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Sunday, December 12, 2010

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards, seen testifying before a Senate committee on health care in July 2009, died from breast cancer at her North Carolina home at 61 on December 7, 2010.  UPI/Kevin Dietsch/FILE Photo via Newscom

Christian Science Monitor:
Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday. But they were vastly outnumbered by a “human buffer” of people who quietly stood in the rain singing Christmas carols and carrying signs reading “God loves Elizabeth Edwards” or simply “Grace” and “Hope.”

In a 2007 interview, Mrs. Edwards described herself as “completely comfortable with gay marriage,” hence the Westboro protesters at the funeral. But on Saturday just five church members (two of them children) showed up to picket, waving hateful signs about Mrs. Edwards and the United Methodist Church where the service was held. The funeral itself was attended by some 1,200 people.
Boston Herald:
Here’s something the media should vow today: never to mention the Westboro Baptist Church again. Yesterday five nutty protesters from this nutty church held their nutty signs two blocks from the Methodist Church in Raleigh, N.C, where nearly 2,000 mourners gathered for the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. It’s safe to say the Westboro protest was a non-event.

Yet within hours of Edwards’ death Tuesday, news outlets across America were filled with reports that this virulently anti-gay, anti-Semitic and anti-military “church” — made up of 70 members — planned to picket Edwards’ funeral. When you Googled Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral yesterday, before and during it, there were more than 1,000 stories about Westboro’s protest plans but just a few dozen stories about Edwards herself.

What did Elizabeth have to do with the Westboro “church,” based in Topeka, Kan.? Nothing. But the Westboro crowd knew her funeral would get lots of media attention. So they injected themselves into it. This is what they do, brilliantly. They announce plans to “protest” some upcoming, solemn event. Normal people, nauseated, plan counter protests. When the event happens, a handful of Westboro members, sometimes none at all, actually show up. But hundreds show up for the counter protests. And we in the media cover them, playing right into Westboro’s hands.

This is exactly what happened yesterday. We had five nuts on one side of the street with their “Elizabeth in Hell” signs. We had perhaps 200 “Line of Love” counter protestors on the other side of the street with their “Peace” signs. The Westboro crew disbanded 20 minutes before the 1 p.m. funeral even began. No one disrupted anything. . . .

The father of Matthew Synder, a Marine killed in Afghanistan, has sued the Westboro Church for intentional infliction of emotional distress and for violating the privacy of his son’s funeral. The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court as a First Amendment question. But this is not an argument about the Westboro nuts’ right to protest. It’s an argument against the news media’s seemingly indiscriminate decision to cover nuts like these, over and over, no matter what.

What I Say:  Amen. Your Head Trucker is a great believer in freedom of speech; but there is an exception to every rule, and this is one.

Beyond that - I'm just very, very tired of all the ugliness and indecency of this modern age.

1 comment:

Mareczku said...

Thanks for sharing this. May Elizabeth Edwards rest in peace.

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