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February 24, 2005
Further Thoughts On Schiavo

After reading your comments and e-mails from last night and this morning, I want to make a couple of points more clear. One, the reason I don't get into the details of the Schiavo case is because, as you can see from the comments section here and the e-mail I've been getting, most of them are hotly disputed and not easily reconcilable. I'm taking a more philosophical approach because that's where I'm most comfortable. Again, what this boils down to is a family dispute over both Terri's condition now and her state of mind before she became comatose. Both sides have legitimate and valid points on these issues, and they're further complicated by the lack of clear instructions from Terri herself.

Under these circumstances, where the parents have essentially agreed to take over primary care of Terri, I tend to sympathize more with them and on the side of life than I do with the husband and its termination. However, as a married man, I understand that spouses share intimite information such as quality-of-life decisions that they wouldn't necessarily share with their parents. If what her husband says about Terri's philosophy is true, bailing now and leaving her in a PVS state (if that's truly what it is) would be a betrayal.

And so on, and so on. This is a family dispute with societal implications, but at its heart it is a family dispute with no clear resolution. I'll pray for God's will to be done, either way, and that he peace and justice to Terri's family.

Second, most of the critical e-mails I have received have not been as rude as to imply that I personally was killing Terri with my silence. However, most of them asked me why I didn't post about this topic while the past two weeks it's been Eason Jordan Express at CQ ("Get yer fresh Eason's Fables! Red-hot Jordans heah! Fresh posts, 24-7!"). That's a fairer question, and it has to do with a couple of reasons why I blog in the first place.

The Schiavo case has received tremendous publicity and coverage from all media outlets, and most of that coverage has been fair and balanced, at least from my point of view. Both sides have gotten their stories told, and Terri's parents have been able to exert enough media pressure to get the Florida legislature and government to pass legislation specifically on Terri's behalf. While the details have been hotly disputed, at least they've made it into the mainstream media.

Now compare that with Eason Jordan. Here we have the chief of CNN, one of just a handful of media conglomerates who deliver that information to you, making allegations of American soldiers deliberately assassinating and torturing journalists not once, but repeatedly, and always out of earshot of Americans. The other few national/global media outlets refuse to report the story, not even when it involves two prominent American politicians. For two weeks, the only way the American public got any news (let alone details) of Jordan's slander was through bloggers, and not just me.

Jordan's comments not only damaged the reputation of our men and women fighting overseas, they made their jobs more dangerous, thanks to Jordan's inflammatory rhetoric. He made these McCarthyite charges without any evidence of truth, and as the leader of CNN, that makes one wonder (especially after the Tailwind fiasco and Jordan's own admission of selling out CNN to Saddam for access to Baghdad) whether CNN reports truthfully at any time, including on the Schiavo case.

Nor was Jordan the only issue. Where was the rest of the media while Jordan engaged in rumormongering overseas? After all, if what Jordan said was true and CNN wasn't going to report it, why not NBC, or CBS? Don't they exist to report news, especially when it impacts Americans? Apparently not when it comes to media management and their biases and anti-American posing for overseas dollars.

I'm more interested in stories and perspectives that don't get the kind of exposure their competing perspectives do in the media. I don't intend on writing much about the Michael Jackson trial, either, but that doesn't make me insensitive to child molestation. I didn't write a single word (that I can recall) about Scott Peterson's trial, either, but killing a pregnant mother and an unborn child has more moral clarity and implications than either the Jackson or Schiavo cases -- but all of the relevant information has already been reported, and was being repeated ad nauseam.

In the end, I write about that which both interests me and inspires me to comment, and I try to limit that to intelligent commentary with some depth, rather than simply point to a story and say, "Go read this." In the case of Terri Schiavo, that story has not only gotten plenty of attention already, but it revolves around an almost unresolvable dispute between family members. So again, I will pray for God's will to be done and for peace to all involved when it is fulfilled. Hopefully, this will make my position a little easier to understand.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 24, 2005 7:31 AM

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