Saturday, March 26, 2005

Why I dislike the Strib's editorial board, Part 1 of x

Since I carp on and criticize the opinion pieces in the Strib on a pretty regular basis, I from time to time try to figure out why they bug me so much. There are obvious reasons like the shrillness that appears in many of their editorials, the misrepresentation of the opposing sides viewpoint, if the opposing side is conservative or Republican, or the name-calling (Taliban-wing of the Republican Party, anyone?). It amazes me that they are paid to do that (after all, I can and do commit those errors for free all the time!). It isn't really their being liberals. After all, that describes a significant part of the country and I don't hate liberals, I just disagree with them on some things. So what gives? I think it is passages like the following in an editorial about death on 3/25/05:
From Florida came the legal and emotional whirlwind surrounding the fate of Terri Schiavo, the 41-year-old woman who has been kept alive for 15 years by a feeding tube. The best that can be said about this drama is that the legal system worked. Congressional Republicans didn't want it to work, but it did, and at long last Schiavo and her husband will be left to say goodbye in peace, as she takes physical leave of a life she left so long ago in every other respect. This is the right outcome, but it is impossible to feel joy about it. Her mother's tears and pleas haunt the week. It is clear she believes she was acting to save a daughter's life, an impulse every parent can understand. For her daughter to win, the mother had to lose. There was no other way. The mother's loss requires acknowledgment.

There are two things that annoy me about this excerpt. The first is an attack on the motives of Congressional Republicans (but notice, not the Democrats who also voted for the bill) who were characterized as attempting to undermine the legal system. The Star Tribune was not even honest enough to mention (or consider, in my opinion) the probability/possibility the bipartisan majority in both houses who voted for the bill did so because they believed the legal system had failed Terri Schiavo? The second thing was how they with such certainty portrayed the removal of Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube as a victory for her. How the hell do they know? The judge's decision is his best guess based on Florida law, the opinions of disagreeing medical experts, and the word of a husband who may have other motives than Ms. Schiavo's best interest to have the tube removed. Certainty is not the order of the day here. Arrogance, apparently, is always in season.

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