[Let's see if Blogger is working any better tonight -- here's the post I attempted to put up many times last night. -- Ed]
General attention in the broader Schiavo affair has turned now to the infamous Republican talking points memo, but it's worthwhile remembering that a flesh-and-blood family was torn apart over the wrenching decision which was at the core of the whole thing. Anita Kumar of the St. Pete Times says she was the last reporter to see Terri Schiavo "Before the circus":
The courtroom was mostly empty Monday, Jan. 24, 2000. The quiet wasn't remarkable that morning, but five years later, the quiet is what I hear.
A handful of Terri Schiavo's immediate family members and a few close friends sat in the first few dark wooden benches. I was the only reporter there.
There were no cameras, no curious spectators, no protesters.
Nobody accused Michael Schiavo of abuse.
Nobody appealed to the Pope.
Nobody proclaimed that Terri was trying to talk.
No politicians were grandstanding, no special interest groups were shouting, nobody was invoking God's will.
The once-close family had battled about what to do with Terri for years. That's why they were in court, to ask a judge to determine what someone they all loved would have wanted. But no one disputed that they all loved her.
Back then, both sides were civil to one another. No one disputed that Terri was in a persistent vegetative state and had been for a decade. Or that an eating disorder probably had led to Terri's cardiac arrest and collapse, not physical abuse by Michael as some now contend.
Nobody was a murderer, an abuser, an adulterer, a fanatic, a liar. They were just family, trying their best to do right by their daughter, wife, sister.
Once the spotlight shone upon them, they started Web sites. They became regulars on national TV. They lobbied the governor, Congress, the president.
Both sides talked about what was best for Terri, but it seemed winning had trumped all.
After all these years, what haunts me is something Terri's brother once said: "If Terri knew what this had done to this family, she would go ballistic."
Excerpting it doesn't do justice to this nice little essay, so be sure to give it a full read-through.
I got to the article through Matt Conigliaro's Abstract Appeal blog, which was a central source for unbiased information on the Schiavo legal case. He's got a good post on the "inexcusable myths" connected to it:
For years now, the most popular myth regarding the Schiavo case was that Michael Schiavo decided what should happen to Terri, and the court system simply enforced his right to make that decision. If you're reading this post, you hopefully know that nothing of the sort happened. (Otherwise, please review this site's Terri Schiavo Information Page, particularly the Q&A section.)
Over time, most of the major media figured out that a trial was actually held between Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers. Most. Not all.
Yet even as much of the country learned that a trial had been held and the judge found the evidence clear and convincing that Terri wished not to receive life-prolonging medical care in this sort of situation, another myth began to emerge. And this one never went away. It did not overtake everyone, but host after host, national news channel after national news channel, editorial board after editorial board -- an astounding number of media figures -- seized on, criticized, lamented, praised, or otherwise discussed something that never, ever happened:
That the clear and convincing evidence of Terri's wishes was just Michael Schiavo's word.
There was talk of how a spouse could be expected to know these things, but then how this spouse could not be trusted. There was talk of how spouses should be believed, but then how "hearsay" testimony from someone with something to gain should be ignored. There was talk of, well, lots of talk. About Michael.
How is it possible that none of these people -- or at least the folks who feed them information -- ever read what the trial judge actually said about the evidence he relied on?
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.