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    Slim-Fast Downsizes Whoopi

    Whoopi Goldberg is losing more than weight these days.

    Slim-Fast has announced it will shed its TV advertising campaign featuring the tart-tongued comic after she made some, well, tart-tongued jokes about President Bush.

    Goldberg has been targeted by a vast right-wing conspiracy after attempting to crack wise at Dubya's expense last Thursday at a New York fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate John.

    Conservatives were shocked--shocked!--that the former center square launched into a crude riff in which she compared the President's surname to female genitalia, all while reportedly waving around a bottle of something--presumably not Slim-Fast.

    According to the Florida-based diet aid company, the onetime Oscar winner's bawdy jabs didn't go over too well with some customers, and Slim-Fast slimmed down its Whoopi-themed ad campaign.

    "We are disappointed by the manner in which Ms. Goldberg chose to express herself and sincerely regret that her recent remarks offended some of our consumers," Terry Olson, vice president of marketing for Slim-Fast, said in a press release. "Ads featuring Ms. Goldberg will no longer air."

    Goldberg was one of several celebs to descend upon Radio City Music Hall and help the Kerry-Edwards ticket raise more than $7.5 million for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. It also stirred the ire of Republicans who accused their rivals of (gasp!) hosting a celebrity-laden "hate fest" featuring such show-biz lefties as Goldberg, Jon Bon Jovi, Wyclef Jean, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, John Mellencamp and Jessica Lange.

    While a spokesman for the Kerry campaign tried to distance the contender from Goldberg's remarks, saying Kerry "respected" the personal beliefs of the performers, but they were not necessarily his views. The mouthpiece also said Goldberg's tirade "crossed the line."

    But Whoopi isn't going quietly.

    "Just because I'm no longer in those [Slim-Fast] spots, it doesn't mean I will stop talking," Goldberg said in a statement. "While I can appreciate what the Slim-Fast people need to do in order to protect their business, I must also do what I need to do as an artist, as a writer and as an American--not to mention as a comic.

    "But it saddens me that people who were not present at the fundraiser, including anyone from Slim-Fast and others who have not seen the material for themselves but are only reacting to sound bites produced by the media, have opted to judge my 'conduct.'

    "I only wish that the Republican reelection committee would spend as much time working on the economy as they seem to be spending trying to harm my pocketbook."

    Slim-Fast spokeswoman Jennifer Holdin declined to say whether the company has terminated its overall endorsement deal with Goldberg, which also includes print ads.

    Slim-Fast is owned by the Netherlands-based Unilever UK, the world's largest consumer goods company whose brands include everything from Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Lipton teas to Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein cosmetics.

    The conglomerate has been trying to turn around Slim-Fast, which has seen diminishing sales for the better part of a year. To that end, the company signed Goldberg to promote its "shake the notion of just shakes" campaign. She started the diet last November and humorously referred to herself in ads as a "big loser."

    According to USA Today, Unilever executives have donated more money this year to the Bush campaign (approximately $3,000 so far) than Kerry's ($1,250).

    Goldberg's had a hard time sticking on TV of late. Aside from her shelved Slim-Fast ads, NBC has pulled the plug on her sitcom, Whoopi.

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