Milton Wolf, the Leawood resident and radiologist who has mounted a fierce Tea Party-backed campaign against sitting U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, was on the defensive this weekend after a Kansas newspaper exposing behavior that has drawn criticism from medical ethicists.
On Saturday, the Topeka Captial-Journal published a lengthy story revealing that Wolf had posted x-rays of gunshot victims — some fatalities — on his Facebook page in 2010 and then made jokes about them:
Wolf and others viewing these Facebook postings relentlessly poked fun at the dead or wounded. The gunshot victim, Wolf joked online, wasn’t going to complain about the awkward positioning of his head for an X-ray. In a separate Facebook comment, Wolf wrote that an X-ray of a man decapitated by gunfire resembled a wounded alien in a “Terminator” film and that the image offered evidence people “find beauty in different things.”
That story prompted a response from the Wolf campaign, which accused the Roberts’ campaign of using the issue for political gain. Wolf took ownership of the incident:
Several years ago I made some comments about a few of these x-ray images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the x-ray images revealed. Soon thereafter, I removed those x-ray images and comments, again several years ago. For them to be published in a much more public context now, by a political adversary who would rather declare war on doctors than answer serious questions that Kansans have, is truly sad. However, my mistakes are my own and I take full responsibility for them.
The story has attracted national attention, with Politico and the Daily Caller writing it up as well. The incident represents a change in trajectory in the campaign, as Wolf had been squarely on the offensive in recent weeks after the news that Roberts no longer owns a primary residence in the state, and instead stays with friends when he comes back to Kansas.