Note to Suzanne Somers: The next time you're asked to write about topical issues for a respected media outlet, put down that Thighmaster and do a little homework.
Gawker reports that the former Three's Company star and infomercial spokesperson recently wrote an online editorial for the Wall Street Journal, no less, in which she warns readers that terrible things will befall America's seniors once U.S. President Barack Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act goes into effect.
So far, Somers' rant has required three corrections.
Shortly after publication, the piece was followed by the following statement from the WSJ editors:
"An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin ("Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state") that has been widely disputed."
And this: "It included a quotation attributed to Churchill ("Control your citizens' health care and you control your citizens") that the Journal has been unable to confirm."
And this: "Also, the cover of a Maclean's magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline 'Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.' An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse."
Still best known for playing the dumb blonde Chrissy Snow on Three's Company in the early seventies, Somers, 67, has spent more time in recent years writing self-help books. Her latest, I'm Too Young For This, was released last month.
Her essay originally ran on the Wall Street Journal website under the brusque headline, "The Affordable Care Act is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme" and included several anecdotes involving the relatives of her Canadian husband (she's been married to Canadian talk show host Alan Hamel since 1977).
And in her view, Obamacare is a big scam.
Among other points, Somers claims that her Canadian sister-in-law was forced to wait two months to see a physician, during which time she vomited continuously and couldn't eat. When she finally did see a doctor, he reportedly told her, "Oh, you don't need me, you need a specialist." Two weeks later, she apparently got a pill that fixed her problem.
Somers closes off her article with the audacious line that Obamacare may be "a greater Ponzi scheme than that pulled off by Bernie Madoff."
Gawker also notes that Somers' missive ran in the Wall Street Journal's "The Experts" section, which is described by the media outlet as "an exclusive group of industry, academic and cultural thought leaders who weigh in on the latest debates."
And Chrissy, too.