Media Mostly Uncritical in Covering Assisted Suicide Advocates

By Media Research Center Latino Staff

Editor’s note. This is excerpted from a post at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.

The latest example of massive media collusion and manipulation to advance the culture of death came in Exit International’s staging, earlier this month, of the death of renowned Australian scientist David Goodall in Switzerland.

In news coverage offered by major U.S. Spanish-language media outlets, for example, there was no semblance of fair or balanced reporting on the controversy surrounding the push for assisted suicide, and instead all the hallmarks of a carefully orchestrated campaign to favorably shape public opinion on the matter.

NTN24’s story on Goodall, aired the day before his death, was particularly revealing about the assisted suicide lobby’s central agenda.

REPORTER, NTN24: In this eternal debate the NGO Exit International that is helping Goodall on this last trip defends the right to decide to put an end to life at the time that is deemed appropriate.

PHILIP NITSCHKE, DIRECTOR, EXIT INTERNATIONAL: What David epitomizes is the idea that this is not only about a person suffering with a terminal illness, it’s not only a privilege for the ill. What this is about, David, is that this is a human right.

NTN24’s reporting on the Goodall case, like most of the media’s, included no critical questions on the issue, or opposing viewpoints.

In addition to Exit International, other pro-assisted suicide lobbyists like Compassion and Choices are up front about their efforts to deliberately target U.S. Hispanic media and Hispanic audiences in order to, as they describe it, “innoculate them against the Catholic Church’s fear-based misinformation campaign” the Catholic Church being the single biggest institutional opponent to the implementation of their agenda.

Undoubtedly, the ability to turn a previously core belief, such as belief in the right to life, into a belief that there is a “right to commit suicide” through manipulation of the media apparatus is a classic example of what the father of modern day public relations, Edward Bernays, called the “engineering of consent.”

The basic underlying idea is that because people are “stupid” they must be persuaded through staged events to change their opinions by “the application of scientific principles and tried practices to the task of getting people to support ideas and programs” (an elegant way of saying manipulation).

The late American historian Daniel Boorstin called these staged events “pseudo-events” based upon “dramatic half-truths” usually sponsored by wealthy particulars (in this case Exit International and other culture of death allies).

Unfortunately, as was made abundantly evident in the case of Dr. Goodall’s assisted suicide, many journalists have lent themselves to the practice of uncritically reporting staged events, instead of enabling the public access to information coming from all sides of the debate.

So far, in the wake of Goodall’s death, critical reporting on the issue has been mostly limited to smaller media outlets like Mercator.net, where in an incisive piece titled “The Dangerous Ideology of Rational Suicide,” Michael Cook focuses like a laser on the goal of pro-euthanasia organizations, which is nothing less than a universal right to suicide. …

As Dr. William Peace, member of a New York-based disability rights group that opposes the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia also noted in an article titled, David Goodall: Dying in Support of a Media Campaign,“ death is not a right but rather a biological certainty. Any and all medical treatments can be accepted or declined. Any person can deny medical treatment that will result in the end of life. Hospice care can and is often provided. For zealots, Voluntary Suspension of Eating and Drinking (VSED) is a legal way to end one’s life. I see no reason for legislating end of life legislation in the form of assisted suicide.”