Media Bias in Terri Schiavo Case at Extreme Levels in AP, Reuters Reports


Life News | March 23, 2005

With the world's attention focused on Terri Schiavo, the media has picked up on the story of her plight. However, some say the bias in the news reporting has reached extreme levels as media outlets attempt to shape public opinion in favor of starving her to death.

One Associated Press article released Monday, "World Opinion Divided Over Schiavo," did less to gather the opinion of world leaders on the controversial case and more to paint a false picture that world religions universally oppose the actions of President Bush and Congress to save Terri's life.

While the news article mentioned the Vatican's opposition to Terri's starvation, the rest of the piece interviewed Islamic and Jewish thinkers who favor starving Terri.

The Monday AP report closed with comments from a leader of a Dutch pro-euthanasia group and quoted a German newspaper accusing American political leaders of using Terri's case for political gain.

Other than a couple of comments from a Vatican newspaper, the article contained no quotes or attributions from world leaders or religious thinkers who oppose starving Terri.

Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for the National Right to Life Committee, has been following the Terri Schiavo sage closely.

"The press has the facts wrong, they have consistently used the wrong language, and there is a repeated effort in all that you read and here in the media an urgency to sway the American people that Terri is somehow less then human," Rojas told

"As American troops began their successful siege of Baghdad, the Iraqi Minister of Information declared that there were no Americans in Baghdad and that if there were they were hurling themselves from the city walls," Rojas explained. "This same kind of blind, monolithic, type of reporting is what we are seeing the mainstream media in regard to Terri Schindler."

Meanwhile, a Reuters piece appearing in hundreds of newspapers and on news web sites Monday claimed Terri "will almost certainly never recover from her unconscious condition" and added that "neurologists agree."

The experts included a 10 year-old report on persistent vegetative cases and two doctors who have never seen Terri to evaluate her, but presumed she was in a PVS state and that she, like other PVS patients, has no chance to regain any normal cognitive functions.

The Reuters news story made no mention of the dozens of doctors who signed affidavits in favor of motions submitted by Terri Schiavo's parents to have Terri tested before she was starved to death.

The article also did not feature quotes from any doctors who disagree that Terri is in a PVS state -- such as Dr. William Hammesfahr, a Nobel Prize nominated neurologist who is an internationally recognized expert on cases of brain-injured patients.

"We, and others I know, have treated many patients worse than Terri and have seen them regain independence and dignity," Hammesfahr said earlier this month.

"There are many approaches that would help Terri Schiavo," Dr. Hammesfahr explained. "I know, because I had the opportunity to personally examine her, her medical records, and her X-rays."

The Reuters article also failed to mention that Michael has withheld appropriate medical care or rehabilitative treatment for Terri for years.

"From Los Angeles to Miami to New York, the press, for the most part has become Michael Schiavo's and George Felos' propaganda machine," Rojas concluded.

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