If you're like me, you felt like you'd been punched in the gut after watching it. Host Shepard Smith did a good job of bringing up important points, such as the life threatening nature of peanut allergies, how making accommodations for other disabilities, like providing wheelchair access, is routine, and the fact that the peanut free sections sell out every time. Still, Fraser Seitel's mockingly delivered attack left more than an unpleasant taste in my mouth. It left me wondering what on earth prompted such a vicious assault on a reasonable accommodation that brings more fans to Major League Baseball stadiums.
Let's take a closer look at the segment. It begins with the obligatory reference to the song about "peanuts and Cracker Jack" and leads with a quote from this New York Post article by a Mets season ticket holder who is excessively distraught at the idea of baseball without peanuts.
Cue Fraser Seitel. (Transcript is my own and I apologize for any errors.)
Let me tell you something. This guy is a season ticket holder at the Mets, he's got more to worry about than peanuts. It's, it's heretical, you know? Buy me some tofu and bean curd pie?So we're a bunch of vegan hippies who want to keep you from eating hot dogs, too? It's a quick jab, but it's there, delivered as a "joke".
I mean it's... here are the numbers. Consider the numbers. There are three million people who are, uh, unfortunately afflicted with allergies from peanuts. It can be horrible.Sympathy for people with peanut allergies. Check.
Three million people, that's one percent of the population, many, presumably less of that number are baseball fans, even less than that go to baseball stadiums. Meanwhile there are 73 million people who attend baseball games. So you're kowtowing to a very tiny minority. It's a slippery slope and it's a bad idea.Wait, now peanut free seating is kowtowing to the 1%? This time the insult is disguised as "reason" and appeals to a completely different demographic. Shepard Smith then makes a few good points and mentions that the Mets have had a couple games with peanut free suites available. Everyone agrees that peanut allergy deaths are bad, and Fraser Seitel is at it again.
Now that's right...and, and OK like the Mets did, if you want to devote a suite to it for several games, that's fine. The Mets, the Mets can do anything they want to get people to come to that stadium. For the Yankees to do it, to devote a section to peanut free attendance, that is a real slippery slope, because then I'm allergic to hot dogs, I'm allergic to beer or whatever.So it's OK to make accommodations for people who can afford suites, but not anyone else, because the next thing you know, there'll be a beer free section! Besides, the only reason the Mets are doing it is because that's the only way they can get anyone to come to their games.
Plus the fact that the newest sponsor at Yankee Stadium this year is Goldenberg Peanut Chews, you know the delicious little candies? Can you imagine Mr. Goldenberg now hearing this? I mean it's the dumbest decision the Yankees have made since trading Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps.Mr Goldenberg, I'm available for PR work. Call me.
[Cross talk.] There are eight teams doing it. It's a trend. The peanut, the anti-peanut lobby is very, very radical and very forceful and nobody can find out, it's a mysterious lobby, nobody can get under the skin to find out, so to speak, because they're hidden behind shell companies. [Laughter and more puns.]Ba dum, ching! That's right, it's all in good fun, can't you parents of children with life threatening peanut allergies, i.e., mysterious and radical lobby, (nasty buzz words, if I've ever heard them) take a joke?
I'd like to thank public relations consultant Fraser Seitel for a vivid demonstration of why it's important to nip bullying in the bud when young children do it, because this is what it looks like when the really talented ones grow up to become highly paid professionals. I also now know who to call if I ever need and can afford a first rate hatchet job.
Honestly, I don't believe that he carries a genuine grudge against peanut free seating. I truly think he was handed a fact sheet and did his job as a Fox News consultant to gin up some controversy, because that means ratings. Seitel's remarks were clearly designed to provoke an over the top response from those of us in the food allergy community. I predict there will soon be a segment featuring an earnest allergy mom trying to explain how much it means for her child to attend a baseball game, and being told that, hey, we were just fooling around.
Speaking as a long time member of the radical anti-peanut lobby, I don't like being played. I would suggest that this kind of behavior should be beneath Fox News except, clearly, it's not. The appropriate response to Fox's segment is to change the channel. Permanently.