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Attack on Lieberman's wife misplaced

posted 12/19/2009 1:55:43 PM |
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  StraddleMyNose

To a self-described "old feminist" such as Hadassah Lieberman, the recent blog-inspired attack against her -- all related to husband Joe Lieberman's obstruction of the Democrats' health care agenda -- has been a surreal mix of "McCarthyism" and a "snowball fight on the playground."

Actually, ambush is a better word.

Blogger Jane Hamsher, a movie producer (Natural Born Killers) and political activist, went after Mrs. Lieberman as Sen. Lieberman, I-Conn., was refusing to vote for a health-care reform bill that included expanding Medicare to people as young as 55. Hamsher claimed that because Mrs. Lieberman was a lobbyist and had worked for the pharmaceutical industry, she should be fired from her position as global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation breast-cancer charity.

Hamsher says that when people run for the cure or donate to Komen, they don't expect their money to go to someone who helps funnel funds to pharmaceutical companies that are also fighting health-care reform.

Story continues belowAdvertisement If "Huh?" is trying to escape your lips, don't fight it. Meanwhile, let's pause for a few facts, easily accessible, thanks to that techno-geezer, Alexander Graham Bell:

Hadassah Lieberman is not and has never been a lobbyist. She did work for some pharmaceutical companies -- Hoffman-La Roche in New York in the 1970s, before she married Lieberman, and Pfizer, also in New York, between 1982 and 1985. Later, from 1993 to 1997, she worked for Apco, a global public-relations firm that represents corporations, including several drug companies.

More facts: Mrs. Lieberman is not paid in her role as global ambassador for Komen, though she does get a check for consulting work she performs under a separate agreement. According to Komen spokeswoman Pamela Stevens, Komen has never funneled money to pharmaceutical companies. Susan G. Komen grants totaling $450 million have gone to research institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Another $900 million has gone to programs in communities worldwide for education, screening and treatment. Another $50 million will go to research in the coming year.

So, why again should Hadassah Lieberman be fired?

Because Jane Hamsher says so.

Hamsher, who is a cancer survivor, as are other family members, apparently has taken her personal suffering and made it personal with Hadassah Lieberman. On her blog, Firedoglake, she launched a campaign for readers to pressure the Komen organization to oust Lieberman. She also is urging Komen-friendly celebrities such as Christie Brinkley and Ellen DeGeneres to do the same.

Whether one agrees with Sen. Lieberman's opposition to certain elements of the Senate health-care bill is a matter of legitimate debate. Democrats are understandably furious with the Senator Formerly Known As A Democrat, now an independent and sometimes a Republican sympathizer. Thanks largely to Lieberman, progressives have had to watch as their single-payer dream became a public option and, now, something closer to a nightmare.

But again, what has any of this to do with his wife's work for a nonprofit organization that has raised breast-cancer awareness and saved countless lives around the world? There is no conflict of interest unless you think that a wife should stay home and be her husband's silent partner.

In that light, the attack on Hadassah Lieberman has been fantastically anti-feminist. In what American century is a wife's job in jeopardy because of her husband's politics?

"It's been surprising to me as an old feminist to watch this kind of cheap attack," Mrs. Lieberman told me. "The reality of many women is that many of us have careers and ideas and thoughts that preceded our marriages."

Hamsher's campaign thus far has had little effect except to cause alarm among those concerned with truth's slow pace in the race against falsehood. A few e-mails from blog readers have trickled in to the Komen organization, but there's been no word from celebrities, says Stevens.

Ultimately, this may prove much ado about nada. But there is a larger issue embedded herein concerning the damaging effects of viral warfare on individual reputations, not to mention democracy.

Hadassah Lieberman is but the most recent victim of new media that owe no allegiance to facts or to the goal of an informed citizenry. In such an environment, anyone's reputation is subject to the whim of any other person armed with an agenda and a random selection of disputable facts and unencumbered by standards.

Or, as in this case, unconstrained by the modern notion that women are free to think and act independently of their husbands.
**************************************************************
Written by Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker writes for the Washington Post Writers Group.

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Comments:

post a comment!

drcocktail87

Dec 19 @ 2:05PM  
So do you have an opinion on this?
StraddleMyNose

Dec 19 @ 2:13PM  
If i posted this and left it as is, then I would say that would be pretty much how I feel about the issue. Nothing much more to add other than to say that a lot of liberal bloggers are known for a lot of attacks on very good people on the net.
DarkKnightWalking

Dec 19 @ 2:23PM  
Bloggers get attacked?

No...not around here...


/sarcasm off
Wordsofwit

Dec 19 @ 2:25PM  
StraddleMyNose

Dec 19 @ 2:28PM  
Bloggers get attacked?

No...not around here...



Seems to be the norm today, even on here, Rod.

I know both political partys do this shit, but it seems like more liberals own this concept of going this route. jmo
drcocktail87

Dec 19 @ 2:39PM  
Nothing much more to add other than to say that a lot of liberal bloggers are known for a lot of attacks on very good people on the net.

Well we both are in agreement. More to follow.....
Wordsofwit

Dec 19 @ 2:42PM  
All in good fun
StraddleMyNose

Dec 19 @ 2:47PM  
Bruce, remember last week when you wrote me about Rush Limbaugh to where you had a dream of him having a fatal heart attack in the near future? Are you sure that wasn't wishful thinking on your part?
somnium

Dec 19 @ 4:53PM  
In keeping with my total disdain for politicians and politics- both are a losing entity on either side of the isle... with respect to the citizens of our country! Neither side has respect for our Constitution nor our citizens, only for what they really want... power! And for that, I have no respect for our 'President' in this administration nor for the previous administrations... going back really, to President Eisenhower- and he was not without questions himself!!!

As far as this so-called 'Health Care Reform' goes- just remember one thing that I'm sure everyone has heard before about any kind of insurance: you never really know what you're covered for, until you have to use it!!! One more point: would you buy a new car and pay on it for three or four years, before you could even use it??? Think about it!!!

With that said, I have two clips that tend to reflect my opinions on politics and politicians! Both in fun, with some seriousness on my part:

Politics Sucks

Political Song- I Hate Obama, I Hate McCain

JMO- 'nuff said!


sugarnspice005

Dec 19 @ 9:42PM  
Nothing much more to add other than to say that a lot of liberal bloggers are known for a lot of attacks on very good people on the net.

That is a two way street there. Liberal and Conservative bloggers out there attack the opposition. Not saying all do, just saying there are some on both sides that do that. And that is mainly why I really don't give them people much thought.

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Attack on Lieberman's wife misplaced