Bill Keller's Hideous Op-Ed About How Lisa Adams Should Die From Cancer
Credit: C&L Media
January 13, 2014

(h/t Atrios) There are times when you scratch your head in disbelief at what some of the media beltway elites write about and say on TV and then there's times when you think they must be f*&ked-up aliens with no feelings or empathy who used mind control to get their jobs in the first place. His wife Emma Keller started it off with a piece called Forget funeral selfies. What are the ethics of tweeting a terminal illness? It was about a woman, Lisa Adams, who has been tweeting her experiences while fighting to stay alive with metastatic cancer. Emma's piece was so offensive that it has been pulled off the Guardian's website.

This post has been removed pending investigation.

The comments were not kind to her, to say the least and she had actually been in contact with Lisa Adams, the cancer patient who became furious with her as well.

Well, the feedback was so negative, including right at The Guardian in the comments section, that she added this update at the bottom:

Since this article was published two days ago, there’s been a lot of negative comment on Twitter and below the line. Lisa Adams herself was upset by it. I had been in communication with her a number of times in recent weeks; given her health, I could have given her advance warning about the article and should have told her that I planned to quote from our conversations. I regret not doing so.

She didn't even tell her what she had in mind. We all have regrets as people, but attacking a cancer patient is one I dare say not many people have indulged in.

Sadly, her husband Bill Keller couldn't help himself and instead of laying low at this point, he jumped in and wrote a horrifying piece about Lisa Adams as well called Heroic Measures. Please read it and maybe you'll agree that he must be an alien.
Greg Mitchell:

B. Keller, not quite overtly but certainly between the lines, suggests that Lisa Adams just die, already. He repeatedly compares her struggle, in a bad light, to a “battlefield” or “military’ campaign—this from the man who was a hawk on Iraq, staunchly defended Judy Miller and recently called for the bombing of Syria and backing the Al Qaeda rebels.

He writes, “What Britain and other countries know, and my country is learning, is that every cancer need not be Verdun, a war of attrition waged regardless of the cost or the casualties. It seemed to me, and still does, that there is something enviable about going gently. One intriguing lung cancer study even suggests that patients given early palliative care instead of the most aggressive chemotherapy not only have a better quality of life, they actually live a bit longer.”

Later, Bill-Knows-Best admits that Adams had provided a useful service as a research patient at Sloan-Kettering, but advises, “Adams is the standard-bearer for an approach to cancer that honors the warrior, that may raise false hopes, and that, implicitly, seems to peg patients like my father-in-law as failures.” He even gets in a dig about what it must cost to provide her with the occasional visit from a therapy dog. If only he’d worried about the trillions of dollars we’d spend on Iraq before calling on Bush to invade in 2003.
It might also be relevant that Keller’s father-in-law was elderly, while Adams has three kids at home.

Keller then closes by quoting Steven Goodman, an associate dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, who declares that Adams should not be “unduly praised.”

WTF does he care how she goes about trying to survive cancer? Now it's a crime to want to stay alive from cancer? Are we all supposed to go painfully quiet in the night?

Digby writes:

She is a young person with three kids at home and is doing everything in her power to stay alive. This offended the Kellers, who recently went through the illness and death of Mrs Keller's elderly Dad, also from cancer. They seem to believe that Ms. Adams is being a diva, not just for tweeting about her illness but for her desire to struggle against the disease to the very end. They advise that she should go gently into this good night instead --- much as an elderly person who has reached the natural end of his life, evidently. That these privileged jerks should even venture an opinion about how someone else should deal with a life-threatening illness reveals exactly what's so wrong with our elites. It really is all about them --- even how we should die.

I don't know how I would face that challenge, but I do know that I would really like to be able to make that decision myself without jerks like the Kellers offering up advice about my bad manners in the way I choose to do it. Whether you want to use all means available and tweet about it or decide to eschew treatment and keep it all private --- or anything else --- it's your choice, nobody else's and certainly not Bill and Emma Keller's, of all people.

Why these two would feel the need to air an opinion in public on this matter is beyond me. Why would they think that using their perches at the top of the media food chain to bully some poor woman who is dealing with a deadly disease is even slightly appropriate? It's just bizarre.

Wonkette sums it up nicely: Bill And Emma Keller Wish You Would Just Shut Up About Your Cancer Already, Lisa Adams

Send an encouraging note if you can to Lisa Adams @AdamsLisa if you can. Her website is

In October of 2012 I learned that cancer had metastasized to my lymph nodes and bones. I now have stage IV breast cancer. Again I feel the need to communicate not only about the disease itself (true awareness) but also about its impact on my young family. My posts often give my insights into how to raise children who are resilient and can cope with inevitable hardship. The blog also will be a record of my love and devotion to my children. There is nowhere I would rather be than here with them.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.