Invasion of Inhumanity
|Camera:||Canon PowerShot SD850 IS|
Anyone who has had cancer or a family member or friend who has heard that diagnosis at any point in their life knows one thing: you need time to take it in. You don’t process all the information all at once.
I walked through Harvard Yard today with the luxury of not one soul knowing I was there. I walked past them anonymously, just an observer. Some were lost in conversations with their companions or colleagues; others walked with boxes toward a van. Graduation tents were being raised. One carried a newspaper with the headline: “KENNEDY HAS MALIGNANT TUMOR; PROGNOSIS IS UNCERTAIN AT BEST”.
The Massachusetts local media and the national media have lost their collective minds–gone crazy–no, I mean it–Brittany crazy on our 76 year old US Senator.
It is inconceivable to me that these reporters, writers, photographers, have not had cancer strike in one of their own family members or extended family or even themselves. Do they think they or their family members would appreciate having anonymous medical doctors talking about their grim future 24/7 on TV and in newspapers?
Do they feel no responsibility to allow this man, this family, to hear the information at their own pace? To allow them to decide when to ask the questions, not when Wolf Blitzer decides to ask Dr. Sanjay Gupta? Is our national security depending on us getting the big picture on his health?
As I left home this morning, Senator Kennedy left the hospital with his family, waving thumbs up, to the crowd that gathered. A State Trooper vehicle accompanied him home, along with a media helicopter.
I got home in time to listen to Emily Rooney, daughter of Andy Rooney of CBS, discussing on her show, “Greater Boston” on the local PBS station, the “politics” of his diagnosis on the upcoming election and speculation about the senate seat that “might” be opening up.
W.H. Auden wrote of suffering happening as other people live their lives–opening a window, eating, or walking dully along in Harvard Yard.. (OK, I added “Harvard Yard”). Senator Kennedy may have lost his privacy years ago but the media today has added to his suffering by losing its humanity–and what’s worse—they don’t seem to know it.
Hmm..let me see? What might the treatment options be for that?
©Pat Coakley 2008
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