Most everyone is aware that Sen. Tim Johnson was forced to have emergency brain surgery after he suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation.
As unfortunate as it is the talk of politics cannot help, but swirl around the illness of Sen. Johnson. While everyone from both political parties have wished the senator well, offered their prayers for him and his family and maintained that his recovery is more important than political power, at least one news article paints a different picture.
In an article for Earth Times.org, the top news source on this story at Google News, reporter Thomas Blythe opens his story this way:
Dem. Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota had to undergo surgery last night, according to sources at the George Washington University Hospital where the Democrat leader was hospitalized on Wednesday. Fellow Democrats at Capitol Hill are as concerned about Johnson as they are about their chances to take control of the Senate next month, especially since they won by a narrow margin of a single vote.
Is the writer simply talking without any sources or does he know that Democrats are equally concerned about their power as Johnson’s life? I would hope that they would be significantly more concerned about their colleague’s health than their takeover in the Senate.
From the name of the website (Earth Times), I assumed it was a left-leaning online publication -reading their About Us section confirms it.
The Earth Times writes that they cover “almost anything that affects the World and our planet, Mother Earth.” Since September 11, they have expanded their coverage of “terrorism and as important, the causes of terrorism, poverty, discrimination, illiteracy and pollution.” (I’ve heard all the others before, but pollution is a new cause for terrorism for me.)
I am assuming that Johnson’s fellow senators (Republican and Democrat) alike are being genuine when they say they are most concerned about his well-being. This leaves this unsympathetic quote in the mouth (or keyboard) of this left-wing author and website.
It seems macabre to equate the life of a man with a political contest. I would hope that most journalist – online and off, right and left – would acknowledge that Johnson’s life is worth much more than a shift in political power.
Update: Speaking of unsympathetic and macabre, CNN has the audio of the moment Sen. Johnson feel ill on a conference call. If you want to hear it, you can find it, but I’m not posting a link to it.