Why I Turned Away From Conservative News

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As the title says, I don’t trust Conservative news outlets much. There is the obvious cases where the reporting is just plain wrong. Last week, Conservative website Newsbusters chided the “national media” for either not covering the story a of former Acting Director of Cyber Security Health and Human Services who got busted and now sentenced for accessing child porn.

Here is their headline: Omission Watch: Media Bored by Violent Child Porn Sentencing of Former HHS Cyber Security Chief

They single out The Washington Post as one of the “national media outlets” that was interested in the story. They compare a short WaPo article concerning the recent sentencing of Timothy DeFoggi with a  “longer” article published by the Conservative media outlet The Washington Times, published when Mr. DeFoggi was originally convicted last year in September. The difference in the length is approximately 11  paragraphs for the Washington Times vs 9 for the WaPo.

Of course, the author of this piece that took down the evil “national media” apparently is Google challenged, as he didn’t seem to check if the WaPo had written anything in August when the guy was convicted, which of course, they did!

Fast forward a few months.

Lately, there is a story circulating right now about a 17 year old Connecticut teenage girl, who was diagnosed with cancer and is fighting the state about her cancer treatment. Due to severe side effects of the chemo-therapy the doctors are prescribing to treat the cancer, the teenager, with the support of her mom, is refusing treatment. The state has stepped in and is trying to force the girl to get treated.

Here is the story as presented on FOX News (you should read it to get the full flavor of the article). The article stresses the conflict over who has the rights to determine what treatment is used, and if the teenage, who IS nearly an adult, should have the adult right to refuse treatment. The story describes some of the bad side effects that often go hand-in-hand with chemo treatments.

On the one hand, these are legitimate questions in and of themselves. But this story, as presented on FOX News, is incomplete. They left some details out of the story.

You see, the young woman has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is a very important detail.

Why?

Because it’s one of the types of cancers that the medical community has become very successful at fighting and beating.

Here are some of those pesky details that the “lame-stream-media” went to the trouble to include. From NBC News:

Among oncologists, Hodgkin lymphoma is widely considered “one of the great success stories for cancer treatment because we can cure a high percentage of the cases,” said Dr. Mitchell Smith, director of the lymphoid malignancy program at the Cleveland Clinic. (He is not involved in Cassandra’s case).

Those outcomes depend mainly on the stage of the disease when it’s detected. The stage also helps doctors map out the most effective treatment course, which could consist of chemotherapy alone or chemo plus radiation. The standard course of chemo for Hodgkin lymphoma spans four to six months.

“I would say, overall, 80 percent is probably a reasonable estimate of how many patients are cured,” Smith said.

“It would be higher if you’re early stage. … The treatment’s very good. It’s all outpatient, usually well tolerated. Yes, patients lose their hair. Yes, there are risks to it. But in young, healthy patients, the vast majority of them get through it and go ahead and live essentially normal lives.”

Why do you think FOX News left out the detail that it’s very curable if detected and treated early???

Because it interferes with the “Bad Ol’ Big Guvment” theme that is a staple of Conservative media. I’m not saying it’s bad to be concerned with government bloat and the rights of citizens vs their government. But leaving out this information makes the governments case here much more reasonable as early treatment will save her life… And if your audience is also committed to being “pro-Life”….

Further, I thought this FOX quote was interesting:

“She knows the long-term effects of having chemo, what it does to your organs, what it does to your body. She may not be able to have children after this because it affects everything in your body. It not only kills cancer, it kills everything in your body,” Cassandra’s mother, Jackie Fortin, said in a video published on the Hartford Courant’s website.

What are the prospects of reproductive organ damage?

With regard to chemotherapy, the extent of damage to a patient’s fertility depends on the agent administered, the doses received, and the patient’s age at the time of treatment. Age is an important factor, and the possibility of gonadal recovery improves with the length of time off chemotherapy. The germinal epithelium of the adult testis is more susceptible to damage than that of the prepubertal testis.[3] The evidence to date (largely from adjuvant studies) suggests that patients older than 35 to 40 years are most susceptible to the ovarian effects of chemotherapy. The ovaries of younger women can tolerate greater doses.[4] Predicting the outcome for any individual patient is difficult, as the course of ovarian functioning following chemotherapy is variable.[3] Relative risk of ovarian failure and testicular damage from cytotoxic agents has been studied, and the alkylating agents have subsequently been shown to be damaging to fertility. The following agents have been shown to be gonadotoxic

So yes, she could end up being infertile. It’s not a guarantee that she will or won’t be able to have kids after the treatment.

That said…. Um…. Unless there is spontaneous remission of her cancer, which almost NEVER happens, NOT getting treatment means certain death, which of course, also leads to infertility. And by fighting and delaying treatment, they decrease the odds that the cancer can be cured at all. If they are concerned about passing on Cassandra’s genes, they could have some of Cassandra’s eggs frozen and stored if they are this concerned.

Lastly, I found this FOX featured quote from the mother kind of funny:

“It’s a question of fundamental constitutional rights– the right to have a say over what happens to your body– and the right to say to the government ‘you can’t control what happens to my body,’”

Now where have I heard that line before????

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