Furious Over On-Air Comments About Peanut Allergies
I'm new to this online community, but in anger I've been spurred to join in the hopes of recruiting some help.
I've been sitting with this for a few days now, and decided I needed to do something about it. I live in San Francisco, and last Thursday, I was listening to KYLD 94.9 on my way to work (I confess, I love mindless, pop-py ear candy), and their morning show personality JV (who is, for the record, supposed to be somewhat of a "shock jock" and obnoxious...that's his schtick), launched into a tirade about peanut allergies.
The actual context of the conversation was a debate about peanuts at ballparks, but it soon became irrelevant as he first denied that peanut allergies could be fatal, and then proceeded to state -repeatedly- that individuals with peanut allergies DESERVED TO DIE. I'm not paraphrasing (and you can listen to this part of his show at http://jv.wild949.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=&podcast=jvhighlight&selected_podcast=HIGHLIGHT6-30-11.mp3 ). One of his quotes was, "This is going to seem cruel, and I'm not trying to be cruel, but if you are gonna possibly die from a peanut, you deserve to die." At another moment in the broadcast he said, "Don't you also feel like this is life's way of weeding out the weak? If mean if you've got a peanut allergy, you shouldn't belong on earth."
These comments were not only cruel (I can't think of another group of individuals about whom anyone could get away with saying something so awful), they were irresponsible. Unfortunately, 94.9's morning show is probably listened to by many. I can only hope and pray that no one very impressionable in that listening audience will ever be responsible for preparing food for or taking care of my own peanut-allergic son. He is two years-old, and as all of you know, something as seemingly innocuous as someone in a restaurant kitchen failing to be careful enough about separating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from his own grilled cheese could kill him.
I am guessing JV has never had to call 911 and face a terrifying ride to the emergency room with his child gasping for breath because he's having an allergic reaction to peanuts. I have (and sadly, I'm sure many of you have), but based on JV's comments I am not sure he would care. My hope is that others will, and I've decided to write his station, and its owner Clear Channel, as well as to contact some of their advertisers and promotional partners to express my concern and outrage. I guess my goal is to have someone involved with this broadcast or station recognize that entertainment still comes with responsibility, and that careless comments are not only needlessly cruel --they have very real consequences.
I would be incredibly grateful if anyone who felt so moved could send their own short email expressing concern over this. 94.9 doesn't include many emails on it's site, so I wrote to AnneHudsonSF@clearchannel.com and firstname.lastname@example.org who handle the station's advertising and marketing. I also wrote to Clear Channel's media relations contact at email@example.com and their VP of communications at WendyGoldberg@clearchannel.com . 94.9's phone number is 415-975-5555 .
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone else that you think might be interested...
Thank you, Genevieve