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Forget The Facts - It's About Distortion & Spin

Reported by Melanie - March 22, 2005

Fox's premiere business show, Your World w/Neil Cavuto, which Fox promotes as the "most powerful business show on the planet," was busy with other things today (March 22, 2005). Instead of reporting business news, of which there was plenty, Fox instead concentrated on floating incredible and outrageous distortions about Terri Schiavo's condition and treatment options. Thanks to facilitator Neil Cavuto, a purported "business news anchor," it was all shoveled into the public domain with narry a glitch.

Kate Adamson, the author of Kate's Journey, and her husband Steven Klugman, were guests. They followed a segment featuring Brother Paul O'Donnell, the "spiritual advisor" to Terri Schiavo's parents.

Neil Cavuto, the host of Your World, introduced Adamson by saying that Adamson has some idea what Terri Schiavo is going through. At 33 years of age Adamson collapsed from a stroke and "quickly fell into a vegetative state because of a bowel obstruction she developed. Her feeding tube was removed so doctors could perform surgery." Cavuto said, "You must look at this and think, wow, this rings a bell."

Adamson said she met "Brother Paul" (from the first segment) and that she is "just devastated" and can't imagine watching your child die.

Cavuto said, "At the time you were considered to be in this infamous vegetative state, from which we're told no one recovers, but you recovered. Explain your situation."

Adamson said Terri is "labeled in a persistent vegetative state," but no one has given her the opportunity "to see what she can do and cannot do." She said, "When I had the opportunity to get into rehab, I had to be the one to do the work." She said she had "ten years of rehab." She said "Terri was once beautiful and of course, when you push someone aside, they're going to lose their looks and appeal." She said she was "lying there, totally trapped in my body. I was actually aware but nobody thought I was in there. They didn't know what I was aware of."

Cavuto interrupted, asking, "did you hear what was going on around you, Kate, or sense it?" Adamson said "I did," and Cavuto proceeded: "You couldn't relay that, right?" Adamson said "I couldn't communicate." I was "inside." I was "fighting for any little thing that I can somehow do. Something to let them know that I was in here."

Cavuto turned to Klugman, Adamson's husband and asked what the doctors told him, did they want "to pull the plug?" Klugman said the doctors suggested that he "let her go and not do things to save her." Cavuto asked, "Did that include, Steve, starving her?" Klugman said no, it meant "not stabilizing her catastrophic medial condition and she would have died." Cavuto said, "so you decided not to do that so when you hear what Terri Schiavo's husband is doing, saying this was actually a far gone situation with his wife, what do you think?" Klugman said he thinks it's wrong. He said, "If you love your wife there is really only one thing you're going to do." He said "love doesn't dictate you kill someone," but that "you fight." He said "Michael should be doing everything possible to give her the best quality of life. She's likely to be able to swallow. She had some jello. He won't let her learn to swallow because he doesn't want her to be in a position where they would not be able to starve her." He said Michael said he "can't let her" swallow things because "she could have it go into her lungs and die. Is that crazy or what?"

Cavuto turned to Adamson and acknowledged that her husband did "everything" he could to help. Then he said that we don't know "intimately the case" of Terri Schiavo right now so "we really can't judge the Terri situation when we don't know the facts, but are you saying now that Terri Schiavo, cause you've kinda been there, is sensing more than we're appreciating?" Adamson started talking about the help her husband gave her and Cavuto interrupted, saying that "Terri's" situation is "far more severe and progressed." Adamson said, "Of course. 15 years. Mine was 70 days." Then she thanked God that she "had an advocate."

Cavuto asked Adamson whether she was implying that it's too late for Schiavo. Adamson said no, but "if I had been in a vegetative environment with no support, sunlight, no encouragement, how can you survive in that environment?"

Cavuto again asked: "Is it fair to say that Terri Schiavo is sensing more than her appearance would suggest?" Adamson said, "It's likely. She's not on life support. She's had a feeding tube and there are a lot of people in this country that have feeding tubes." Cavuto: "Very good point." Adamson continued: "There are a lot of people that are disabled and they do therapy." They might not get "back to be 100%" but we "don't get rid of them."

Klugman said "it's not a total parallel" between Adamson and Schiavo but they "totally misinterpreted her ability to feel." Cavuto: "That's a very good point." Adamson: When my feed tube was out for eight days "I was lying there, in my body, screaming out 'feed me. I don't want to die!'" She said "the point is, you're looking at somebody who had rehab. Terri hasn't had that." We don't know "what she can and cannot do. But what's the harm in treating her and finding out?"

Comment: Most of Terri Schiavo's brain is gone. The courts have decided, based on testimony from her husband and friends, that she would not want to be kept alive in this "persistent vegetative state." The courts have granted Power of Attorney to her husband. He has the authority to make medical decisions on her behalf and that's what he's doing.

In this segment Fox News floated the notion that all Terri Schiavo needs is some rehab, some encouragement, some sunshine and maybe some jello and then who knows, she might get better. This is a lie and the American news consumer is being monumentally mislead by Fox News, an institution it trusts for news and information.

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