National Media Watch

Pro-Life Group Stands by Its Statement

THE CAPITAL TIMES, Aug. 16 — Pro-Life Wisconsin has refused to apologize to a local hospice center after issuing a statement criticizing the center for removing the feeding tube of a Marine injured in Iraq. Under threat of a lawsuit it has, however, retracted a statement accusing the center of murder.

Staff Sgt. Chad Simon, 32, of Monona, Wis., never recovered after he was injured by a bomb in November. On July 20, the Dane County Circuit Court ordered HospiceCare to follow the wishes laid out in Simon's living will and remove his feeding tube, the Capital Times reported.

On Aug. 11, Pro-Life Wisconsin issued a news release saying: “Sgt. Simon died of dehydration, not from any sort of brain injuries. Sgt. Simon was rendered handicapped by the bomb in Iraq; he was murdered by those who were in charge of his medical care.”

Virgin Mary Gains a New Following, Newspaper Says

GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, Aug. 13 — In a book review of Spiritual Writings on Mary by Mary Ford-Grabowsky, the Green Bay Press-Gazette declared the Blessed Virgin Mary is gaining a new following in the post-Sept. 11 world.

The article quotes Life magazine, which in 1996 noted that “one of the intriguing aspects of the latest rise of Mary is this: The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her.”

“Our Protestant friends — theologians — are writing much more positively about the role of Mary in the life of the Church,” retired Bishop Robert Banks told the paper.

“Spirituality is getting deeper,” Norbertine Father Alfred McBride also told the paper. “[Mary's] life is one long song, or prayer, if you will. People want to be near her.”

NARAL Ad Proponent Resigns

THE WASHINGTON POST, Aug. 14 — One day after a NARAL Pro-Choice America television ad linking U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr. with violent abortion opponents was withdrawn, the organization's communications director resigned.

David Seldin, who defended the ad — which the nonpartisan watchdog said was false — had pushed for a more aggressive debate regarding Roberts’ nomination than others within the organization, the Washington Post reported.

In an Aug. 12 e-mail announcing his resignation, Seldin said he had been thinking of leaving anyway after the Supreme Court nomination process was over.

Guardian of the Year?

THE GAINESVILLE SUN, Aug. 8 — In a move that a Franciscan friar who serves the family of Terri Schindler-Schiavo deemed “offensive,” a group that advocates guardianship services has awarded Michael Schiavo its Guardian of the Year award.

The Florida State Guardianship Association gave the award to Schiavo at its Aug. 5 meeting. The group said that although Schiavo was a “controversial choice,” the Gainesville Sun reported, it decided to recognize him because of his commitment to honor what he says were his wife's wishes not to be kept alive artificially.

Terri Schiavo died of dehydration and starvation March 31.