November 7, 2014

"Huffington's daughter, Christina, is a recovering cocaine addict who received treatment through a 12-step program..."

"... and several sources said Huffington objected to the portrayal of 12-step programs in the piece."

Huffington denied this..."It has nothing to do with my personal experience with my daughter."

She said the piece has not been killed and that it is being put through "an incredibly rigorous editing process" because there were aspects of the story that gave her pause. Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim called the feature "masterfully reported."

Huffington also emphasized that she is, after all, the editor-in-chief, and that it is part of her job to exercise control over the content of the site and preside over disciplinary measures.

32 comments:

mccullough said...

She who pays the piper calls the tunes

Nicole Hopkins said...

love the "lightweight religion" tag on this—couldn't agree more re: 12-step program dogma.

jacksonjay said...

The questions is, are they paid pipers?

John Lynch said...

Wow, Reporters leaking themselves.

RecChief said...

who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

Fernandinande said...

...Christina, is a recovering cocaine addict who received treatment through a 12-step program..."

If she's still an "addict", it didn't work.

Ann Althouse said...

"If she's still an "addict", it didn't work."

Isn't the 12-step dogma that you remain an addict forever?

Alex said...

What's a little blow between friends?

traditionalguy said...

Huff, Huff, and her blow brought down the house.

It is always amazing to read that a recreational drug reached out and captured an innocent girl who was just standing there.

traditionalguy said...

The word is that 25% of cocaine addicts recover after therapy. But none (zero %)of the crystal meth addicts ever recover.Meth is a death sentence.

I keep that in mind when AMC glamorizes the production and sale of crystal meth on Breaking Bad.

Alex said...

tradguy - you think BB glorifies meth? If anything it glories Walter White a scientific genius who was cheated out of a billion dollar business by unscrupulous capitalists. That's the real story of this tale.

Yeah science!

Fernandinande said...

Theodore Dalrymple
"...The evidence that addiction is not a disease like any other is compelling, overwhelming, and obvious. It has also been available for a long time. The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s definition of addiction as a “chronic, relapsing brain disease” is about as scientific as the advertising claims for Coca-Cola. In fact, it had its origin as a funding appeal to Congress.

To take only one point among many: most addicts who give up do so without any medical assistance—and most addicts do give up. Moreover, they do so at an early age. The proximate cause of their abstinence is their decision to be abstinent. No one can decide not to have rheumatoid arthritis, say, or colon cancer. Sufferers from those diseases can decide to cooperate or not with treatment, but that is another matter entirely. Therefore, there is a category difference between addiction and real disease.
...
To treat addicts as people to whom something has happened rather than as people who have decided to do something is to infantilize them."

Also a nice dig at our excuse for a legal system:

"Genuine mental illness exists, but it takes severe judgment to distinguish it from that which is merely reflexive in nature, such as whiplash injury, which scarcely exists in countries whose legal systems allow no compensation for it."

EDH said...

It's all good. She's not a Palin kid.

FullMoon said...

traditionalguy said...

The word is that 25% of cocaine addicts recover after therapy. But none (zero %)of the crystal meth addicts ever recover.Meth is a death sentence.


Riiight! And LSD makes you jump off of roofs thinking you can fly.

And , according to Reefer Madness, smoking the marijuana makes you crazy.

And the video caused murder in Benghazi.

FullMoon said...

That article did not actually say how Alcoholics Anonymous was portrayed.

So it is kind of difficult to talk about it one way or the other.

FullMoon said...

Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm, or the ideology itself.

HaHa. You do not need to believe,or do, every single thing suggested by AA for it to be effective. Most importantly to many critics, you do not even need to believe in god.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Huffington also emphasized that she is, after all, the editor-in-chief, and that it is part of her job to exercise control over the content of the site and preside over disciplinary measures.

I'm not at all surprised. In fact, I've often pictured Arianna dressed in leather.

William said...

If I ever get afflicted with a disease, I hope it's addiction and not colon cancer.......I'm surprised she squashed the story on the Dalai Lama. Too much attention is paid to those publicity hungry jihadists and their harmless pranks. It's time to blow the lid off the Buddhist-Lulemon industrial complex and the grave threat it poses to democracy. In many ways, the Dalai Lama is a more sinister figure than Mother Theresa.

Truly said...

Lululemon - 1%. Cocaine - 1%!

Emil Blatz said...

Isn't the 12-step dogma that you remain an addict forever?

You talkin' to me?

Michael K said...

I think there is a genetic component to addiction. It could be called an "addiction personality" and it involves a tendency to a behavior pattern. It is not a "disease." Dalrymple, as usual, is right.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most successful addiction treatment program I know of and I used to take medical students to their meetings when I could so they could see a little bit of this first hand.

Since Stephen Pinker has shown that genetic traits can determine what type of birthday card a husband sends his wife, it is easy for those who do not deny the role of genetics to see this.

Then, of course, there is the "new Soviet Man" contingent.

SJ said...

I've heard a joke that goes like this:

What's the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic?

An alcoholic goes to meetings.


On a more serious front, I know two people who left a lifestyle of drug use after a "come-to-Jesus" moment. As in, they had a religious encounter with Jesus (and Christianity) that turned their lives around. Leaving drugs behind was enabled by the joy and peace found in Jesus.

To my knowledge, neither went through a 12-step program.

I also know a man who left the alcoholic lifestyle behind after joining Alcoholics Anonymous. He is also a believer in Jesus; I haven't asked him whether that belief came before or after his entry into AA.

Alex said...

John Boehner is a sloppy drunk. He's been seen absolutely loaded on the House floor.

Gordon said...

As someone who spends time in meetings, I can say this: I don't believe that addiction is a disease in the same way that cancer or hyperthyroidism are diseases. However, thinking of addiction as a disease is a useful in fighting it. Addicts, no matter what the drug, share common symptoms, experiences and distorted ways of thinking. The disease metaphor helps addicts focus on defeating the "illness."

There is one other thing common to those in 12-step programs. "Normies" never get it. Those who are not addicts will never understand what addiction is like. We wish normies did get it, but we do not wish the hell of addiction on them just so they find out.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Alex wrote:
tradguy - you think BB glorifies meth? If anything it glories Walter White a scientific genius who was cheated out of a billion dollar business by unscrupulous capitalists. That's the real story of this tale.

Yeah science!

nah he cheated himself out of his destiny by Getting pissed that his gf wound up wit Elliot. They didn't fire him, he left.

jr565 said...

Alex wrote:
tradguy - you think BB glorifies meth? If anything it glories Walter White a scientific genius who was cheated out of a billion dollar business by unscrupulous capitalists. That's the real story of this tale.

Yeah science!

nah he cheated himself out of his destiny by Getting pissed that his gf wound up wit Elliot. They didn't fire him, he left.

jr565 said...

Alex wrote:
tradguy - you think BB glorifies meth? If anything it glories Walter White a scientific genius who was cheated out of a billion dollar business by unscrupulous capitalists. That's the real story of this tale.

Yeah science!

nah he cheated himself out of his destiny by Getting pissed that his gf wound up wit Elliot. They didn't fire him, he left.

iowan2 said...

Light religion? What religion does the Hostess think this is and what dogma has caused that conclusion.

In short, those that think like that, have absolutely no knowledge of AA or any of the programs that use AA as their model.

Yes, an alcoholic is always an alcoholic.

As far as anecdotes about those that quit drinking or using, I have dozens of examples of people that quit drinking for decades and still lived alcoholic lives...sober. Its a miserable existence. I know of 4 people that found AA more that 20 years after their last drink and for the 1st time in their lives, found peace, serenity and purpose to their lives.

Alcohol is but a sympton.

Anonymous said...

"I think there is a genetic component to addiction. It could be called an "addiction personality" and it involves a tendency to a behavior pattern. It is not a "disease." Dalrymple, as usual, is right.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most successful addiction treatment program I know of and I used to take medical students to their meetings when I could so they could see a little bit of this first hand."

Correct. I once attended meetings with a friend who had an undeniable drinking problem. She didn't want to go alone. While I inwardly rolled my eyes when people said things like "God doesn't have to be your Higher Power! If you want the coffee maker to be your Higher Power, that's fine, as long as you have one," following the 12 Steps is not easy. And eventually my friend ( who has now been sober for 25 years) developed a deeper religious feeling. Her life was a mess. AA helped her rebuild her life and she now has some measure of contentment, so I'm not going to sneer at it.

Although I am not an alcoholic myself, my exposure to AA made me interested in it and I researched it a bit.

You have to hand it to the men who founded AA. Good Vermont Republicans (believe it or not, Vermont was very conservative back in the day), they set up a program which is still the most successful treatment problem for alcoholics there is - and it does not take a dime of taxpayers money. Anybody can attend and if you can't afford to drop a buck in the basket to pay for coffee, nobody chases you away.

At one point, Bill Wilson, one of the founders, was urged to apply for government funds to expand the program. This was during the '30's and he probably could have gotten a New Deal grant from the FDR administration. Wilson wisely refused. Can there be any doubt that government interference would have wrecked AA?

John Stodder said...

The original story conflates two stories:

1. A "rub two facts together" story about a HuffPo piece on 12-steps programs that's been in editing for a long time, and also that Arianna's daughter has stopped abusing cocaine and went through a 12-step program. There's no proof that one has to do with the other, but the coincidence makes it a story. A story long in editing is not in any way "disciplinary."

2. In a completely separate incident, two staffers who were involved with a story about the Dalai Lama and lululemon were suspended because they put quotes from an anonymous lululemon site blog in the story. A suspension in this case is hardly out of line. The information in the blog post was unverified and, because the poster was anonymous, unverifiable. That would get an editor and reporter in the smallest paper in Sioux Falls, South Dakota suspended if not fired. It's a journalistic sin, and 99 percent of journos would agree.

Putting these two together creates an impression that the facts themselves do not justify. HuffPo might be a snakepit, or it might not, but these two stories tell us absolutely nothing about that. Millions of people have been through a 12-step program. It's not that amazing of a coincidence, and nobody is alleging Arianna is holding the story because of her daughter. Linking that to the word discipline makes it seem fishy, but the discipline is in the second story, and was clearly justified.

This story is a dirty snowball of innuendo.

Beldar said...

@ traditionalguy: Anyone who's watched as many as two randomly selected episodes of "Breaking Bad" will recognize that it did not glorify methamphetamine or the lives of the people addicted to it. It did exactly the opposite of that; such is the verdict of every single person I've ever talked to who has seen more than one episode, so you'd be unique in my experience if you actually have watched a couple.