24 December 2010

Real health conditions, skeptics, and satire... not funny.

I just sent NPR's "All Things Considered" the following comment concerning the satirical commercial for 'Placebo' at the end of yesterday's segment "This 'Placebo' Could Be The Drug For You."

As I listened to the brief intro to your satirical commercial for 'Placebo,' I thought, "This should be good."

My expectation quickly changed to sadness... Rickets? You realize this serious vitamin deficiency is still all too common in many parts of the world, right?

And then to offense... Attention deficit disorder? Both the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization recognize this condition. Still, parents of children with ADD and adults with the condition endure jokes and skepticism.

Would "All Things Considered" have aired a satirical commercial that suggested 'Placebo' for anemia and schizophrenia? I don't think so. I expect NPR to present facts about misunderstood medical conditions, not contribute to skepticism and stigma by mocking.