Schiavo Supporters Like Witch-Hunters, the Taliban

April 1, 2005

Schiavo Supporters Like Witch-Hunters, the Taliban

"An ABC News survey last weekend found that only 27 percent of Americans thought it was 'appropriate' for Congress to 'get involved' in the Schiavo case and only 16 percent said it would want to be kept alive in her condition. But a majority of American colonists didn't believe in witches during the Salem trials either - any more than the Taliban reflected the views of a majority of Afghans." - Arts editor/columnist Frank Rich, March 27.

Liberal Pols In Danger of "Assassination" From Conservatives

"America isn't yet a place where liberal politicians, and even conservatives who aren't sufficiently hard-line, fear assassination. But unless moderates take a stand against the growing power of domestic extremists, it can happen here." - Paul Krugman in his March 29 column.

Judge Bork "A Strange Individual," Said the NYT's "Conscience of the Senate"

"Former Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama, a conservative Democrat who supported civil rights legislation and was sometimes described as the conscience of the Senate, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Sheffield, Ala., near his home in Tuscumbia. He was 83.Fellow senators often called him Judge Heflin, referring to his probity and his judicious approach to issues." - Reporter Robert Pear's obituary for Democratic Sen. Howell Heflin, March 30.

Reality Check:

"This is a strange individual, this man Bork." - Sen. Heflin, as quoted in the September 19, 1987 New York Times.

Conservatives to Blame for School Crisis in Ohio

"For decades, conservatives have dreamed of an America in which public schools would lose their monopoly on government education financing and face the harsh reality of market competition. Here in Dayton, their dream has come true with a vengeance. Forty charter schools have opened in Dayton, and nine more have received preliminary approval for next fall. That would give this city of 166,000 people about as many charter schools as are in New Jersey, which has a population 50 times larger. Today 26 percent of Dayton's public school students are enrolled in the taxpayer-financed but privately operated schools, a rate far higher than in any other American city. Academically, few of the charter schools have proved to be any better than Dayton's public schools, which are among Ohio's worst. Now the authorities are warning that the flow of state money to the charters, $41 million this year, is further undermining the traditional school system." - Opening to reporter Sam Dillon's story on education in Ohio, March 27.

If Britain's Labor Party is "Center-Right," What Are the Conservatives?

"In the ensuing general election, Labor was routed by the Conservatives, producing a new Tory prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. The party was returned to power only in 1997, with Tony Blair and his center-right 'New Labor' movement." - London-based reporter Sarah Lyall's March 27 obituary for former Labor Prime Minister James Callaghan.

Anti-War Protesters Never Get Angry

"Protesters With Hearts on Sleeves and Anger on Signs" - Headline to Rick Lyman's March 28 story from outside Terri Schiavo's Florida hospice. The word "anger" is also used four times in the story itself.

Schiavo's "Stated Desire To End Her Life"?

"Some physicians, and others who believe Ms. Schiavo's stated desire to end her life should be honored, have attacked the images as grossly deceptive, arguing that the few minutes of footage made available to the public have been extrapolated from hours of videotape that show Ms. Schiavo immobile, expressionless and thus incurable." - Ginia Bellafante on the video capture of Terri Schiavo with her mother, March 27.

See? "Starvation" Is Nothing to Fret About

"Neither 'Starvation' Nor the Suffering It Connotes Applies to Schiavo, Doctors Say." - Headline to a March 25 story on Schiavo from reporter John Schwartz.

Letting Pro-Euthanasia Docs Mock a Pro-Life One

"Mr. Bush called Dr. Cheshire a 'renowned neurologist,' but he is not widely known in the neurology or bioethics fields. Asked about him, Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, replied, 'Who?'.Dr. Ronald Cranford, a neurologist and medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota Medical School who has examined Ms. Schiavo on behalf of the Florida courts and declared her to be irredeemably brain-damaged, said, 'I have no idea who this Cheshire is,' and added: 'He has to be bogus, a pro-life fanatic. You'll not find any credible neurologist or neurosurgeon to get involved at this point and say she's not vegetative.'" - March 24 story from John Schwartz and Denise Grady.

Democrats Fear "Archconservatives"

"To Democrats, the week's maneuvers by Republicans provide mounting evidence of their unwillingness to accept the independence of the courts and demonstrate a headstrong will to change Senate rules to ensure the installment of archconservatives to the federal bench." - Carl Hulse and David Kirkpatrick on upcoming judicial battles in the Senate, March 23.

Bush's "Performance Was Even More Practiced Than Most"

"Several participants joined the politicians onstage, including a 78-year-old retired teacher, Margaret Valdez, and her 24-year-old granddaughter, Jessica, who both support individual accounts. The older woman said she had appeared with Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, at a Social Security event before, suggesting that the performance was even more practiced than most." - Anne Kornblut with Bush talking up his Social Security reform in Albuquerque, March 23.

Is Schiavo Really on "Life Support"?

"Congressional leaders are playing a dangerous game with their intrusion into the hotly publicized fight in Florida over maintaining life support for a severely brain-damaged woman." - Times editorial of March 19. Schiavo was not connected to a ventilator or dialysis machine.

How Cynical Can You Get?

"Although Mr. Bush was described as personally moved by the issue, his dramatic return was seen as a powerful embrace of the 'culture of life' issues of religious conservatives who helped him win the White House in 2004. Those groups will be crucial to the political fortunes of the Republican Party in 2006 and 2008." - Elisabeth Bumiller, March 21.