Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Pimp Thi$ Bum" Web Site Letter

A top story in AOL News (and others) today caused me great concern.... this is the response to the story and the web site (

-----Original Message-----
From: JP Saleeby, MD
Sent: Sun, 8 Mar 2009 8:16 am
Subject: Pimp This Bum


This site raises ethical issues with me. Despite the lengthy explanation you give on your web site, are you really helping the homeless here or is this site exploiting their plight and "celebrity-izing" one particular homeless man. By and large as an ED physician my encounters with the homeless are that the majority have psychiatric issues whether substance abuse or other and they tend to be very manipulative (seeking social admissions for food and shelter in the ED which bogs our healthcare system down, drug seeking, etc.) The title of the site is a bit offensive (I guess it gets you lots of hits and a feature on AOL news and I "get it" from a marketing perspective), but to demean this problem by relating it to an MTV show (Pimp My Ride) is crass.

JP Saleeby, MD
ED Medical DirectorBennettsville, SC

His reply:

-----Original Message-----
To: JP Saleeby, MD
Sent: Sun, 8 Mar 2009 4:04 pm
Subject: RE: Pimp This Bum

You are a cynic. I know quite a bit  about the homeless. I have lived on the
streets and my brother has been chronically homeless for 30 years. He doesn't
want to change. But I have seen people that had been broken and put there lives
back together with the right help. It never came from typical institutional
organisations. It came from a close group of caring people helping someone to
work through their demons. If the hoopla bothers you - help people your way. I
am a marketing guy, and we have created a system that may bail many people out
of homelessness. Some may fall back. That doesn't mean that every one on this
planet shouldn't try to help. I appreciate what you do.


(Editors Note: He has got me pegged as a cynic... no argument there as I don't honestly believe his company would promote such a site with a "store" link to buy site merchandise in a purely altruistic manner)

No comments: