the identity of your anonymous source—no doubt were I to trace the trail of bread crumbs back to this so-called “tipster,” I would find myself following Doritos crumbs. We knew there would be retaliation for entering the Cool Ranch market, but this is beyond the pale.

—Justin Becker

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Public Relations,
General Mills