In covering Terri Schiavo, Fox News twisted the facts to make her husband the villain. And now that Michael Schiavo has dared to criticize presidential candidate Jeb Bush's meddling in the case, Fox is rushing into Republican rehab mode by, once again, twisting the facts to make her husband the villain.
Sunday, on America's News HQ, Fox's primo anti-gay, anti-choice reporter Shannon Bream provided a very brief summary of the Schiavo case in which Bush "was a key player." She introduced her guest David Gibbs ,the attorney who represented Terri's parents and who is the head of a Christian law organization, National Center for Life and Liberty. Bream reported that Michael Schiavo has recently leveled "pointed criticism" against Jeb Bush. She tossed to Gibbs for the "other side" to Schiavo's allegations.
Gibbs wasted no time in attacking Schiavo. He accused him of being "disingenuous" in trying to say that the government got involved in the case "when he was the one that, in fact, did that." Gibbs, who has accused Schiavo of murder, speculated that Schiavo got involved because he "did not want the responsibility...to end life" because he "knew that he could face murder charges."
Gibbs is misrepresenting the facts. Schiavo got "involved" when he requested to have Terri's feeding tube removed - a request that was granted by a judge and then overturned by another, thus setting the stage for a lengthy court case that involved Terri's parents, who fought Michael every step of the way and both the state and federal government. Gibbs claim that Michael "asked" the courts and the government to make the decisions, because he wasn't able to, is absurd because Schiavo had initially made the decision to remove the feeding tube and when the decision was thwarted, he responded through the court system.
Gibbs then told A GREAT BIG WHOPPING LIE. He said that folks "need to remember" that Terri "was alive, wasn't sick, there was no pain, cancer, Alzheimer's, or heart disease in her body. She just needed food and water to stay alive."
FACT - Terri Schiavo was in a "persistent vegetative state" because brain had atrophied to the point where recovery was not possible. The autopsy showed that "this damage was irreversible" and "no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."
Gibbs lied when he said that Terri died of dehydration and starvation when, according to medical experts, she died of dehydration. He lied when he said that Michael Schiavo "brought the government in" when, in fact, it was Jeb Bush who filed a court brief "urging that Terri be kept alive." Again, he accused Schiavo of not wanting "to make the tough decisions."
When Bream mentioned that Bush did get involved, Gibbs defended Bush who, according to Gibbs, was just trying to "make sure that fair due process was in place." In keeping with talking points of those who sought to keep Terri alive, he claimed that her death was painful and something we wouldn't do to convicted killers. He asked "how this innocent, disabled woman" wasn't able to get constitutional protection when, indeed, she got the due process afforded to her case via the judicial system.
In what had to be the most absurd statement in the interview, he claimed that Bush and Congress wanted Terri to "have a fair trial" with her rights upheld. He spun Bush's meddling as "compassion" for "vulnerable citizens who can't speak for themselves." He asserted that Bush was only concerned about Terri getting "due process" which, of course, she did. Bream provided validation with her comment that Bush stands by the decision and says "he'd rather err on the side of what he said is life."
Nice to see that the fair & balanced Fox News has Bush's back.
Politico has Michael Schiavo's story here.
Crossposted at News Hounds
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