I like and admire her a great deal. So it is painful and troubling to know that she is now sick with lung cancer, and that she has that battle to fight from her bed.
But since Dan Carpenter in the Star yesterday referred to the "often vicious" treatment Rep. Carson received from bloggers, I feel a tiny obligation to enter the fray.
The blogs were in fact the only early and consistent truth-tellers about Carson's repeated health problems. The blogs addressed concerns, which now we know were valid, that she was extremely unwell. Before there were blogs, it was readers who called the Star, demanding coverage of the fact that Carson missed, at various times, so many votes in Congress. It was readers who got that story out in the open, not the Star's Washington bureau.
A friend has referred to the treatment Rep. Carson has received at the hands of her many "supporters" as elder abuse. Carson, my friend says, was kept propped up by a staff and others who, it seems, may have had their own best interests at heart -- keeping the machine going, staying in power.
I don't know if that is true. Far be it from me to discern the workings of either Rep. Carson or those who love her.
I do, however, absolutely believe that the Star has been negligent in covering Rep. Carson's efforts to do her job in Congress. I do believe that the newspaper has been her enabler. It is one thing for longtime friends and staff to protect the congresswoman, and quite another for the state's largest newspaper to continually print positive spin without taking a hard look at the facts.
If the blogs were vicious, it was, perhaps, only because they were trying to do the job the Star should have done.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Holladay: Star Acting As Carson's Enabler
Former Star columnist Ruth Holladay defends blogs like this one for seeking for more than a year now to expose the truth about Rep. Julia Carson's health, which she and her staff have gone to great pains to hide from public, and she criticizes the Star for acting as Carson's enabler in hiding the truth from the public. Holladay takes notable exception to Star columnist Dan Carpenter's absurd suggestion in his column yesterday that the blogs have been vicious towards Carson on this point. Carpenter would have fit right in with the reporters in the 1960s who covered up all the Kennedy scandals in the name of protecting Camelot. She writes: