Cancer Expert Discusses Dangers of McCain's Health Record Secrecy
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"If there's limitation to the transparency of anybody's medical records, it always raises the suspicion, 'What are they hiding?'..." Those were the words of Dr. Richard Sagebiel, co-director of the UCSF Melanoma Clinic and yesterday's special guest on Meet the Bloggers. Dr. Sagebiel was one of over 2,750 doctors who signed the open letter urging John McCain to provide full disclosure of his medical records. And really, "What are they hiding?" is the question we need to be asking ourselves again and again as this story unfolds.
What is McCain hiding? He released a portion of his medical records back in May under extremely restricted circumstances, allowing a handful of hand-picked reporters to view nearly 1,200 pages for just three hours, without the use of the Internet, cell phones, or copying equipment. As The Nation's Ari Melber pointed out during yesterday's show, most of these journalists were not medical experts. But even if they were, this was an insufficient amount of time to examine so many pages of McCain's health history. That's why CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta--one of the journalists who got to see this portion of medical records--told Sam Stein at The Huffington Post that McCain's lack of candor amounted to " cloak and dagger" secrecy.
And why is the corporate press censoring any discussion about McCain's medical records? Yesterday's Meet the Bloggers came in part because both CNN and MSNBC refused to air Brave New PAC's ad about McCain's record secrecy. Both complained about the graphic images in the ad--images that both networks aired earlier this year. Even more amazingly, MSNBC actually banned the ad after shock jocks Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh self-righteously ranted about it.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.