Furious Over On-Air Comments About Peanut Allergies - Peanut Allergy Information

Furious Over On-Air Comments About Peanut Allergies

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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 jayplus@clearchannel.com who handle the station's advertising and marketing. I also wrote to Clear Channel's media relations contact at lisacdollinger@clearchannel.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

By cervonil on Jul 7, 2011

This types of people are maddening. Good for you for taking the matter into your own hands and writing in!!!

By Nikkiz on Jul 12, 2011

I am so so saddened by this post. You can be sure that I will be writing to each and every person that you listed from that station. Karma is an interesting thing, too. Most people who make statements like that end up facing those very same circumstances. Thanks for sharing.

By Nikkiz on Jul 13, 2011

I just called and left a message for the Programming Director, asking to speak with him about some comments made on the JV morning show. I'll let you know how he responds.

Just thought I would share this article that I had found a while back....it reminds me of the JV ignorance and how it bites you in the end. Enjoy the read.....

Karma Contrition: Joel Stein's Child's Nut Allergy The witty Joel Stein, who writes the bi-weekly back page for Time Magazine, penned a funny, yet hurtful, LA Times column back in January 2009 claiming that American parents have gone nuts over nut allergies. He wrote, "Your kid doesn't have an allergy to nuts. Your kid has a parent who needs to feel special." Ouch! Stein clearly won no fans from the parents of children with peanut allergies. And I'm sure there were a good number of those parents out there wishing that Joel Stein would get a taste of what they go through on a daily basis -- carrying Epi Pens and worrying that their child would come into contact with an allergen. Stein wasn't alone in writing cynical articles calling into question the mass hysteria caused by over-vigilant parents, but his wit came out as criticism and was very hurtful to many parents. Fast forward to August 2010 and Joel Stein when karma comes knocking on Joel Stein's door. In his mea culpa column in Time, Stein writes: At the beginning of last year, I wrote a column that questioned whether the increase in food allergies among children was a matter of overreporting. It began with this carefully calibrated thought: "Your kid doesn't have an allergy to nuts. Your kid has a parent who needs to feel special." After that, I got a little harsh. The column was not the first thing that came to mind after my 1-year-old son Laszlo started sneezing, then breaking out in hives, then rubbing his eyes, then crying through welded-shut eyes, then screaming and, finally, vomiting copiously at the entrance of the Childrens Hospital emergency room an hour after eating his first batch of blended mixed nuts. But it was the second thing. Because after my nut-allergy column came out, many parents wrote me furious e-mails saying they hoped that one day I would have a child with life-threatening allergies. Stein maintained his trademark wit and mockery in the column, but managed to sneak in some contrition as well. Perhaps he was thinking that Yom Kippur was approaching and he owed an apology to all the peanut-allergy parents out there. He wrote, "I realize that the more I understand of other people's difficulties, the less funny they are." I'm sorry that Stein's son Laszlo developed a peanut allergy, but I'm glad the writer saw the error of his ways and found the ability to apologize. That is the message of this season of repentance.

By caking1965 on Aug 1, 2011

CHeck this out - the key witness in the stowe beating has died after eating a salad with nuts.


By iansmommyTay on Aug 12, 2011

Hi Genevieve. the general public is clueless and the anger directed towards PA kids is ongoing. Mostly (I believe) out of ignorance, denial and selfishness that comes from those of us that "inconvenience" others so badly by doing whatever it takes to keep our kids safe. Such as asking our schools not to serve PBJ's etc. We should know that is SUCH a huge inconvenience for other parents and risk our kids lives so that they can have the MustHave meal once a day...... insanity. Anyway on a totally different issue. We just got our son Ian in an OIT clinical trial (with huge success) down your way that is starting up in the next 2-3 months and they are looking for other candidates. Feel free to email me back for details Taylor at bookedup2go@gmail.com

By Echo27 on Aug 18, 2011

Just wrote a scathing letter and will be posting this on my facebook page today.

By Gendance2 on Aug 18, 2011

Wow! I am so heartened by the support I have received here...Thank you all so much!

An update...

While I never heard anything from Clear Channel corporate (Nothing! Boo!), the Programming Director at 94.9 was very responsive. I'm sure largely due to the calls and letters of people like you! Thank you!

He ended up putting me on the air with JV (the dj in question) while we had a conversation about why the comments he had made were dangerous. In the end, I decided the best plan was to put my anger aside to really talk to this man in a way that his listeners would hear and respect. JV and I had a nice talk, actually, and he made sure to air it at the same time of the morning that I had heard the original comments, so that hopefully some of the same listeners could hear the retraction/apology.

I've also been told they're going to post a clip of our conversation online, but that hasn't happened yet. Still, I am so grateful for all of the support and efforts of so many. I know that I had a lot of friends and family members writing as well, and I am really so amazed at the response...I never expected this! I guess I must be cynical, but I really didn't expect to one of the most listened-to radio stations in the Bay Area actually take responsibility in such a visible -or in this case, audible :)- way.

I have to say that the Programming Director, Cat Collins, was wonderful. And JV himself seemed very sincere when I spoke to him, and admitted that he really had no idea how serious an allergy this was. Which is maybe the greatest lesson from all of this...That there is A LOT more education of the general public to be done.

Thank you all again! Genevieve

By Echo27 on Aug 19, 2011

Wow, Genevieve...I'm so glad that you got such a great response from the DJ. All we can hope is that we can educate people one person at a time. In your case, it seems as though you educated millions at once. Thanks so much for sharing this info!

By Gendance2 on Aug 19, 2011

Thank you!!! G.

By TracyC on Sep 3, 2011

That's fantastic! Thank you for going the extra mile - and what a fantastic outcome!