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Leave Elizabeth Edwards alone

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Go home and die.

That's the prescription of some in the media to Elizabeth Edwards' announcement that her breast cancer has returned. You see, Mrs. Edwards and her husband John, the former Senator and current Democratic presidential candidate, had the temerity to announce last week that in spite of Mrs. Edwards' diagnosis, they were staying in the race for president, and they plan to win.

Well, the gatekeepers in the mainstream media would have none of that. First up, Katie Couric on "60 Minutes." Here's a sampling of her interview questions for the Edwards.

Yes, you see, John Edwards simply can't in good faith continue his day job while his spouse has cancer, while his poor children are suffering at home over mommy's diagnosis, since that would be exactly what Katie Couric, mother of two, did while her husband was dying of cancer. Couric stayed on the job, and her husband ultimately died.

ABC did a similar broadcast last night explaining the "controversy" over the Edwards' decision to stick it out.

Here's what ABC's correspondent had to say:

There have been questions about the Edwards' decision to continue their run for the White House... Analysts say in the long run voters might think twice about supporting a candidate whose attention may not be fully focused on the presidency.
Well, they weren't thinking twice until you put the idea in their head, ABC - thank you very much. And who did ABC get to back up this incendiary charge? A pundit from a leading conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, who might just have a reason for harming a Democratic presidential candidate (oh, and ABC didn't bother mentioning that AEI was politically conservative - read: Republican). Here's what the right-wing pundit had to say:
Americans are gonna look past the emotion and think in a pretty hard-nosed way about what all this means for somebody making decisions that affect all of our lives, not just those of his family.
Now, in all fairness to ABC, their broadcast was certainly more balanced than CBS's - they showed a woman with cancer who supported the Edwards' decision, and a man who was initially critical but then was won over by Mrs. Edwards' herself.

But why even go there?

Why do a segment about whether the Edwards' are right to have chosen to live? ABC could have just as easily interviewed a liberal pundit or - here's a thought - an expert on dying who could have told them that living life to its fullest is the best way to honor and care for yourself and your loved ones. But ABC didn't do that. Hell, ABC didn't even interview the "dying" expert as a counter-balance to the pundit. ABC chose instead to raise the question of whether John Edwards was a bad spouse, and Elizabeth Edwards a bad mom. For some in the audience, who had never contemplated the question at all, the issue is now in play. And thanks to ABC and CBS, there is no way for John Edwards to fully deny that he has stopped beating his dying wife.

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