Cue the Kellers

“Cue the Kellers.” By Jody Schoger, Women With Cancer.

Lisa Adams is a stunningly articulate blogger and mother of three from New England who has suddenly found herself as the Rorschsach test for two prominent journalists who should have known better. The husband and wife team, Emma and Bill Keller, writing for the Guardian and The New York Times respectively, in the end tell us more about their own fears and experiences with cancer than they do about Lisa and her current difficult treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

The two pieces of writing are disrespectful, inaccurate, and to return a word grenade lobbed by Emma Keller in her Guardian piece, “unethical.”  Somehow both writers managed to conclude that Lisa is dying (metastatic and terminal are not synonyms), a huge assumption that isn’t theirs to declare.  Most bloggers I follow, including Lisa Adams, pay more attention to accuracy than these journalists did. Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, originally misstated the number of children Lisa has. Emma’s piece has been removed from the Guardian “pending investigation.” There are many levels on which their “blame the patient” posts are so wrong but I’ll stick with two: the gigantic misunderstandings surrounding metastatic breast cancer and a withering lack of savvy about social media and its role in fostering healthy epatient communities.

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