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Open Letter To Katie Couric: You Were Unfair To The Edwards

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I watched your "60 Minutes" interview this evening with Elizabeth and John Edwards. I found you insensitive and judgemental. Particularly toward Senator Edwards, whom you portrayed as uncaring and self-obsessed.

You were more preoccupied with Elizabeth Edwards' dying, than with her genuine desire to live. You challenged her positivism and vitality. You painted her future as bleak. Why such negativity, Katie? Yes, cancer isn't good news. But your badgering seems suspect. Didn't you hear Elizabeth's response when you suggested she's staring at death? She said, "Aren't we all?"

Didn't you get that, Katie? We ultimately face the same fate. Elizabeth hasn't surrendered. Don't presume that she should.

Many in America know the tragedies you have suffered, Katie. You were a widow much too young. Your loving husband, Jay, lost his battle with colon cancer after a valiant effort to prevail. Your older sister, Emily, succumbed to pancreatic cancer after she similarly fought to prevail.

Your personal tragedies are well documented. As are your triumphs in dealing with them. You bounced back. Of course there will always be pain, but you survived.

In each of your tragedies you had warning. Your husband, Jay, and your sister, Emily, knew of their illnesses in advance of their deaths. Their diagnoses offered no absolutes. No forecast date of death. No guaranteed length of survival. Diagnoses never do. Yet, throughout their illnesses, you lived each day with hope. This was obvious from the way you fought to save Jay. The doctors you saw. The treatments you sought. The research you did. You wouldn't have done that if you didn't have hope.

Why should the Edwards hope less?

During your interview with Elizabeth and John, it was clear you didn't understand them. John and Elizabeth Edwards aren't like you, Katie. Your experiences are night and day. You experienced impending loss. They experienced instant loss. Within seconds they had no son. In an instant they went from two kids to one. Do YOU understand what that means?

Throughout YOUR preoccupation with Elizabeth's potential to die, you overruled her desire to live. YOU screwed up, Katie. You owe her an apology. For Elizabeth, life isn't about losing. It's about winning, and remaining vital. Yet, regardless of the hope Elizabeth foresaw, you foretold disaster.

Your experience with death (known only through your public persona) came with forewarning. But life has NO GUARANTEES, as the Edwards tried hard to tell you. They lost their child at sixteen years old. Loss often comes without warning. ANY leader can lose a loved one in office. Not just through illness. Accidents happen. People die unexpectedly. There are NO guarantees. We can go at anytime. We merely presume that we won't.

The question is, can the person in power survive the loss? Does he or she have the character... the mettle to see it through?

John Edwards has proven he has it. Elizabeth has proven it, too.

Funny, Katie. You used to be so perky. Tonight you were the picture of gloom. You discouraged positivism. You dissuaded goals. You challenged desire. You shed darkness where the Edwards sought light. Is that really how you view your life? Die before dying? Lose before losing?

You will state you were seeking the truth. Instead you refused to accept it.

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Linda Milazzo was a Managing Editor of Opednews until Fall 2014, and a Los Angeles based writer, educator and activist. Since 1974, she has divided her time between the entertainment industry, government organizations, community development (more...)

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