Of Colons and Candidates

In 1985 the American public was treated to detailed information about President Reagan’s colon when he was diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer. I wondered in a Washington Post Health Section column at that time how much intimate knowledge about a president’s, or any elected official’s, physical condition the American public was entitled to have. Aren’t even presidents entitled to some privacy? Then came the 24-hour news cycle and Monica Lewinsky’s stained dress. At that point no presidential biological material, inside or outside the body, seemed off limits.

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Jonathan D. Moreno

Senior Fellow