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 TheOnion.com 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.