Once again, the live wires at Jammin 95.5 have shown their superiority--by embarrassing vulnerable people.
On Thursday evening, April 17, the crew from the station's morning Playhouse show were at Dante's for a fan-appreciation event billed as "Adopt a Hottie," in which PK, a Playhouse DJ, introduced several groupies. Among them was "Special Jen," a frequent caller to the show.
According to two eyewitnesses, PK invited Special Jen, who appeared to be mentally retarded, up on stage, then asked if it was true that she "had learned how to wipe herself." When someone then asked "to see her ass," she pulled down her pants, according to an audience member.
"All the while, the cast of the playhouse jumped around, pointing, mugging at each other, slapping their foreheads, stomping their feet, et cetera," says the witness, who says he then left in disgust.
PK, in an interview with WW, said Jen not is developmentally disabled. "A lot of people think she's 'special' in that way, but she isn't," he told the Rogue desk. "Special Jen has a drug problem. We're trying to help her."
That "help" has included some personal-hygiene coaching, he says. "Her big issue is she doesn't flush, she doesn't wipe, she doesn't wash her hands," he says. "We're trying to get her to at least wipe and wash her hands."
PK says that when Jen started to pull her pants down he jumped between her and the audience and told her to "button things up." It was not his intent to humiliate her, he says. "If it came across like that, I apologize."
This is not the first time the station has squeezed some cheap laughs out of others. In February, Scooter, another Jammin DJ, cornered a mentally retarded, schizophrenic woman at a bus stop and broadcast the interview, describing her as "the ugliest, fattest lady I've ever seen in my life" (Rogue of the Week, Feb. 26, 2003).
After WW reported the bus-stop incident, mental-health advocates flooded the station with calls and persuaded a major advertiser to yank its ads.
Station Manager Tim MacNamara says he has now issued orders that Special Jen be kept off the air and out of any future Playhouse events. "I have squelched this at the station," he says.