January 22, 2021
Kelly McBride, Public Editor
Office of the Public Editor at NPR
1111 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Dear Ms. McBride,
On Saturday, January 16, the NPR quiz show “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me” included a segment called “Bluff the Listener” in which “Our panelists read three stories about chickens in the news, only one of which is true.”
The third story is particularly concerning. It jokes about slapping chickens (presumably dead) to prepare them to be eaten: “how hard do I have to slap a chicken to cook it?” And “How many light slaps would it take?”
Chickens are stereotyped in another story as “smelly,” although any “smelliness” they may have is the result of the filth their keepers force them to live in.
The segment ends with an ugly “Chicken Fried” song soundbite.
Given the torture inflicted on chickens from the hatchery to the slaughterhouse, including dragging them, face down and fully conscious, through paralytic electric shock water to fit their living bodies to the machinery and facilitate removal of their feathers after they are dead, smirking “advice” about slapping their corpses is inappropriate entertainment. It involves and encourages cruelty and ignorance toward chickens, and we are expressing our opposition and disgust to NPR and the show’s producers.
“Wait Wait” should confine its sarcasms to victims who can defend themselves. Justice for all should be extended to all sentient individuals. Gut-punching chickens does not fit the mission of a media organization dedicated to civility, fair play, and truth. It is hurtful.
Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your response.
Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
United Poultry Concerns is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promoting the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
Federal ID: 52-1705678