Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So, I Got A Call From The Onion This Morning......

This is not the post I originally had scheduled this morning – but sometimes, shit happens.


So I just got off the phone with Ann Finn, PR Manager For who was calling on behalf of The Onion’s Editor Joe Randazzo.

I left Joe a voicemail on Sunday, when I was steaming mad and eyeball deep in writing my Open Letter To The Onion Editor Post re: The Onion’s not so funny article about children with diabetes dying.

I know for a fact I didn’t sound like my normal, sweet and sunny self. As a matter of fact, I’m sure I sounded like a bitch on wheels- and I’m totally OK with that.

Anyway, Anne told me that Sunday's article was satirical - like everything else they write/post/film at The Onion.

And that no person or group is off limits to their satire, regardless or race; religion, sex, political affiliation,etc. - Yada, yada, yada.

I told her that Of course I knew the article was satirical. I even told her that I loved The Onion, as do so many in our diabetes community, but that we still found the article incredibly offensive.

And then I told her why:

A. It crossed the line.

B. It wasn’t even funny or well written, even if you took the diabetes out of the mix.

C. Nobody makes fun of diabetes more than a person with diabetes -that's how we deal with living with diabetes, but this article was HORRIBLE.

D. That diabetes is a totally misunderstood disease and that an article like the one they wrote, even if done in satire, still pushes the diabetes stereotypes & myths forward.

E. That people with diabetes are always being blamed for their disease and that parent of children with diabetes were kicked to the curb when they spoke up on The Onion’s FB page. People said horrible things to them, saying they gave their children to much sugar, that they were idiots and to sensitive, etc.

F. The article’s timing was lousy, considering November is National Diabetes Month and Sunday is World Diabetes Day .

G. That our community has lost 3 children and one adult to Dead In Bed syndrome since February so the whole PWDs dying thing just isn't funny to us.

H. And the next time The Onion decides to write about a disease on a satirical level, they might want to do a little research on the disease and make sure you know, they aren’t writing about said disease during it’s national awareness month.

Anyway, Anne told me that her father was a PWD and that satire is satire, but that she and Joe wanted me to know that they understood that I was upset, but wanted to make sure that they (and their readers) know that it was written a satirical level.

Anne did her job as a PR Manager; she reached out to the offended party (which I appreciate) and stood by her employer, never wavering and never admitting wrong doing, which is her job after all.

But I still wasn’t thrilled.

So I told her that I would be forwarding her name and email address to someone who was planning a fundraiser in their child’s memory and who had reached out to The Onion, but hadn't heard back - I won’t say who because I haven’t received approval from her to do so yet and I want to get this post up and running. And that maybe The Onion could help make things right by donating to/ or be a sponsor of the fundraiser.

So now, let’s hope they do.


Cara said...

Good for you! I missed said article though.... But I'm sure if there were many people upset, that it was well worth it. I am glad that they called you back. At least they attempted.

Scott Strange said...

For those of you keeping score:

Kelly 2
Onion -1

Nice job, K2!

AmyT said...

Applause to you, Kelly! Thank you so much for catching this.

Satire may be satire -- but there's funny and there's NOT FUNNY, ie. not appropriate.

You are my hero today.

Crystal said...

Love you, Kelly. Glad they called. Hopefully something good can come of this mess.

Pieces of My Life (Elizabeth) said...

Can I tell you how much you rock, Kelly? You ROCK!

I do applaud The Onion for coming forward and calling you, they obviously don't want to offend their readership. But their excuse was that the article was satirical? I mean, no SH*T it was supposed to be satirical, but that sure as hell doesn't make it right. Would they joke that way about kids with leukemia, you think? Yeah, I doubt it, so why is it okay to make fun of d?

Bravo, k2, you're a hell of an advocate!

Reyna said...

WAY TO GO Kelly!!!

Love the idea of them donating. That is brilliant; hopefully they will try to square things up a bit that way.

I am so happy to "know" people like you who see a problem and then "DO" something about it. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

Daniel Dunn said...

Kelly, I give you a huge SHOUT OUT for being the voice for those of us getting kicked around. Thanks for being brave and speaking up. I'm glad they called you, and I'm glad you strongly suggested they donate to that function. Thanks for sticking up for the DOC!!

Lea said...

You're awesome Kelly!!

Leighann of D-Mom Blog said...

I don't even know what to say to that besides: Lame.

I like satire. I get satire. But I did not find the post in the least bit funny.

All we can do is speak up when we need to, right?

Hannah McD said...

I also think they could have found ways to poke fun of diabetes and make fun of Jay Cutler that didn't involve kids dying for no apparently reason. Honestly, it was really poor timing on their part considering the year's Dead in Bed episodes and the fact that it's Diabetes Month.

I'm sure they would joke about kids with leukemia, but they probably would talk about them using their Make-a-Wishes to order strippers or using their clout as sick kids to legalize pot.

Michael Hoskins said...

Way to go, Kelly! Make your voice heard, and never back down from that. Nicely done. I couln't agree more: that Kids With Diabetes dying in any way isn't something to joke about... and especially during November. Bad timing for The Onion, on top of everything else on this one.

Nan said...

you are one of my favorite advocates, k2!
things like this make me CRAZY!!!!
why can't people just say "we're sorry." that would certainly show them in a better least in my eyes.

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

youre so kick ass! The sponsor idea is perfect! So honored to have you on our team!

Allison Porter said...


Rachel said...

Good job Kelly! I also love the sponsor idea!

Renata said...

You have to hand it to her for calling. Not that the end result was what you wanted, at least you weren't ignored. Have you heard back from Dr. Oz yet? (hehehe...sorry!)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Way to go K2. I'd choose no other to go to bat for us.

Andrea Wrape said...

Way to go Kelly!! Thank you for being able to advocate so eloquently. The article was vile and The Onion needs to know that "satire" doesn't excuse poor choices in subject matter.

Wendy said...

SO PROUD OF YOU....and hoping The Onion learns how to maintain some boundaries in the future.

Thank you for being such an amazing advocate, my friend. This world just wouldn't be the same without you.

Bernard Farrell said...

Great job Kelly, thank you for getting the attention of The Onion. The 'satirical' excuse really only goes so far. It's not like the piece was even funny.a

Ronnie the poor diabetic said...

Satire or not this definitely was in bad taste and its good to see you hammered that point across.Hope they at least reciprocate in acknowledgment and do the right thing

MelissaBL said...

I'm glad we have you as a champion!

Laura said...

Great job - - -
This momma of a CWD thanks you!