Media Blog

Leroy Sievers vs. Ann Romney

NPR correspondent Leroy Sievers is quite upset with a recent Ann Romney comment about cancer (Mr. Sievers has colon cancer):

I was reading the current issue of People magazine. Yes, I’m a subscriber. One of the articles is about Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. She suffers from MS. I have to admit I don’t know a lot about the disease, but I do know that it is painful and debilitating. I wasn’t going to read the whole article, I was just sort of scanning the pages as I turned.
And sometimes your eye can catch on something. In describing her MS, Ann Romney said “I thought, ‘Couldn’t I just have cancer and die?’” Ahhhh. I don’t even know where to begin. I could be angry and say that a statement like that is thoughtless. I could try to be sympathetic and say that, just as I don’t know a lot about MS, she obviously knows very little about cancer.

Mitt Romney resopnds:

“Mrs. Romney was recounting a very real and very difficult emotional reaction to the news about her disease,” Romney campaign spokesperson Carolyn Weyforth told ABC News.
“It’s something that many people go through, and it’s an honest reflection about a difficult period of her life. It’s a reflection that has obviously evolved as she has come to terms with the disease.”

I’m not going to get into an argument over which disease is worse, but I do think Mr. Sievers is taking Ann Romney a little out of context. Here’s the People magzine interview. The answer in question is on page 2. It’s clear, at least to me, that she’s referring to a particularly bad time in her life and is being quite honest about her depression.
On a lighter note, I did find this part of the interview quite amusing:

You made the decision to stay at home and have an interesting story about finishing your college degree.

I was going at night, taking this Harvard extension program and finishing my hours. I had maybe just a semester’s worth of hours to do. I remember taking Josh, who was a baby then, to the class, nursing him in the back of the class. I think that was a first. It’s one of those things where the professor is like, Wait, wait, wait, this is liberal Harvard, but what am I going to do about that woman in the back with a baby that’s nursing? He just kept pretending like I wasn’t there. There was a blind man sitting at the back of the room with me and finally after a few weeks of class, he goes, “I gotta ask you a question, what’s that noise over there?”


The Latest