Bill Keller of the Times demonstrates that being a fool is a full-time job. Let's start with the WaPo:
Former NYT editor Bill Keller and his wife under fire for commentary on cancer patient
Lesson No. 1: Publicly questioning the motives and intentions of a woman who is seriously ill with cancer can land you in a heap of controversy.
Writer Emma Gilbey Keller and her husband, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, seem to have found this out over the past few days. In a successive pair of columns in different publications, the Kellers opined about the prodigious tweets of a woman named Lisa Bonchek Adams, a Stage IV breast cancer patient in New York — and both reaped a whirlwind of outrage in the process.
Ms. Adam is a 44 year old mother of three who has been grappling with cancer for seven years. For some reason this prompted Mr. Keller to contrast her situation with that of his eighty-year old father-in-law, who was told he had inoperable cancer and died six days later. One of his little life lessons:
It seemed to me, and still does, that there is something enviable about going gently.
Please. Maybe mom should have walked out in the traffic seven years ago.
Ms. Keller worried (in a column subsequently taken down because she quoted Ms. Adams without her permission) that although some seem to find inspiration this is all so voyeuristic. Me, I still have reservations about The Diary of Anne Frank. No I don't.
Well. Beat-downs are available in the Times comment section, by the Times Public Editor, and at Technology and Society. But in order to make sure that no dead horse is left behind, unbeaten, let me highlight this absurdity from Mr. Keller's target-rich piece:
Her relationship with the hospital provides her with intensive, premium medical care, including not just constant maintenance and aggressive treatment but such Sloan-Kettering amenities as the Caring Canines program, in which patients get a playful cuddle with visiting dogs. (Neither Adams nor Sloan-Kettering would tell me what all this costs or whether it is covered by insurance.)
I don't know what "all this" costs either, but the Caring Canines program is a charitable endeavor run in cooperation with Angels on a Leash and the Westminister Kennel Club so I'll guess "not much" for the direct costs of that part of the support program.
And while on the subject of our mutual ignorance, I don't know what it would cost to get Mr. Keller a fact-checker or a subscription to Bing. And later he might want to spring for a trip to the Wizard for a heart and a brain...