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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Death be not proud: Robin Williams and media overreach

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 9:57 AM

click to enlarge DIFFERENT LENSES: The death of Robin Williams, here as Mrs. Doubtfire, inspired divergent commentary, some stretches.
  • DIFFERENT LENSES: The death of Robin Williams, here as Mrs. Doubtfire, inspired divergent commentary, some stretches.

click to enlarge IN THE LEAD: For overreaching on topics after Robin William's death, Maureen Dowd takes the cake so far by leveraging it into another knock on Hillary Clinton.
  • IN THE LEAD: For overreaching on topics after Robin William's death, Maureen Dowd takes the cake so far by leveraging it into another knock on Hillary Clinton.
Robin Williams, a gifted artist, took his life and that alone was cause for plenty of words about him and related subjects, such as treatment of depression. But some writers outdid themselves in using Williams' death as a launching pad.

* ABORTION: An anti-abortion website published a piece that suggested the decision of Robin Williams' girlfriend to have an abortion in the 1970s might have led to his suicide.

* LIBERALS: Rush Limbaugh put the death down to Williams' "leftist world views." Or maybe a bid to get attention.

* HILLARY: Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, leveraged another anti-Hillary column out of the suicide. It reminded her — in a roundabout way — of Hillary's vote to go to war in Iraq. Really.  Her long record of Hillary slams is truly noteworthy.

Surely to goodness an Arkansas Republican somewhere has blamed the death on President Obama. Everything else is his fault.

PS — I'd be remiss if I didn't praise former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who distributed a generous and sympathetic commentary on Williams. It said in part:

.... With his talent, he could have gotten away with being a diva. But the goodness that shone from the screen was no act. Everyone who worked with him described him as kind, modest and generous, and not just to other celebrities. Fans who approached him on the street were likely to enjoy a private improv show. The list of charities he supported is too long for me to recount. And he didn’t just show up at fundraisers, he gave of his money and himself. He was a tireless supporter of US troops, risking his own life to entertain in Middle East combat zones. The director of “Patch Adams,” the film about a doctor who uses laughter to ease the pain of sick children, believes that was one of the few examples of casting that was divinely inspired. He recalled that before he ever made the film, he’d seen Robin at a children’s hospital, a place where you’d often find him, bringing joy to every room. It’s tragic that Robin Williams couldn’t feel that joy himself. Now, all we can do is say a prayer for his family. And continue to watch his work. And let the laughter he gave us continue to ease our own pain.

The good Huck, in full flower.

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