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The Schiavo Memo Revisited.

Michelle Malkin looks at just how distorted the "Schiavo memo" reporting has gotten:

...nearly a month after the Allen/Roig-Franzia article was published in the Post and other newspapers, the Post still has neither substantiated nor retracted its assertion that the memo was "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders." At this point, we know of only one Republican senator who received the memo--Mel Martinez--and he got it from an aide, not a party leader.

Yet, the new left-wing canon on the memo has become: "the memo was real afterall, in your face, Republicans!"

This has allowed the Post and other media sources to continue citing it as proof that their original, flawed reporting was indeed accurate and that a retraction/correction/clarification is unnecessary; it also somehow allows them to get away with the "blogs can't hang with us" line of argument. The point of the memo's reporting: Republicans really were just using Terri Schiavo for political gain.

Democrats have also followed suit on this theme.

On NBC's MEET THE PRESS (April 17, 2005), Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank (D) took every opportunity, even ones that made little sense, to bring up Terri Schiavo:

...Mr. DeLay is symptomatic of a corruption, frankly, of the public policy process. That's more important to me than a question of this or that trip or this or that payment to this or that relative, etc. It's the public policy process.

You saw it the Schiavo case, you see it in this assault on the judges. What we have got are people who campaigned in 1994 as reformers, and they were going change things.


But, yeah, we have been trying to get across to people that while there are some moderate-sounding Republicans, the heart of the Republican Party is this extremely conservative group that dominates. And Mr. DeLay, I guess in part because of the Schiavo situation and his prominence there when they tried to order the federal courts to do something, and they are now, by the way--and I think this is relevant--the Republicans are threatening all kinds of action against these liberal judges, who include of course Justices Scalia and Thomas and Rehnquist.

Clearly, Democrats think it is a political winner to go after DeLay based on his attempts to prevent Terri Schiavo's dehydration/starvation. The matter of Terri Schiavo had little or nothing to do with what Barney Frank was even talking about, yet he compulsively added her plight to the discussion.

But, awkwardly and superfluously injecting the Schiavo matter into any political discussion is not merely something for far-left members of Congress such as Frank (by the way, is the very idea of Barney Frank representing the Democrats on national television on the matter of ethics not supremely ironic?), invoking Schiavo against Republicans is precisely the kind of coordinated party-line strategy that could only come straight from the top, from DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

...at a gay rights breakfast in Los Angeles, Dean raised eyebrows when he vowed to "use Terri Schiavo" to attack Republicans.

USA TODAY has more:

"This is going to be an issue in 2006, and its going to be an issue in 2008 because we're going to have an ad with a picture of (House Majority Leader) Tom DeLay saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?'" Dean said in West Hollywood, Calif.

So, let's get this straight:

1. Because of poor initial reporting, various news outlets and commentators took what we now know was a draft of a memo written by low-level staffer and inadvertantly passed from one Republican (Florida Senator Mel Martinez) to one Democrat (Iowa Senator Tom Harkin), and misrepresented it as an official "GOP talking points memo" created by "Republican officials" or "party leaders" and distributed to "Republican senators."

The effect of the erroneous reporting on the memo cannot be overstated. It opened the floodgates for the partisan circus that ensued.

2. Meanwhile, high-level Democrats, including the actual head of the entire party, openly talk about "using" Terri Schiavo to go after Republicans.

How does this happen?

John Hawkins believes,

"There are always two different standards in the mainstream media: one for conservatives and one for liberals. As usual, the liberal Democrat is just taking advantage of the double standard..."

It is a sad time for our country when the politics of who is on top trumps the politics of what is right.

Posted by Will Franklin · 18 April 2005 11:10 AM


Wouldn't you know Howard Dean would be using Terri Schiavo's case to try to further his political antics! How typical of the low life he is! He doesn't have much if anything to work with of his own. I suppose that is the only issue he could come up with. Howard Dean is everything we as Americans do not need. He is a windbag that blows anywhere and anytime he thinks he can get a little attention. Go away Howard! Go far away! Bye bye...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 18, 2005 12:26 PM

The only standards the main stream media seem to follow is the liberal attitude and whatever is politically liberally correct for the day! Using Terri Schiavo for their crusade for death, is par for the course they are on! It is very sad Terri has been killed in the way in which she was killed. Isn't that enough? When and where will they stop?...
Howard Dean is such a dud!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 18, 2005 06:59 PM