Many people living in various regions of Russia, public figures and a number of charitable organizations are preparing a class action lawsuit against the radio presenters of Mayak (Lighthouse) radio station (a highly popular federal radio station in Russia). The presenters ridiculed terminally ill children live, during a program on medicine and diseases. The administration of the radio station has issued a public apology and announced that the program has been closed. However, many believe that this is not enough.
As part of "Program P" morning show, a medical program was aired on Mayak Radio on October 4th. The program was about cystic fibrosis - a congenital disease characterized by lesions of exocrine secretion, serious disorders of the respiratory system and the gastro-intestinal tract. Cystic fibrosis patients usually die in childhood or adolescence in the absence of proper treatment. In Russia, the life expectancy of such patients is less than 29 years, but is longer in Europe and the United States. However, the hosts of the radio show did not take the facts seriously, and they had great fun discussing specific symptoms of cystic fibrosis.
In the studio, in addition to radio hosts Victoria Kolosova, Alexei Veselkin and an unnamed DJ, there was a guest - Dr. David. The doctor tried to remain serious during the conversation. He was describing the facts related to the disease, but the hosts were not listening to their guest. Instead, they were literally making fun of every word that the doctor was saying. Below is a short transcript of the show.
Doctor: The disease used to be associated with the problems in the digestive system. Medics believed that the disorders in the bronchopulmonary system occurred due to the absence of absorbability of vitamin A.
DJ: The patient hasn't sucked it in! So they gasp! Suck it!
Doctor: Such children are commonly known as "salty children." There are disturbances in their exchange of chlorine, and salt appears on the skin ...
Kolosov: Do they smell? And...it's great to drink tequila with them!
Veselkin: Do apes have this disease? We think that they are looking for fleas, but they are looking for salt crystals! They do not know that they can buy it in a store! .. Imagine: "Volodya, come here, me and uncle Vasya want to have some tequila, let me give you a kiss!
Doctor: Cystic fibrosis is not contagious, they are completely socialized.
DJ: Well, just a little salty!
After the controversial program, people from various regions of the country demanded the administration of the radio station should publicly apologize for the behavior of the radio presenters, writes the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. Interregional public organization "Help Patients With Cystic Fibrosis" has already sent a letter to Roskomnadzor federal service, to the Russian Union of Journalists and currently prepares a lawsuit. The Russian Center for Cystic Fibrosis based on the children's hospital named after N.F. Filatov supports the initiative.
Deputies of the State Duma evinced interest in the program too. The MPs sent a request to the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Communications of the Russian Federation to assess "Program P" morning radio show on Mayak.
Mayak was waiting for two weeks before making official apologies, perhaps hoping that the scandal would be covered up quietly. Only on October 21, program director Anatoly Kuzichev "brought most sincere apologies to listeners for misconduct and insulting remarks from the radio presenters.
"The comments made during the show about cystic fibrosis were completely unacceptable. They contradicted to the editorial policy of the station," said the director." The radio show, where the inappropriate remarks were made, has been closed," he said.
The radio presenters apologized too. During the morning broadcast of "Program P," presenters Veselkin and Kolosova said: "Well, let's put it this way, comrades: our tone was inappropriate. The tone was inappropriate, the form was inappropriate. We deeply apologize to all those who suffered because of that program ... Our apologies are sincere, and we really did not want to either offend or insult anyone. And it's such a pity that we - adult and educated people - have allowed ourselves to do that."