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March 19, 2005

Killing Terri -- The Media Approves

First full day off the tube:

Schiavo, 41, could linger one to two weeks, provided no one intercedes and gets the tube reinserted - something that has happened twice before.

Linger? That's a fairly sedate way to describe "starving to death."

I've lingered. Lingering is sometimes fun. This doesn't sound like fun at all.

Outside the hospice, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said activists planned to try to enter the hospice Saturday morning "to try to give Terri a cup of water."

I realize that Christians are a very important constituency in this movement. However, I also think the press deliberately tries to put this into the template of interfering-Christians-verus-individual-autonomy.

Not everyone on Terri's side is a Christian, or a conservative, or pro-life or anti-euthanasia. But the press prefers that simple narrative.

It's a lazy way of writing the story, but it also has the not-unwelcome-effect of telling moderates and liberals-- stay away from this one. Only the crazies care.

But Schiavo's husband said removing the tube was what Terri wanted. He was at her side shortly after the tube was removed at mid-afternoon.

Isn't he swell for presiding over her demise.

The removal signals that an end may be near in a decade-long feud between Schiavo's husband and her devoutly Roman Catholic parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

Devoutly Roman Catholic. They are described that way in just about every article I read. It means, in case you're not sure, "nuts."

What's Michael's religion, by the way?

"Terri Schiavo has a right to die in peace," attorney George Felos said.

I don't strongly doubt that someone in Terri's position may have such a right. The question has always been, "Does she want to exercise that right, if, indeed, she has it?"

Gov. Jeb Bush said the judge's decision "breaks my heart" and noted it often takes two decades for a death row inmate's appeals to go through the system.

"There's this rush to starve her to death," Bush said.

Okay: I admit, that's a good quote from the other side. But who gets the last word about this?

Michael Schiavo said Bush and other lawmakers have no business interfering in a personal, family matter. "These people are pandering for votes. That's all," he told NBC.

Cal, take note: The judge did not order Schiavo to remove the tube:

On Feb. 25, Circuit Judge George Greer gave Michael Schiavo permission to order the removal of the feeding tube Friday.

The one cliche missing, which has appeared in just about every article on this case -- and which I was disappointed not to find here -- is that this is a "right to die" case.

It's not. A right to die case involves someone who wishes to die and is prevented from doing so by the law.

We don't know Terri's wishes. This is a right-to-remove-the-tube-from-an-inconvenient-and-sexually-useless-abandoned-wife case.

Disdainful Jennings Update: Mickey Kaus thinks Peter Jennings is flat-out annoyed he has to even cover this nonsense (from his perspective, you understand).

What annoys me about the press the most is how "intellectually incurious" they are about beliefs and "diverse lifestlyes" (such as those who practice Christianity) beyond their own.

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posted by Ace at 03:31 PM

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