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Gretchen Carlson & "Pro-Life" Activist Further Politicize "Baby Joseph"

Reported by Priscilla - March 1, 2011 -

It's official. Fox News is no longer "America's Newsroom" but "Baby Joseph's" newsroom. And if you're sick of this, you can't imagine how I feel about it. Allow me a "Cathy" moment - "AAAAARGH." OK, now I feel better. As part of its ongoing coverage of the biggest persistent vegetative case since it teamed up with Randall Terry to set up a media circus outside Terri Schiavo's hospice, Fox News is providing up to the minute coverage of a dying baby whose parents have refused a court order to take him off of life support. Naturally, all the usual "pro-life" media junkies are in on the action and Fox "News" is there to give them sweet face time in what has been described as a "media feeding frenzy." Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler was interviewed by Megyn Kelly. Father Frank Pavone of "Priests for Life" was interviewed by Martha MacCallum. Today, Fox's morning Christian show otherwise known as "Fox & Friends" provided us with an update on "Baby Joseph" who is now being allowed to go home. But the catch here is that, once he gets home, the breathing tube will be taken out and no tracheotomy will be done. Fox News thinks that is "playing God" and Gretchen Carlson provided validation of that from the mother of another medically compromised baby. This mother is also a "pro-life" activist. Gretch provided yet more tugging of those emotional heartstrings while providing no real facts about "Baby Joseph." Naturally, there was the requisite agitprop about the evil Canadian healthcare system. Is it me or is there something not quite appropriate about using one person's tragedy to exploit another?

Gretch began by reporting the news in her best breathless Miss America voice. She then played part of her interview, last week, with Baby Joseph's father, Moe Maraachli, and his "spokesman" from the "Prevention of Euthanasia Society." Gretch then introduced her guest as the agitprop "Cavuto Mark" chyron appeared with what is Fox's opinion and not really a question: "Canadian Hospital Playing God. Mom Speaking Out On Child's Right To Live." Her guest, Ellen Salter, is the mother of a child with an illness that renders her unable to breathe and which, thus, necessitates a tracheotomy. The child's condition is not the same as "Baby Joseph's" but she is in a "persistent vegetative state" and is totally dependent on a ventilator. Salter is an anti-choice activist who has been lauded by the Catholic Church. She also campaigned for a Republican candidate for Michigan Attorney General. So no agenda here, nosireee. Salter claimed that the child, Meghan, is a "gift from God" and that the "trach" was placed, in Michigan, with "no problem at all." Photos of the child, including one beside a statue of the "Virgin Mary" were shown. She said that people all over the world sent e-mails in support of the child. Salter directed folks to a website "Meghan's Miracles" where you can pray and purchase bracelets that say "Meghan's Miracles" on them. The next propaganda of the next chyron was obvious: "An 8 Year Old's Survival, Salter, I Would Never Pull the Plug on My Child."

Gretch wanted to talk about how that nasty Canadian court told "Baby Joseph's" parents "what to do with their own child." Salter said it was "disturbing" and she got a call from her Catholic archdiocese to pray for the child. The chyron was the money shot for the piece: "Canadian "Death" Care, Doctors Need To Expose This System." (Uh, Ms. Salter, as an American, you have no right to determine what Canada does - on anything.) She said that she contacted - ready for it - Father Frank Pavone and Terri Schiavo's family. More agtiprop - "Salter, Outraged at Canadian Healthcare System." She said that it's unfortunate that the hospital won't "place a trach." Reminding you about that nasty Canadian hosptial was this chyron: "Canadian Hospital Under Fire, Allows Baby Joseph to Return Home to Die." Gretch wanted to know how Salter felt about difference between the Canadian and American health care system "because you have a child in a similar situation." (Fact Check - Salter's child isn't dying.) She provided an anecdote about a Canadian friend, with a disabled child, who moved her family to the US. She said it's about "parental rights." And are ya ready for it - "If we end up with that health care, who knows what would happen to children like Meghan."

Comment: If we don't end up with "that health care," children with pre-conditions won't be able to access the kind of health care that this child is getting. If we change nothing, costs will continue to spiral and families of children, like Meghan's, will be facing the kind of decision faced by the parents of "Baby Joseph." But nice to see Fox "News" using a very disabled child, whose case is very different from that of "Baby Joseph," as a prop. Fox "News" - stay classy!
BTW, if "Meghan" were the child of "illegal immigrants" and was on Medicaid do ya think Fox News would be as supportive?

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