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Respond to CBS and Face the Nationfor comments re: chronic fatigue syndrome

Discussion in 'Advocacy Projects' started by BobM, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. BobM

    BobM

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    Reno, NV
    To All MeE/CFS Patients: CBS and Face the Nation require your attention. Please read my request below.

    We will need to respond to CBS and Face the Nation, No one would say that this politician or that politician was like HIV or AIDS as they would be crushed by that patient population. We will not allow them to make us second class citizens. I will post something for patients soon.

    Robert Miller
    So, Here is the statement from CBS's Face the Nation:

    BOB SCHIEFFER: So this serial flip-flopper--(referring to Romney)

    JOHN DICKERSON (CBS News Political Director):
    " Well, it's like there's a chronic fatigue syndrome about-- about Romney in the Republican Party. I mean, the-- the voters just do not want to move to him. And what's extraordinary about the Gingrich rise is both that he's come back to-- to live here. But it says something about Romney's weakness."

    Reading this statement is offensive and ignorant. We as patients can not allow this to go ignored. To me, when I read it I hear chronic fatigue syndrome patients are too Lazy to Move and that Patients are just Weak. A National news organization with the stature of CBS is supposed to report facts and truth, not stigma. No reporter would equate political lethargy to Parkinsons or AIDS patients. As patients we can not allow this to go Ignored. I will be writing a template email that can be altered and sent to Face the Nation and CBS. I will include the email address so patients can send emails tomorrow. You can use the template using copy and paste, alter it if you wish or write your own email.

    Robert Miller
    Email to CBS and Bob Schiffer:

    Dear CBS and Bob Schieffer,

    I am writing to you because of your show" Face the Nation" that aired on December 4, 2011. During your show John Dickerson a CBS News Political Director addressing Mitt Romney and the Republican party stated: " Well, it's like there's a chronic fatigue syndrome about-- about Romney in the Republican Party. I mean, the-- the voters just do not want to move to him. And what's extraordinary about the Gingrich rise is both that he's come back to-- to live here. But it says something about Romney's weakness."

    As a person who has been bedbound for years due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and having suffered with this illness for over 25 years, I am offended by the ignorance of John Dickerson. Reading his statement is offensive to millions of patients suffering worldwide. Mr. Dickerson's statement regarding chronic fatigue syndrome patients is the stigma that has allowed patients to suffer for decades. His remarks attempt to label patients as being too Lazy to Move and that patients are just Weak. A National news organization with the stature of CBS is supposed to report facts and truth, not stigma. No reporter who enjoys their job would equate political lethargy to Parkinsons or AIDS patients. As a patient and a viewer of CBS programs I demand that an appropriate apology be made to the entire Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patient population and that you do an accurate medical program detailing what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is. I am not referring to some puff piece that a talking head reads from a pamphlet. I mean having a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome specialist do an interview on camera to explain to CBS reporters and viewers what this illness is and what it does to people and their lives. Based on your shows comments it is clear that you need to be educated by a truly knowledgeable clinician. Based on your accomplishments listed below, I believe you and CBS would want to do the right thing.

    Bob Schieffer is broadcast journalism's most experienced Washington reporter
    CBS chief Washington correspondent
    Regular contributor to "The CBS Evening News ."
    Covered Washington for CBS News for more than 30 years
    Anchor of "Face The Nation" since May 1991.
    Member of the Broadcasting/Cable Hall of Fame
    Recipient of the 2003 Paul White Award

    Thank you for your time,
    Name Here CFS patient since ????

    Name Here
    adderss
    city, state
    Phone #
    6 minutes ago Like.

    Robert Miller
    Email address is : facethenation@cbsnews.com

    What contact info you wish to share is up to you. I am showing what I have sent. Please share this post everywhere as CBS should be flooded with emails tomorow.
    Thank you to all who take part. Remember you may copy and paste the text into the email and alter it to fit what you feel.

    Bob
    Izola and Sherlock like this.
  2. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    Montreal, Canada
    You can watch it here at the 18:05 timecode. I don't see it as an attempt to insult us but getting a clarification/apology on air would be nice.
    Izola likes this.
  3. frenchtulip

    frenchtulip Senior Member

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    Request for an apology

    I sent in a request asking that Mr. Dickerson and Face the Nation apologize to the CFS community this Sunday.
    Izola likes this.
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I think that fla's right, and they didn't mean to be rude... chronic fatigue syndrome is just a name which easily slips in to conversations about people being chronically fatigued.

    It's unfortunate, and it would be good if people could be a bit more thoughtful, but I didn't get the impression that there was any malice there... or really any intent to reference 'CFS' at all, other than it's name.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  5. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Concord, NH
    I don't think it matters much what they "meant" to do. I think it is possibly a good opportunity to educate and help raise our profile?

    GG

    PS He knew enough to call it CFS and no CF, correct?
    lnester7 and Izola like this.
  6. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    BobM, I really appreciate your letter and find it very skillful. For example with "I am not referring to some puff piece that a talking head reads from a pamphlet."

    and

    "Based on your accomplishments listed below, I believe you and CBS would want to do the right thing...."

    The first line had the hard hitting sarcasm so admired now and the second line I quoted draws on his pride and self worth to do a piece about what ME/CFS really entails.

    Thanks! You've got political savvy.

    And like some of the others, I don't think the intention was to insult the patient group, anymore than calling some "schizophrenic", meaning "of two minds" (which correctly ought to refer to neurotics rather than to psychotics, but this is beside the point here). At the same time, though the term is starting to float into general awareness, we need to keep pushing for clarification about what it really means!
    Izola and justinreilly like this.
  7. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    Until the name is changed, we will always face this sort of thing. The name is so horrible and it does dictate people's attitudes about us. There is no getting around it. As long as that horrible name is allowed to go on, no one is ever going to stop stepping on us.
    Sean, Izola, taniaaust1 and 1 other person like this.
  8. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Queens, NY
    I see it as terribly insulting and shows how even educated people are so ignorant of this desease!
    The fact that they alluded that you can't make patients with chronic fatigue syndrome "move" is like saying we have a choice but we
    chose not to move because we are lazy. He could have used the term paralyzed which shows a total inability to move but by using
    chronic fatigue syndrome, it's alluding to the fact that we are lazy and chose not to move.
    I am going to send my e-mail to them right now.

    Thank you Bob for pointing this out to us and for your guidance as to e-mailing them:)
    Izola likes this.
  9. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Senior Member

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    He didn't go out of his way to insult us, but implied that the illness is behavioural, something which I find not only insulting but grossly inaccurate and damaging.
    Izola likes this.
  10. meadowlark

    meadowlark Senior Member

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    Toronto, Canada
    I don't think Bob's letter is saying that Dickerson intended to offend us. Bob clearly states that he is offended by Dickerson's ignorance of the illness's true nature.

    I do think, though, that the weakness Dickerson refers to is Romney's inability to motivate voters. So the inference, in that instance, is indirect. But am I offended by the direct (and misinformed) mention of ME/CFS? Times a thousand.
  11. Izola

    Izola Senior Member

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    It would be good if we could get rid of that g . . . D . . . name. A little chat with CBS about political correctness concerning a debilitating and maligned disease (noting that the appropriate name is M.E.) would be appropriate even though there is no malice. Sometimes people need to be reminded to be thoughtful.
  12. Izola

    Izola Senior Member

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    A ton of agreement from me.
  13. Izola

    Izola Senior Member

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    I saw a PBS documentary on schizophrenia. Their families had a hard and rough time educating the public and getting adequate medical care, too.
    Sing likes this.
  14. Izola

    Izola Senior Member

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    I guess my mind was adrift when I first read your post. Is there anyway I can find and read the CBS letter?

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