Monday, March 21, 2005

The Will of the Many

An update on Terri Schiavo - Salon's Eric Boehlert explores the issue further and finds:

  • The majority of people believe that this is the spouse's decision to make, not the parents'.
  • An overwhelming majority of people would want to have the feeding tube removed if they were in Ms. Schiavo's situation, and would remove the tube if they were in Mr. Schiavo's situation.
  • Only 2% (TWO PERCENT) of people think the government should make these types of decisions.
  • The mainstream media commissioned these polls and reported on them UNTIL Congress started talking about it.
    But perhaps even more shocking are ABC News and the Washington Post, which, like Fox News, commissioned their own poll regarding the matter, and yet, again like Fox, neglected to present the findings once the story became a political one. On March 15, when ABC devoted its "Nightline" program to the Schiavo story, host Chris Bury informed the audience, "A new ABC News poll suggests that a clear majority of Americans, 65 percent, believe that husbands and wives should have the final say in family disputes over life support. Only 25 percent say parents should make that decision. And when asked, 'Would you want to be kept alive in Terri Schiavo's condition?' an overwhelming number, 87 percent, said no."

    The next morning, ABC's "Good Morning America" repeated the poll's finding. On March 17, however, as conservative Republicans in Congress announced that they would try to intervene on Terri's behalf by passing legislation, it became clear that the story was morphing from a legal and ethical one into a political one. That night ABC's "World News Tonight" covered the story, but suddenly any references to the network's own poll had disappeared. The next night the same program opened with three straight reports about the day's developments in the Schiavo story. But again, not once did anchor Peter Jennings or ABC reporters inform viewers that just a few days earlier 87 percent of Americans had said they would not want to go on living with a feeding tube if they were in Schiavo's condition, or that they sided with the husband in this saga by a margin of nearly 3-to-1.
    So what do we learn from this? 1) Once again, our representatives in Congress represent not the will of the people, but instead the will of an insignificant but extremely loud and rich minority. 2) That the MSM knows no ethics, only subservience to power. Truly shameful.

    And as a (hopefully) final editorial on the subject - I resent the godfreaks out there who are forcing me to discuss this poor family's unfortunate situation in the terms of a disgusting abuse of power by our government, instead of granting them the privacy and dignity they deserve. I'm sorry, Schiavo family, for being so crass while talking about your life. They drove me to it in memos such as this:
    An unsigned one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters. The memo singled out Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who is up for reelection next year and is potentially vulnerable in a state President Bush won last year.

    "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," said the memo, which was reported by ABC News and later given to The Washington Post. "This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats."

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