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February 25, 2005

OUR AD WAS CENSORED ACCEPTED updated (Update 2)

Topics: Press Releases

Update 2(by Richard)

At 5:30 PM this afternoon, after earlier attempts had failed to reach me at a time that I could speak with him, I received a phone call from Mr. Eric Myers, National Sales Manager for the St. Petersburg Times. Mr. Myers told me that the St. Petersburg Times was prepared to run the BlogsforTerri ad exactly as it was originally presented, without the changes that they had earlier insisted upon(I received the required changes by email as did the Schindler's press office). I was told that they were not censoring the ad and that they didn't want the blogs using the word censorship when in fact they were now willing to run the ad, and definately wanted to run the ad this Sunday as originally requested by BlogsforTerri.

I advised Mr. Myers that we had given the Times two different opportunities to change their mind about the required changes in the ad but had been advised by Pat Haskins in National Retail Advertising that she was sorry but that's the only way that they would run the ad, and that we didn't know what else to call it. I further explained to Mr. Myers that owing to their having required changes that we were unwilling to make, we had already made a decision to go with a different newspaper that had immediately accepted the ad without any changes whatsoever and that we had no alternative but place the ad with them since we had run out of time for Sunday placement two hours earlier.

By the end of the conversation, we both agreed that we would consider the issue of censorship a closed matter and that should BlogsforTerri wish to run the ad again, the St. Petersburg Times would definately run the ad without changes. The only other matter we discussed was that I expressed my concern that BlogsforTerri had heard "rumors" (and at this point it is nothing more than rumor), that the St. Petersburg Times had planned a "head" job against Terri in their editorial section this weekend and that our ad could possibly have contradicted content in that editorial. Further, that BlogsforTerri and all the blogs writing with us, would be very concerned if in fact such an editorial appeared in the Times Sunday after the email that we had received about them requiring changes in our ad. Mr. Myers assured me that there was absolutely no collusion between the the department that would write an editorial and the adverising department. I accepted Mr. Myers at his word.

The original post "Our Ad Was Censored"follows:

BlogsforTerri, currently listing 227 member blogs, engaged in a significant effort earlier this week for the purpose of running an advertisement in the St. Petersburg Times this Sunday. The total cost of this particular advert was close to ten thousand dollars; money that was raised in 36 hours by our bloggers and their readers.

After speaking to the Times' advertising department, we were informed that they would consider running our advertisement only after we agreed to edit its content. We explained to their representative that we possess copies of court documents that back each statement. She was not interested in backing down, however, and insisted that the edited version be run.

Out of respect for the many bloggers and readers, who contributed their own money, out of respect for the truth, and out of respect for Terri Schiavo, it has been decided to cancel the St. Petersburg Times Advertisement. The advertisement MUST and WILL run in its complete and uncensored format.

Ironically, our purpose for paying for the advertisement was to bypass the mainstream media who continues to suggest that this is a "right-to-die" issue. Don't worry, we have a good backup plan and will release its details shortly.

Here is the advert in its entirety. An asterisk (*) and italics indicates what the Times insisted be stricken.


The Ad the St. Petersburg Times Tried to Censor

The story of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who suffered brain damage in 1990, has been sensationalized following the efforts of her husband to end her life by starving her to death. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned individuals and government officials have received misinformation about her that have led them to believe she is a “vegetable”, surviving only through artificial life support.

As a coalition of 200 internet bloggers (online writers), we appeal to the citizens of Florida and their elected representatives to consider the following facts about Terri Schiavo.

  • Terri Schiavo is not a “vegetable” and is not “brain dead”. She recognizes and responds to others and makes attempts to verbally communicate.

  • Terri is not on life support but does receive food and water through a removable tube, which experts testify would not even be necessary if she were given therapy. This assisted feeding is a natural means of preserving life and not a medical act of life support or heroic measures.

  • Twelve medical experts and nurses who cared for her confirmed these facts*. Video available through BlogsforTerri.com shows Terri responding and interacting with others. Health care workers have testified under oath that she expresses herself using words, such as “mommy” and “help me”.

  • Terri is a person with disabilities who thinks and expresses her moods and desires. She is loved by her family and responds to their visits with smiles and laughter.

  • Terri Schiavo may be the victim of ongoing negligence and injustice. She has been denied therapy and rehabilitation by her guardian since 1991*. Florida’s guardianship laws REQUIRE that these necessary services be given to her.

  • In 1992, Terri’s husband Michael won $1.7 million in negligence lawsuit under the pretext of funding her rehabilitation and care. He testified, “I believe in the vows that I took with my wife. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer. I married my wife because I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'm going to do that.” *Since that time, Terri has received no rehabilitation, all beneficial forms of stimulation (e.g. music) have been prohibited and basic health care, such as treatment for a life threatening urinary tract infection, has been purposefully withheld at Michael’s direction*.

  • Even though Terri’s husband has started a family of his own with another woman and their two children, he refuses to end his marriage to Terri or relinquish her care to her immediate family.

  • Terri’s “collapse” has become controversial after a previously hidden bone scan surfaced in 2002 which revealed multiple fractures consistent with a traumatic event. *To date, no investigation has been conducted to determine the source of Terri’s injuries*, but a radiologist gave a sworn statement that the date of those injuries would fall sometime near the time of her mysterious collapse.

  • Remarkably, The Florida Courts have sided with Michael, accepting the testimony of two “expert witnesses”, one of whom is a known advocate of “mercy killing”, over that of twelve independent medical professionals (6 of them neurologists). *Judge Greer admitted to not even reviewing their sworn statements*.

  • Without intervention by the Florida Governor and Legislature, Judge George Greer is set to give Michael the legal empowerment to withhold food and water from his wife *for the purpose of starving her to death*.

  • Terri Schiavo deserves to have medical tests and therapy. She does not deserve to be starved and dehydrated to death.

  • Advancements in the understanding of brain activity and misdiagnosis and the recent recovery of a patient after 20 years in a persistent vegetative state, further calls into question any decision that would end the life of Terri Schiavo.

Action Items:

  • Contact Florida’s Governor, Jeb Bush at jeb.bush@myflorida.com, and demand that he invoke Florida Statute 415.1051 to provide protective custody until investigations into abuse and neglect can be carried out.

  • Contact Florida Senate at www.myflorida.com and ask them to institute an immediate moratorium on withholding assisted nutrition and hydration until Florida can adopt a new standard of testing protocols for brain-injured patients.

  • Contact Florida’s House of Representatives at www.myfloridahouse.com and ask them to pass legislation that would forbid the removal of food and water without the informed consent of the patient.

  • Visit www.terrisfight.org and see for yourself the woman who has been called a house plant by her husband’s attorney and why

  • Get a Protective Medical Decisions Directive from the International Anti-Euthanasia task force at www.internationaltaskforce.com and make your medical treatment desires known to your family and friends. You don’t have to be starved or dehydrated to death simply because your life is effected by disability.

BlogsForTerri is a coalition of over 100 webloggers who regularly write publish articles on the internet supporting Terri Schiavo and the Schindler family.

Posted by tim at February 25, 2005 3:18 PM


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Comments

The only thing that can be done at this point is to lobby the Florida legislature to pass a third party divorce bill. Her husband has been having an adulterous relationship for years, if Terri were able, she would divorce him. He's living with another woman. If there can be a divorce, then the husband will have no say in what happens to her. I emailed the Governor's office months ago, and of course that stuff doesn't get read. This is really the only way.

Posted by: Steve at February 25, 2005 4:31 PM

Wasn't Greer supposed to issue a decision by fax on some of the Schiavo's appeals today? What happened with that?

Posted by: WriteWingNut at February 25, 2005 5:18 PM

A Message for the "honorable judge greer"

Dear Judge Greer:

I am most disappointed to learn that you are a Republican. For the first time in my life, I find a Republican to be lower than the lowest Democrat I know---you are lower than Ted Kennedy.

I have always associated Republicans with intelligent, well-educated people, yet you have taken the "testmony" of a lying Adulterer to determine that he may starve his wife to death. From where do you come to believe him? From the man who promised to love and cherish his wife; who declared his "in sickness and in health" love for her until he had $1M to rehabilitate her and then chose to starve her to death? How can you, in conscience believe anything he says? How can you rule that Terri must die slowly by starvation, when Hardened Criminals are given a dignified death? How can you in good conscience allow her starvation, when we aren't permitted to torture terrorists?

Why must she die? Why can't you grant a divorce--Michael should be in a common law marriage situation, thus guilty of bigamy--so you can proclaim a divorce and allow her family to keep her alive.

I challenege you--go to her hospice and face the girl whose death warrant you have signed. Go to the hospital every day and watch her starve until she finally dies. Go to the hospital and face her...then tell Michael to murder her with your blessing.

I am making an assumption that you, a "pseudoRepublican" have a belief in a higher God--but whether or not you do, I beleve you will face a judgement at your death. I hope and pray that Terri is given the opportunity to face you at your Judgement. Maybe she will be there with the same Jesus that you deny her in Holy Communion. And maybe she will forgive you. Maybe.

I pray for you. You have sentenced an innocent girl to a tortuous and unnecessary death based on the testamony of a lying adulterer. I pray for your daughters and granddaughters that they never suffer at the hands of a loving husband like Michael Shiavo.

You are right, "honorable judge greer", this case must end--but Terri doesn't need to die for it to end; Terri needs to live

Posted by: Tress at February 25, 2005 5:59 PM

God Bless the Gators!

Posted by: Susan at February 25, 2005 5:59 PM

The URL for the International Task Force
on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide is http://www.internationaltaskforce.org/ (not .COM as given in the Ad text)

Posted by: Bobby at February 25, 2005 7:57 PM

Thanks for your efforts. Keep winning the battles because the war continues for Terri and the many disabled people I know.

Posted by: Alnot at February 26, 2005 1:51 AM

Having seen that the "rumors" were born out, I find it difficult to believe that there was, as the rep from the paper claimed, no collusion between the editorial and sales departments

Posted by: J Rob at February 27, 2005 11:51 PM