Alan Colmes comment on how Santorum handled death of infant

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4115
Alan Colmes comment on how Santorum handled death of infant

Was his comment out of line or was it acceptable since it was public knowlege because Santorum wrote about the incident in his book?

Do you think it is crazy to mourn the death of an infant by taking the body home so your other children can say goodbye?

Fox News Radio host and political contributor Alan Colmes found himself in sticky territory on Monday, after criticizing the way GOP candidate Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, handled the 1996 death of their infant son, Gabriel.

In a heated clash on Fox News, Colmes appeared on air with Rich Lowry, editor of National Review. The two contributors were discussing Santorum's recent surge in the polls, when Colmes brought up Santorum's infant son who died just two hours after being born.

Colmes said, "Once [voters] get a load of some of the crazy things he?s said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby who died right after childbirth home and played with it for a couple of hours so his other children would know that the child was real?"

Lowry interjected and called Colmes' comment a "cheap shot." "It's not, it's not a cheap shot," Colmes said.

Lowry continued to cut off Colmes and said, "To say it?s ?crazy,' something that?s that personal and harmful as losing a child, and to mock it, to mock him like that, is really beyond the pale and beneath you.? Lowry added that the remark was "contemptible."

Colmes doubled down and said, "I?m not mocking the losing of the child, but what I?m saying is I think it shows a certain unusual attitude to take a two-hour baby home that died to play with his other children.?

At a Monday evening event in Iowa, Santorum called Colmes' remark a "cheap shot," and fought back tears while discussing how his family handled the death of their newborn son.

Colmes later tweeted that he spoke to Santorum and his wife to apologize for making a "hurt comment." The candidate accepted his apology.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/alan-colmes-fox-news-rick-santorum_n_1180679.html

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

Alan Colmes is a bit of an ***, but it makes for interesting TV. I guess that is the point? I think taking the child home is a fine choice, nothing "weird" about it. My boys have seen the death of animals, and I think if I had a child die I would probably let them experience that also.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I think the guy is a jerk (Colmes)-- but that makes "good" tv (just like Rush Limbaugh is a jerk....) It gets ratings.

I would never judge someone over how they handle the death of an infant child. To me, that is personal territory and terribly insensitive. I don't think there is any "right" way to behave when you've suffered such a loss. I have no idea how I'd behave in such a situation.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I think that was a horrible thing to say and I do think he was making light of the whole situation. Saying they "played" with the baby? What a dismissive way to describe a family grieving over the loss of a child.

Sapphire Sunsets's picture
Joined: 05/19/02
Posts: 672

Everyone deals with death differently. If it helps someone grieve by taking the baby home then by all means do it. I wish i had done it when i lost Zachary. There is nothing more heart breaking then walking into a hospital pregnant and walking out without a baby in your arms.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Colmes said, "Once [voters] get a load of some of the crazy things he?s said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby who died right after childbirth home and played with it for a couple of hours so his other children would know that the child was real?"

Again, major pet peeve of mine. He had a son. They didn't play with "it"; the mourned the loss of him.

I think this is a cheap shot and really out of line. I don't think it's crazy. The loss of a child jolts the parents to the very core of their being. My sister and her husband found a picture of someone on the wall - no one really - and blamed him. It just made it easier for them to grieve to start with someone (anyone) to blame. Maybe some would consider that "strange" but really, who is anyone to begrudge a family a chance to grieve.

My sister volunteers as a photographer for NILMDTS. In the moment, parents don't know what they will want in the future. When my SIL gave birth to her stillborn son at 8 months, they started asking her question after question after question. She didn't know what to say or what they were asking really. Thus, they only have one picture of their son. Something she regrets. Parents aren't always ready to see the photos right away, but through NILMDTS, there are photos in case they decide they do. My point is that parents make decisions in the moment. I would think you would regret NOT taking the baby home more than you would ever regret taking the baby home.

I know it wouldn't be conducive, but I would want to give a big ole "F You!" to Colmes.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4115

I think those pictures they take are wonderful. I absolutely know that if this happened to me I would want something to be able to hold on to and I would want pictures. I had a friend who lost a baby at 8 months over 20 years ago and they had a funeral and a viewing and everything, no one thought that was strange. My heart broke for her because she had to go through labor and delivery knowing her baby son had already died. What really surprises me is looking at some of the different articles how many people made comments that taking the baby home was weird or sick. I just don't understand how they or Colmes can think that way. The thing is that not too far in the past it was a normal thing for a body to be laid out in someone's home for a few days, how have we come to the point that now it is viewed as weird?

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

Judging someone else's mourning is tacky and mean spirited. I can understand someone thinking it's strange to take your deceased child home, but until unless you have been in the situation yourself, you can't truly know what would help provide closure for you and your family. And it's best that you keep your speculation to yourself. In the end, I think Colmes's comments only reflected badly on himself, rather than making Santorum look "crazy" as he intended.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I agree that the comments were unnecessary, and wrong, and ethanwinfield could not agree more with you about the "it" statement!

Santorum scares me for lots of reasons, but if I had a still birth introducing the baby to my living children (whether at the hospital or at home) would be something that I simply take for granted we would insist upon.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

Gross comments; totally insensitive and way over the line.