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Is Shepard Smith the Only One Dealing with Facts on Fox?

Reported by Ellen - March 31, 2005

Studio B with Shepard Smith yesterday was cut into with 'Breaking News' (maybe that's different from a Fox News Alert?) after the program had been on for only about 22 minutes.

The news was in that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had refused to intervene in the Schiavo case.

As I've been reporting for the past two weeks, Smith has maintained a balanced look at the Schiavo case, wanting to deal with the facts.

For the rest of the show, Smith spoke with a group comprised of correspondant, Julie Bandaras, 2 legal analysts, Lis Wiehl and Arthur Aidala, who is a former prosecutor and Dr. Vincent Garner of St. Vincent's Medical Center in NYC.

Smith said that it now made it 22 judges who have decided that Terri Schiavo is in a persistant vegetative state and would not want to be kept alive this way. He added that this story has not only gripped our nation but was the number one story in Europe, also.

"It's over", Smith said. Aidala, the legal expert said it was 'over' and it was time to let her die peacefully. He also added that these cases happen all of the time and that's what makes this a rare case.

Smith questioned whether the video tapes we have seen on television of Terri Schaivo, which were edited, will be used in the future on media outlets. Aidala said it was the Schindler's who wanted the tape out there, to draw attention to their cause and to try and get the judges to change their minds.

Their was a brief discussion regarding living wills and their importance. Smith then said that legally speaking, an oral contract is just as legal as a written one and every judge had ruled the same way in this case -- that this was Terri's wish. Lis Wiehl agreed with Smith that this was the end of the road.

Aidala said that short of Terri speaking, he didn't see anyway around this. It would take a miraculous exhibition of her cognitive reasoning, which wasn't going to happen. Aidala then said (paraphrasing) 'God forbid they reinsert the feeding tube at this time, it could actually increase her suffering.'

Smith said that the law was consistant on it's rulings and Wiehl agreed and said that all of the judges really did follow through in the process of law.

Then Smith made a remark that last night seeing Randall Terry, Jesse Jackson and Sean Hannity all together was one of the strangest mixes he's ever seen. (comment: agreed)

Aidala and Smith spoke briefly on how the right to life movement had really attached themselves to this case. Smith said there was the poor Schindler family on one side and on the other the poor husband who was at her bedside for years on end.

Then Smith quoted some polls that have been conducted, saying that 82% of the American people said the Executive and Legislative branches of government should have stayed out of this case. 75% of the American people felt it was a private matter.

When Smith said it was a private matter, Aidala jumped in and said that it was the Schindler family who gave up the privacy for their daughter, it was not the husband. He said Mr. Schiavo has not been a part of this big circus and has tried to be as 'low key' as possible.

There was a cut to a live feed from in front of the hospice where a Dr. Jay Carpenter, identified by Bandaras as a doctor hired by the Schindler family, was speaking. He said that this was cruel and unusual punishment and begged the Governor and the President to act. He wanted them to stand up and show the world that we do not dehydrate any person who is not guilty of any crime, in fact she was a disabled person.

They cut back to the studio and Smith spoke with Dr. Garner about what will happen to Terri now. He said she would most likely die from renal failure, her kidneys would shut down. He said it could be hours, it could be 2 - 3 days and said she must have been very well hydrated before the tube was taken out. He said there was absolutely 'no suffering'.

Aidalla said in his opinion the judiciary had done an excellent job, that we are a country of laws and that Terri and the Schindlers had received the justice they deserved. Smith added that he was sure Judge Greer had ruled to the best of his ability.

The conversation moved to the autopsy. Dr. Garner said he had reviewed Terri's CAT scan from 1996 and that the cortex was totally liquified and gone. So Smith asked the doctor that after seeing that CAT scan was she medically and physically incapable of improving, in fact, wouldn't her brain have deteriorated from 1996? Dr. Garner advised Smith that he was correct, there was no high level of thinking going on and this would be confirmed by the autopsy.

Smith asked the doctor one last question. "Is there a single question in your mind that after seeing her CAT scan, that she is in a persistant vegetative state?" Dr. Garner replied that 'no' there was no question in his mind that she was in a persistant vegetative state after seeing her CAT scan.

Comment: Once again, Smith stuck with the facts and so did the people around him. It's amazing that no other show on Faux seems to follow Smith's show and deal exclusively with the facts.

I did find amusing Smith's comment on Terry Randall, Jesse Jackson and Sean Hannity being together as one of the 'strangest mixes he's ever seen.' I have to agree.

Reported by: Donna

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