Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bad Instapundit

I generally agree with Instapundit. However, I'm very disappointed with his writing about Terri Schiavo.

Here, he said:
VARIOUS PEOPLE seem to think I should have an opinion of the Terry Schiavo case. I've tried, but I really just don't. I think I'll let Randall Terry and James Wolcott fight this one out without me. If you want more, Sissy Willis seems to be providing some pretty balanced coverage.

UPDATE: Reader Harvey Schneider emails: "You have no opinion on Terri Shiavo!!! Good, because neither do I. Other than it sounds complicated, tragic…and really none of my business."

Yeah, that's pretty much how I feel.
My problem with his approach is, although he claims to have no opinion, all of his quotes have been from those who espouse that TS is in a persistent vegetative state and that the federal government should have stayed out of it. He has ignored Ann Althouse, someone to whom he frequently links, and her arguments that this is not a federalism issue and that the federal government was within its right, although not right, to get involved. She wrote:
Whether one agrees with the conception of rights reflected in Congress's Schiavo law, one should not deny that Congress has an important, well-established role enforcing the rights of the individual and displacing choices made at the state level.
Why, Glenn? Why haven't you linked to any of the bloggers who are presenting the family's side of the story and the statements from the many doctors and nurses who disagree with the courts findings? Aren't you aware that the primary doctor saying that TS is in a persistent vegetative state admitted on Hannity and Colmes that he only examined her for 45 minutes? If you don't have an opinion, why don't you stay out of it, or at least present both sides?

Instapundit even selectively quoted James Taranto. The quote he pulled made it look like BOTW agreed that TS was in PVS. However, if you "read the whole thing," you find out just the opposite.

This is what Instapundit quoted:
Reading over the report on Schiavo prepared in 2003 by guardian ad litem Jay Wolfson (link in PDF) helps make clear why this last effort will not succeed. Many physicians have backed the PVS diagnosis, and the courts are unlikely to give much weight to an eighth or ninth opinion at this late stage.

The 38-page report is by and large a persuasive document, showing that the Florida courts did not lightly reach the conclusion that Mrs. Schiavo should die.
However, the second paragraph is actually the first sentence of this paragraph:
The 38-page report is by and large a persuasive document, showing that the Florida courts did not lightly reach the conclusion that Mrs. Schiavo should die. But it does raise some troubling questions: Why does Florida law allow the admission of hearsay evidence (in this case, from Mr. Schiavo, his brother and his sister-in-law, who testified that Mrs. Schiavo had once said she wouldn't want to be kept alive in such circumstances) when human life is at stake? And why didn't the court at some point reconsider Mr. Schiavo's guardianship of his wife in light of his having remarried all but in name? A real de novo review in federal court might have cast some light on these matters.
This may not be a true Dowdification, because Instapundit didn't use any ellipse, but by leaving off the last of the paragraph he definitely gives the wrong impression about what BOTW was saying.

Now, one of the reasons I got into blogging in the first place was because I sympathized with the bloggers who complained about getting e-mails that said, "Why don't you write about this or that?" or vociferously and rudely disagreed. The standard answer was that we all have the opportunity to start our own blog. Glenn, you inspired me, but here you disappoint me. You state you don't have an opinion, but your selective blogging reveals your bias. I don't suggest that you shouldn't have a bias. By all means, it's your blog, not mine or anyone elses. Any blogger has a right to an opinion and a bias, but don't deny one and then selectively blog.