"For a reporter whose specialty is digging out secrets, Murray Waas has been keeping one about himself for a long time.* Waas attempts to pre-empt his outing here
He was once diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer and told he had little chance of survival. More recently, he had to fight off a recurrence and his subsequent bankruptcy from medical bills.
It's hard to say where the line should be drawn when it comes to such an intensely personal disclosure. Did Waas's near-death experience, and subsequent complications, affect his journalism? How could such a searing experience not change your outlook on work and life? "
"I'm certainly one who thinks that reporters often have an exaggerated sense of their personal right to keep their private lives private - especially those in the celebrity press (for which Waas hardly qualifies) - but if anyone can explain to me why there's any legitimate news hook over the fact that Murray Waas had cancer 20 years I'd really appreciate it."
"It almost seems like Howie didn't have the heart to do it, to insinuate that Murray Waas' past struggles with cancer influence his current reporting. But true to his smarmy self, Howie musters up several suggestions that the cancer has compromised Murray's reporting.* Larisa has Lupus - from her comment at TNH:
As someone who has a pretty good understanding of where Murray's coming from, let me just tell Howie to fuck off.
You see, I too write as a cancer survivor. Like Murray, I was misdiagnosed.
You see, there's a distinction here that Howie may not understand. Surviving cancer has made me a more serious person. It (along with my father's relatively early death from cancer) has forced me to consider the value and tenuousness of my own life. It has made me treat life--my own and that of others--with much more humility and awe. Yes, my fight with cancer has made me much more skeptical of war. But that comes from an awareness of my own mortality. That comes from an awareness of my own humanity, not reporter's bias.
Which is why I find it so disgusting that Howie (and others--trust me, there are others) want to claim that Murray's own fight with cancer compromises his work.
Would that we had more reporters who were aware of their own humanity, who were aware that politics and war and life and death aren't one great big game. Howie Kurtz should be celebrating the perspective Murray brings to his reporting, not besmirching it."
"Since it would appear we are now under full attack by the Rove machine and singled out one by one, let me save old Kurtz the trouble: I have Lupus. More specifically, I have MCTD and like cancer patients, I have had to withstand massive chemo to get my flares under control. What is clear is that the Rove strategy this election cycle is to attack the alternative media and bloggers from the left. It is clear he is not going after the Dems, he does not need to. What he needs is to control the message, which has spun terribly out of alignment. So Rove has sent out his pay-per-ethic proxies and Bush rangers to do some ugly work. Grrr, I am so angry that someone's cancer should be the topic of a column. Kurtz is pathetic!"see here, or here for more on Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). It sounds kinda awful
What is Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)?
A few decades ago, scientists discovered that patients with a connective tissue disease had symptoms of both lupus, scleroderma, myositis, etc. These diseases are called ‘overlap-syndromes’. In 1969 Sharp and his co-workers found out that there is one specific type of overlap-syndrome with symptoms of lupus, scleroderma, myositis and rheumatoid arthritis, together with a large quantity of antibodies against one specific antigen, namely U1RNP. They believed it to be a distinct disease entity and called it MCTD. Meanwhile, it is known that Sjogren’s Syndrome is very common in MCTD.
Most important symptoms
- Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Swollen fingers
- Muscle inflammation
- Neurological damage
- Renal involvement
- Skin and mucous membranes
"tell Kurtz he can kiss my little white bum!...presuming, of course, that Kurtz gives a damn about female ass.
In the interest of full disclosure, and to answer Kurtz' apparent concerns about how personal experience might "change your outlook on work and life" - my own blogging has been deeply affected by some personal experiences that may not have been entirely transparent.
In my personal experience, I really fucking hate war, particularly 'unnecessary' war, and I hate propaganda and lies that lead to mass murder. Oh - I'm also kinda pro-democracy, and believe that there ought to be three (or four) co-equal branches keeping a check on each other. These things may, on occasion, affect my perspective when blogging. Of course, I try to remain 'objective' - but, as Kurtz asks, how could these beliefs not affect my outlook on work and life?