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Mis-remembering Brudnoy's death

In their reports on Paul Sullivan's untimely death from Stage IV melanoma, both the Globe and the Herald have stated that David Brudnoy--who was a friend of Sullivan's, and who preceded him in WBZ-AM's nighttime-talk slot--died of cancer, too. The Herald did it in passing, stating that Sullivan "took over WBZ's evening show after host David Brudnoy died of cancer." The Globe was more specific: "Brudnoy died in December 2004 of complications from Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer."

But as Denise McWilliams of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts noted in the Phoenix back in 2004, saying that Brudnoy died of cancer isn't quite correct. Here's how she put it:

Brudnoy died from complications of Merkel cell carcinoma, a fairly rare cancer found more often in those with depressed immune systems (including people with AIDS) than in the general population. In light of that fact, it’s unlikely that Brudnoy’s cancer was not related to AIDS.

I don’t understand the rush to "de-AIDS" Brudnoy. As recently as September 2004, in a Globe op-ed piece, he wrote about having sex; he wrote about having AIDS. Brudnoy was clear: he was a gay man with AIDS. What’s the problem?

It's still a good question.

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