March 31, 2005

The Great Circus Debate

Good Grief the media coverage of Terri Schiavo has sucked. It has sucked on so many levels that it's hard to document. Let's try. A good starting place is Salon's Eric Boehlert:

It was fitting that reporters were in danger of outnumbering pro-life supporters outside Terri Schiavo's hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., on Thursday morning. When one man began to play the trumpet moments after Schiavo's death was announced at 9:50 a.m., a gaggle of cameramen quickly surrounded him, two or three deep.

Has there ever been a set of protesters so small, so out of proportion, so outnumbered by the press, for a story that had supposedly set off a "furious debate" nationwide? That's how described the Schiavo story this week. Although it's not clear how a country can have a "furious debate" when two-thirds of its citizens agree on the issue or, in the case of some Schiavo poll questions (i.e., Were Congress and President Bush wrong to intervene?), four out of five Americans agree.

The natural tendency is to call this whole event a circus, which New Donkey believes is an insult to clowns. It's time to start placing bets on the exact moment that the media bubble bursts. My bet is Monday morning or sooner if the Pope dies.

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