Saturday, March 19, 2005

Terri Schiavo

I feel like I should have something to blog about, and this is what was all over the news all day. But like Harry Shearer said over at Talking Points Memo today, it really should be none of our business. This is a personal tragedy for a few people that's been thrust into the public sphere, and that's not really fair. So I thought that I'd instead write a positive post about FOX News and their coverage that I saw today.

I was in Greenbrook, NJ picking up my car (I had to get the catalytic converter, front brake pads, and rear sway bar bushings replaced) at the dealership, and they told me it was going to be another two hours. So I walked with my friend Eli over to a local bar to pass the time over a couple of White Russians, and FOX News happened to be on the television. The main story that they were covering was the Terri Schiavo story, of course, and they had a panel of four people: the anchorlady, Michael Smerconish, another lady, and R. Lee Ermey.

The lady and Smerconish were on the same page. I know, from listening to him guest host O'Reilly's Radio Factor over the summer, that Smerconish is a conservative. I'd guess that, in the name of fairness and balance, that the lady on the panel was a liberal (though I'm not entirely sure). R. Lee Ermey was there in the name of some organization, but I didn't quite catch what it was. Anyway, the panelists were sticking pretty strictly to the legal issues involved, and I was very happy to see that. Smerconish and the lady panelist both chided conservatives for being the "party of less government," but running straight to the government to try to help them solve this problem. Ermey objected to the method of the proposed death of Schiavo. But all of the panelists, as well as everybody I've heard (both on TV and personally), was very clear in saying that they'd not want to live if their "life" was like that of Schiavo.

Shepherd Smith came on after that, and he was also very good on the issue. He was very clear to issue a correction, saying that Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state," not a coma as had been previously said. He was very clear to say that that nobody has ever come out of a persistent vegetative state. He said that what this taught him was that it would be smart for all of us to have living wills, which I think is a very good idea to avoid being tossed around like a political football.

Bravo, FOX News. Bravo.