Slanting the Schiavo Case

Article excerpt

ITEM: The Associated Press reported on the Terri Schiavo case on March 21, prior to her death: "About seven in 10 Americans say Congress inappropriately intervened in the case of a brain-damaged woman whose relatives disagree over whether she should be allowed to die, according to a new poll."

The wire service continued: "Her husband wants her taken off life support after more than 14 years in which she has lived in a vegetative state. But her parents want her kept alive in case she responds to treatment someday.... About two-thirds in an ABC News poll said the political leaders who are trying to keep Schiavo alive are more concerned with using her case for political advantage than with her or the principles involved in keeping her alive."

CORRECTION: Before the court-ordered death of Terri Schiavo, most of the mass media tried to present this as a "right-to-die" issue, when what was involved was a "right to kill"--to kill a severely handicapped woman. To slant the case, the media mavens tried to bolster their biased reporting with prejudiced polls.

Here is what the ABC poll asked: "As you may know, a woman in Florida named Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her parents and her husband disagree on whether or not she should be kept on life support. In cases like this who do you think should have final say, (the parents) or (the spouse)?"

It would be interesting to see the results of a poll that asked the following: "As you may know, an estranged husband in Florida says his disabled wife should he killed because many years earlier she had told him she would not want to live in a vegetative state. …