Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Why you should care about Terri Schiavo

So Terri Schiavo's autopsy was released. Not only was she in a persistent vegetative state, not only was her brain half the size of a normal brain, not only were there no signs of the "abuse" that her husband supposedly subjected her to, but SHE WAS BLIND.

Which is just fascinating, considering how everybody insisted that she could follow a balloon around with her eyes and everything.

Now, many people might say that this is a subject best left for the cable news talking heads to screech about, and normally I'd agree wholeheartedly. Back when the Schiavo case was considered real news, I managed to totally ignore it until it was almost over. Same way I mostly ignored the Michael Jackson trial, the OJ Simpson trial, the Peterson case, and all the other stuff that passes for news nowadays. Because really, who gives a damn about so much irrelevant pulp?

But the religious right MADE it real news by virtue of their interference. Those bastards saw the opportunity to use the Schiavo case as a launching point to rant about the "culture of death" and "activist judges" and Uncle Jeb decided it would be a swell move to conradict everything the doctors and the courts said by "saving" a life that had already been gone for many years. And they were willing to tell any number of lies about her husband. According to them, Michael was an immoral prick for living with another woman, and he was scheming to kill his perfectly healthy wife who could talk and sing and plead for her life, and any minute she was liable to leap out of her hospital bed and dance a jig.

I don't belong to a culture of death. I belong to a culture of evidence.

What sickens me about the news these days is this pervasive attitude that if one side says one thing, and the other side says something else, why then they're both opinions and who's to say what is true? Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. So let's let the doctors who examined her have their say, and let's let this nice nurse offer her own personal testimony that Terri is in perfect health while Michael is a monster, and then we've done our jobs by presenting both sides.

Sometimes the truth lies with the preponderance of evidence. It's a crazy idea, I know. Sometimes "faith" just ain't good enough to contradict reality. Sometimes when two sides say opposite things, one side is telling the truth based on the best information they could acquire, and the other side is just making crap up because it sounds good.


  1. There is one thing positive that came from the Schiavo circus. It got people thinking about and taking seriously such things as living wills and families' rights versus government meddling. It was also one of the first big cracks in the facade of the Bush re-election "mandate," that has since sent his approval numbers spiraling downwards into the low 40's. It was clear to many before this that Bush was the Christian Right's bitch, but the fact was revealed in all its meretricious glory to the world at large by his grandstanding in this case.

    So, I guess that's two things.

  2. Russell, I don't see that you are a member of
    You should be.

  3. Pat Doyle10:18 AM

    The political right-wing has been working the refs (media) in this sense for over 20 years now. Fox News is their coupe'de grace. The notion that there are always 2 sides to every story, no matter how ludicrous or unreasonable one of the sides is, is now almost conventional wisdom. It is sophistry of the highest order.