When bloggers attack: Jane Hamsher has some choice words for Hadassah Leiberman
The health-care debate turned into a catfight Friday when liberal blogger Jane Hamsher went after Hadassah Lieberman: Hamsher wants the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity and founder Nancy Brinker to dump the senator's wife as its "Global Ambassador" because of her past work with the pharmaceutical industry.
It's not unusual to attack members of Congress by going after their spouses, and this is a transparent broadside on Joe Lieberman for his opposition to the Democratic health-care reform bill -- one in a long line of attacks on the senator by Hamsher. But the founder of the influential Firedoglake blog says this issue goes beyond politics. "It's extremely personal for me," she told us.
Hamsher, 50, has had breast cancer three times -- the disease runs in her family, and she was first diagnosed at 32. She believes Komen funnels too much money into drug companies and not enough into prevention, and finds Lieberman's role as the group's ambassador troubling because she once consulted to pharmaceutical interests.
"When people race for the cure, they don't think the money is going to Hadassah Lieberman," said Hamsher, who is calling for Komen's celebrity spokeswomen (Ellen DeGeneres, Christie Brinkley) to join her fight -- or at least drop their names in press releases.
Komen spokesman Sean Tuffnell said the charity has no intention of abandoning Lieberman, "an important and valued" member of the team who focuses on international outreach. Her year-old ambassadorship is a non-paid position, but she also has a consultancy agreement that pays at least $1,000 a year, according to the senator's financial filing.
"Mrs. Lieberman is not now nor has ever been a lobbyist," said a spokeswoman for Sen. Lieberman. "These McCarthyite tactics are unfortunate and contribute to the poisoning of our public discourse."
The Reliable Source
December 15, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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