Like me, Mickey is unsure how he feels about the Schiavo case, but he’s sure how NPR feels about it:
“Bias” isn’t quite the right word, actually. A biased report might interview all sides but slant the story to favor one point of view while quoting only unconvincing generalities from the other. That was Thursday’s NPR Schiavo story. Wednesday’s story transcended mere bias, covering the case as if the anti-death side didn’t even exist, so there was no need to even try to find out what they were thinking.
All Things Considered on Wednesday covered the Schiavo story by interviewing three “experts” who were all opposed to the parents and Giv. Bush’s order to restart the tube feeding, speaking to no one with an opposing point of view. Afterwards, ATC spoke at length with a Dr. Sherwin Nuland, who makes the insulting insinuation that Terri Schiavo’s parents oppose her starvation because of guilt over some unknown neglect of their daughter earlier in her life. This prompts Kaus, who rightly notes that the entire issue could have been avoided by creating a Living Will, to state:
Notice to All Potential Mickey Kaus “Surrogates”– If I’m ever in Terri Schiavo’s situation, and not in any pain, please follows these simple rules: Keep the feeding tube in, and keep Dr. Nuland out.
Noted, Mickey. Read the whole thing. For another indication of media viewpoint of this story, read this editorial from the New York Times. It’s an editorial and it should take a position, so bias is not an issue, but this sentence really stands out:
The supporters of the new Florida law invoke society’s interest in ensuring respect for life. But that interest does not equate with prolonging bodily functions as long as possible. True respect for life includes recognizing not just when it exists, but when it ceases to be meaningful.
Meaningful? And who is to determine whether my life is meaningful, in the absence of any written instruction from me? Does the Times feel that life by itself is meaningless?
I’m putting this post into a new category: Songs of the Shining Wire, which follows up on my post from a couple of days ago. Stories which reflect societal pressure to devalue life and expedite the death of inconvenient or impractical life will wind up in this category. I hope it’s seldom used.