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Unbelievable -- Smear Obituaries?

Amy Ridenour at Newsbusters pointed me to this obituary in the Washington Post for the late Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage,that is unlike anything I have ever read. Okay, I have read stuff like it before, but it is usually on leftwing blogs or negative campaign ads, not in obituaries. The author of the obit, Patricia Sullivan, must have gotten a copy of Chenoweth-Hage's past opponents' opposition research and decided to just cut and paste it. That is what it sounds like, anyway. Be sure to read the whole thing to get the full effect. I still have the obituaries that ran in the paper when my grandparents passed away. I can't imagine the family clipping this one for the scrapbook.


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Comments (21)

It ran on B7...was it reall... (Below threshold)

It ran on B7...was it really an 'obituary' or a story written about the past of a person that has, well, passed? I get what you're saying, but was it really an 'obituary notice'? It has the tagline of a writer, etc. It's been 2 years since we left NoVa and stopped getting the Post, so I don't recall if that's where a real 'obituary' would have been.

"Stories" don't include ... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

"Stories" don't include Survivors, in addition to her grandson, include a son and a daughter from her first marriage.

And besides, if you read it online, it's in the obituaries directory.

Ah, OK. Guess it is </i... (Below threshold)

Ah, OK. Guess it is that disgusting, after all.

There is no such thing as a... (Below threshold)
Bill:

There is no such thing as an "obituary notice." You are mangling the nomenclature.

Let's define our terms, since these terms are often confused. An obituary is a news story, written by staff reporter, reporting on the death of newsworthy person. In the U.S., obituaries generally avoid open criticism of the recently deceased unless the person was, say, a convicted criminal. In the U.K., however, there is a more free-wheeling tradition that allows the author to bring up the deceased's perceived flaws and misdeeds (for example, some of the U.K. obits for Steve Irwin).

A "death notice" is a paid advertisement, usually placed by the funeral home at the behest of the deceased's family.

The piece in question was most definitely an obituary. It follows all the forms expected, including ending with the next-of-kin info. However, I will agree that it's clear the writer did not particularly approve of the deceased, and this definitely has the feel of the kind of obit one reads in the U.K.

Interesting stuff, Bill. I... (Below threshold)

Interesting stuff, Bill. I, for one, appreciate the info.

Typical of watermellon envr... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Typical of watermellon envromentalists who smear those who dont share their radical ideas i say drop these watermellon eco-freaks right into the middle of the alaska wilderness

An obituary is a news st... (Below threshold)
cirby:

An obituary is a news story, written by staff reporter, reporting on the death of newsworthy person.

Actually, no.

For example, in my local paper, the entire section is called "Obituaries."

cirby: yeah, but aren't the... (Below threshold)

cirby: yeah, but aren't they written by someone on staff versus those 'we miss you Papa Doogie!' notices they print? And I'm thinking just about anyone 'qualifies' for the obits. For the heck of it: Obituary:

"A published notice of a death, sometimes with a brief biography of the deceased." - American Heritage

ummm I don;t care what you ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

ummm I don;t care what you call it... It was grotesque.

Holy cow! That "obituary" ... (Below threshold)

Holy cow! That "obituary" looks like something lifted straight from the Democrat Underground.

I read the Post article and... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I read the Post article and I didn't see it as much of a "smear" at all. In fact, although I've never heard of Ms. Chenoweth-Hage before I read this post, after reading the Post article I can honestly say I would be proud if she had been my mother or grandmother. (And I would have clipped and saved it.)

I guess I could see how someone with a secular-socialist worldview would think that the things in the article were bad and the odds are extremely high that the author of the article was a secular-socialist, so I guess it could have been meant as a smear piece, but I just didn't get that from what I read.

P. Bunyan...Why me... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

P. Bunyan...

Why mention she held her grandson in her lap? How would they even know that?

Why state something she did or said then offer statistics to refute it?

Like:

Why include the following part in parenthesis?

Idaho's wild salmon were not endangered, she said, because she could buy salmon in cans at the grocery store (although what she was buying was farm-raised or Alaskan salmon, which are not endangered).

Why did the include this statistic?

Idaho, which was 96.3 percent white at the time, had plenty of ethnic diversity, she said.

I can't immagine anyone ign... (Below threshold)
LibraryLady:

I can't immagine anyone ignorant enough to ride with a baby in her lap.

Terrible "obituary" or whatever it was but STUPID, STUPID woman and daughter in law.

"I can't immagine anyone ig... (Below threshold)
Jack Oneil:

"I can't immagine anyone ignorant enough to ride with a baby in her lap"

Um, its legal in most states and the baby lived so save your indignation. I don't agree with their decision but send a letter to your state congressman.

That's some hatchet job on the obit too, I don't recall seeing one so long in some time.

and yet she died and the ba... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

and yet she died and the baby (a 5 year old in reality) and the daughter lived.

and before seat belt laws were invented, this was normal behavior.

and this

It reminds me of Christophe... (Below threshold)

It reminds me of Christopher Hitchens' post-mortem hit piece on Reagan.

VagaBond,O.k., I r... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

VagaBond,

O.k., I re-read it and I see your point. I guess I'm so used to the overwhelming secular-socialist bias in news stories that I tend to just ignore it. I think I was expecting a lot worse after reading what Lorie wrote about it (which I read before I read the actual article).

I still think that what Comrade Sullivan was trying to spin as negative things were actually positive things.

I believe this is a recent ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I believe this is a recent article about a recent death and they were in a 1999 model vehicle. What does 'before seat belt law were invented' have to do with it? She evidently died as stupid as she lived and the article in a roundabout way pointed that out.

I thought Clinton was still... (Below threshold)
914:

I thought Clinton was still alive??

The only thing that was smeared is in regards to a blue stained dress!

In regards to a eulogy? Bin Laden can rot with the libs! The lib!

Mr. O'Neill, would you like... (Below threshold)
LibraryLady:

Mr. O'Neill, would you like to name the state where car seats are not required by law?

Um, its legal in most states and the baby lived so save your indignation.

Every state requires that kids up to 4 years of age ride in a car seat; many require booster seats for older children

The Rocky Mountain News (De... (Below threshold)
OldeForce:

The Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) put this on the editorial page under "Recalling one of House's true characters". Bits from the editorial: "(She) is described in her obits as a libertarian archconservative. It is an understatement. She was an outspoken opponent of big government and most government regulations. Idaho law requires all passengers in a car to wear seat belts.(She) was not wearing hers at the time of the accident.She was the only one in the car killed. In a sense, she died while being true to her believes." Personally, I think she was an idot who could have killed her grandson because of her beliefs. You do not want to see the results of a child caught between an adult and an air bag. Looks as if the rollover "saved" the child.




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