The Right Coast
March 23, 2005
Is Michael Schiavo Off Message?
By Gail Heriot
Is Michael Schiavo the true voice of Terri Schiavo? Or is he a man with an enormous conflict of interest? Or both? It doesn't look good for him if the reports about what he said on the Larry King Show are true: "We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want."
Update: This quote is all over the web and is mentioned in the WSJ Political Diary News Service, but I'm not convinced that it's fair. I've read the complete transcript now, and, upon reflection, it appears to me that he probably just misspoke and that he was trying to refer to his in-laws' views here and not his own. Referring to his in-laws, he said, "But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...." It's confusing perhaps, but to interpret the statement as a reference the Shiavo's own desire requires some reason to believe that he would suddenly refer to himself in the plural.
For fairness's sake, I should also state that the WSJ mention of Schiavo's statement was probably accurate news reporting regardless of how the statement should be interpreted. The WSJ story was about how certain left-of-center organizations were giving the Schiavo story distance because they felt that Michael Schiavo was contradicting himself and therefore didn't want to get too close.
Additional Update: Ah, I think I have it figured out. It's a transcript error. On the CNN Saturday Morning News on March 19th, they re-ran the clip of Michael Schiavo being interviewed by Larry King. This time the transcript reads: "But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And they have also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want." (Italics added). If this is the correct statement (and I suspect it is, since it makes more sense from Schiavo's standpoint), he is simply giving his take on his in-laws' position, not his own.