Sick to Death: Schiavo, The American Taliban and the Media
I’m glad Terry Schiavo is finally dead.
She’s been dead for 15 years, and it was finally time to take her off the life support.
Naturally, the religious conservatives in this country are up in arms over the whole issue…made worse by the limp-dick cowards that now pass for journalists in this country. I almost threw a brick through my television set last night, when I heard CNN refer to the Schiavo case as “a controversy which has divided a nation!”
Every single goddamned poll released during this shameful exercise has shown a HUGE majority of Americans, ranging from between 62 and 80 percent, depending on the poll, supported the idea that the feeding tube should be removed, that the woman had the right to die, that her husband had the right to make that decision, and that the government AND the Christian Right should stay the fuck out of it. That’s a “controversy which has divided a nation?”
The news media in this country is so worried about being (blacklisted/retaliated against/shot “accidentally” in Iraq, take your pick) that they refuse to report the facts when its staring them in the face. If it has “Conservative” or “Religious” stamped on it, they’ve got a hands-off policy. Nobody talked about the fact that the protesters in Florida (who were outnumbered by the media) were all anti-abortion wack-jobs, complete with panel-vans plastered with bloody foetus pictures. Nobody talked about the fact that the “family spokesman” for Terri Schiavo’s parents was Randal Terry, the extreme fundamentalist anti-abortion nut. When the Republicans hijacked State’s Rights in a blatant power-grab on behalf of the Christian conservatives by passing their late-night Schiavo law, where were the Democrats, the non-religious Republicans, or the media?
Now, Tom Delay, the ethics-challenged asswipe from Texas who spearheaded the thing, has committed a felony: on Thursday, he said “the time will come for the men responsible” for the death of Terri Schiavo “to answer for their behavior.” The comments, which he has refused to retract or even to clarify what he meant, appear to violate a federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 115 (a)(1)(B). That law states: Whoever threatens to assault…. or murder, a United States judge… with intent to retaliate against such… judge…. on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished by up to six years in prison. The thing is, assault isn’t limited to physical action, legally speaking. Simply threatening someone qualifies. Not to mention the fact that I’m sure the brownshirts of the abortion-clinic-bombing American Taliban will take Delay’s threat as a call to action.
I am sick of the Christian right. I am tired of a small group of small-minded, bigotted, backward-looking fascists hijacking this country. The time is long since past for the massive majority of Americans, Democrat, Republican, or Other, to stand up and say Enough is Enough. Pack up your bibles, your “culture of life” and your “family values” and move to Utah or something. We’ll let you secede. Either that, or shut the fuck up and join the rest of us in the 21st century.
Of course, for that to happen, the news media will have to grow some balls.
The Civil Rights movement only succeeded after the media started showing the entire country what was happening in the South, and how ugly it was. Normal moderate Americans suddenly faced with that reality found themselves discovering that they didn’t want to be associated with that ugliness, once it was shown in the full light of day. The same thing needs to happen with the American Taliban. Cameras need to be focused on every red-faced, screaming, hate-mongering nut who’s out there thumping a bible. Show them for what they are. Then let the majority decide if that’s who we want dictating our culture, and the country that our children will inherit.