When John McCain announced he had a brain tumor last year, condolences and support came alongside the whispered speculations: How would the death of the Republican senator from Arizona change the political calculus in Washington?
The cycle repeated itself on Friday. The Supreme Court announced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, had two malignant nodules removed from her left lung – prompting conservative bomb-thrower Bill O’Reilly to offer what some have called a crass analysis.
“Justice Ginsburg is very ill. Another Justice appointment inevitable and soon,” O’Reilly wrote on Twitter. “Bad news for the left.”
McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain took notice, and it appeared her father was on her mind in a stinging rebuke for the disgraced former Fox News host.
“There’s really nothing more gross and ghoulish than people in the media pontificating on a public persons health and the hypothetical political ramifications of their death,” McCain, an ABC News contributor and co-host of “The View,” wrote in a tweet quoting O’Reilly’s original remarks. “Join me in praying for RBG to have a speedy and healthy recovery – we are Christians, aren’t we Bill?”
Meghan McCain and O’Reilly could not be reached for comment.
Ginsburg does not appear to be in any grave condition despite O’Reilly’s assertion. She is “resting comfortably” and will remain in the hospital for several days, court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement. The nodules were discovered in exams after she fell and broke three ribs in November.
O’Reilly’s remarks about Ginsburg triggered what is called a ratio – which is when a tweet’s endorsements measured in retweets and likes are vastly outnumbered by criticism in the form of replies. Many social media users referenced his harassment allegations and removal from his perch at Fox News.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Alex Horton