Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stealing Joy, Part 2: Hoax Edition

As I blogged on Wednesday there was rightful internet outrage being directed at a big meanie head planning to hand out body issues to "moderately obese" children in Fargo, North Dakota via a letter to their parents urging them to "ration" their children's candy consumption. It was being reported on Thursday that it was a hoax. Call me cynical but I don't buy that.

Thr original story was picked up by cnn, CBS, Huffington Post, etc., all news organizations who check their sources. The story started when a woman named Cheryl called the morning show on Fargo radio station Y-94 to talk about her plan to be as big a bitch as possible to little kids. She also allegedly provided the station a copy of her poison pen note. It went viral in about two seconds flat. As of Friday the only organization reporting that it was a hoax was ABC News affiliate channel 5 from Cleveland, Ohio. Their story says that the radio station plays pranks like this every so often and apparently some listeners just assumed this was another and went on about their business while everyone outside North Dakota flipped out. Calls to the radio station were not returned which is what makes me suspicious. You pull a prank like this and it gets worldwide attention from the likes of Reuters...don't you want to claim it? Or at least reassure people that while there may be a meanie head named Cheryl who lives in Fargo even she wouldn't go this far? Because it kind of makes them look like dicks to hide from all the attention they've generated, doesn't it?

At any rate, no small children have been reported to actually have gotten the letter and I'm certain we'd have heard about it. Hoax or change of heart? What do you think?


  1. Either way, the thought is disturbing. In this day an age, being prejudicial against fat people seems to be the last "socially" acceptable discrimination--under the guise of being "health conscious". So NOT acceptable.

    What "fat talk" as it is called--dissing people because they are fat, a skinny person worrying about needing to lose 5 pounds when they need to gain 5 pounds, etc.--does, is abuse and harrass people about their appearance to the point of negating any positive body image they might be trying to attain.

    Five years ago, my internist thought that I might have Sjogren's--an autoimmune disease. So they did the work up and sent me to a rheumatologist--who promptly ignored my tests and clinical symptoms stating that if I "would lose weight, my problems would be solved". Seriously, the lazy doctor said that to me. I'm sad to say that I didn't pursue it because even as an adult you get worn down by the criticism sometimes. But I did keep trying to do everything to improve my health.

    Now, 5 years later? I have confirmation from more doctors that I do have the autoimmune disease, Sjogren's--antibodies attack the glands that produce moisture throughout the body to all systems (eyes, skin, internal organs, etc.). But now, the disease has so affected my eyes that I am in constant pain and my vision is greatly diminished and worsening. At least my liver and kidneys are still okay. And we're trying various medicines to see if they will help.

    I always wonder if I that rheumatologist years ago had looked beyond my chubbiness--and realized that sometimes, weight is a symptom of disease--that maybe I wouldn't be as ill as I am now.

    Moral of the story: Don't let anyone dismiss your medical symptoms because you are fat, complain to your AMA, and take every opportunity to not stand for prejudicial statements aimed at body image (be they fat, thin, or in between).

    Great post, Jazzy! I'm off my soap box now. Cheers! Grati ;->

    1. Amen to that, Gratiana! While there are some problem that can indeed be down to being overweight, "lose weight and it will go away" should NOT be the default response from doctors. "Stop being fat" is easier said than done for most of us, and no, not all our health complaints are caused by weighing too much. In fact, being overweight can actually be a SYMPTOM of a problem, not necessarily the problem itself.

      I hope now that you have a proper diagnosis, that you can get some help alleviating your symptoms.

    2. I'm so sorry you are going through that, Grati. Shame about our bodies affecting medical decisions is a whole other issue. I get where you're both coming from, though. When my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and in the hospital he was fed a 1000 calorie a day diet, despite the fact that he was 5'11" and weighed 165 and had a labor intensive job (he was a firefighter). That diet was just standard for anyone with diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2.

  2. Just to let all of you know, there's an amazing Facebook page called The BodyIs Not An Apology run by two women who are so body positive they're like a spirit shot of Vitamin C. One you may already be familiar with, poet Sonya Renee whose spoken word piece "Delight" I spun on Sunday Morning Poetry last year.

  3. I don't know but I lean toward "she was scared off by all the publicity." Why would you hoax about something like that?

  4. Hoaxsters are a breed apart. A couple of hours after Lou Reed's death was reported last week (a Dear Friend sent me the link via Rolling Stone) there was another announcement that he was being Celebrity Death hoaxed. What, exactly, was the point of that? I don't generally have a lot of respect for Rolling Stone, at least not since Hunter S. Thompson, but not even they would get that one wrong.


Thanks for commenting!