Here’s an interesting e-mail from someone who was traveling with Sam Brownback yesterday, and sat in on the editorial board meeting, but had a minor question about the accuracy of the way I quoted the candidate in one instance.
I pass it on because I think the attention Sen. Brownback would like to focus on cancer is worthwhile, and I hope it can gain some traction beyond his candidacy — which I’m afraid is probably not long for this sin-stained world.
Anyway, here is the question:
From: LOUIS W NEIGER
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 10:32 AM
To: StateEditor, Columbia
Subject: Please forward to Brad Warthen
Your article in 8-16-07 concerning Brownback and the editorial board was I believe mostly fair. One point I may suggest that you did not correctly high light what Brownback said. he would "end cancer in 10 years"
My notes show, Brownback was saying, allowing government to loosen terminal cancer patients restrictions on new treatments and drugs and to investigate what will work and this would "end cancer in 10 years."
Your statement sounded like he personally would end cancer.
What did your tape say?????????
Here is my initial response:
You left out
a crucial word from the quote. My column quoted him as saying he wanted to
"end DEATHS to cancer in 10 years." As I recall, he said he wanted to change
cancer from a terminal to a chronic disease.I’ll see if I
can find that bit on my recording, and post it on my blog for you. You might
also want to look at the
blog version of my column, as it has links to additional
And, most importantly, here is actual audio of what he said. (By some bizarre coincidence, I did quote him accurately.) An excerpt, for those who have trouble playing the clip, which goes to the heart of the distinction that might have caused Mr. Neiger to think my quote was inaccurate:
This will not end people getting cancer. People will still get it. But you’re gonna be able to treat it as a — what I want to do is be able to treat it as a chronic disease, not as a terminal one.