He will be missed. I really hope that John Donvan takes his place. A graduate of Columbia School of Journalism, he's been with Nightline for seven years and often substitutes for Ted. I think he's the best candidate for Ted's replacement.
The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has aid that, despite fervent and sincere action on the part of the family of Terri Schiavo and Congress, "the time has come for dispassionate discharge of duty." The court has formally criticized certain politicians in Congress, saying they are "acting in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people our Constitution."
Terri's parents had wanted to care for Terri, as she existed after her heart failure which was brought on by an eating disorder. I believe, if they'd placed a great value upon the life she had left within her, quality notwithstanding, that Michael Schiavo should have agreed to somehow contract with the parents to let them take over all legal responsibility for their daughter's care. She wouldn't have lived forever, and she was not in any pain. The marriage vow that includes the contingencies "in sickness and in health" obviously didn't mean as much to Michael as it might have to other spouses in his position. He wanted to move on with his life, and I'm certainly not going to judge him for that. When it comes to the life or death of his wife, however, we were thrust into the judge's seat, weren't we? All eyes were upon Michael Schiavo. Most people I speak with do not trust that his motives are based in love. No one knows what's in a person's heart, though. I will say that his respect for Terri's family's wishes is not what I would view as particularly healthy or postive. I suppose you could say the same thing about the parents' respect for Schiavo's wishes, if you believe his motives were based on his caring for his wife's wishes.
The bottom line is this: You cannot expect that a court of law could force a family to agree with one another. That would eliminate our freedom to choose on family matters of life, death, and dignity, wouldn't it? The government does not belong in our houses and in our hearts.
This has been a great interpersonal tragedy for the family, but it should never have been made into a political show.
Michael Schiavo has never budged on the issue. The standing law is what it is. You cannot blame a judge or a court or a law for what the family could not work out amongst themselves.
We must not lose respect for the rule of law, through all of this. We are a nation of laws - not men or women.
"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane." - Singer/Songwriter Jimmy Buffett
Jon Stewart in Harvard Political Review
Perhaps mainstream media has been reduced to self-selecting choices based solely upon ideology. That would mean old-fashioned, balanced investigative journalism on cable networks is dead as a doornail and we are freely admitting it - and some of us have decided to laugh as long as we're getting a bit of news we think we want.
If you ask me, I'm glad Jon Stewart is there to wrap the insanity into a shitball of delight. I know a lot of young people out there agree with me. I don't know what we'd do without Stewart, Colbert, Corddry and crew.
In an article about Stewart in the current Harvard Political Review (HPR), Harvard professor of government Barry Burden comments:
"..in the last few years, with things like Fox News rising on the right, people are self-selecting into media outlets that are merely reinforcing their preexisting ideas. People are looking for facts, arguments or even humor that agree with what they thought ahead of time."
"It is ironic that satire offering criticism of politics has the power to get people politically involved. Perhaps there are some youth who are cynical about politics, not particularly informed, but still feeling some connection to what is going on, and are tuning into Comedy Central and are coming away a little less cynical and little more informed."
Julie Hinds of the Detroit Free Press has written a feature (Entertainment) article about Stewart. In it, she writes:
Stewart insists he had nothing to do with the fact that CNN announced plans to drop "Crossfire," the long-running show where conservatives yelled at liberals, from its schedule. (The show is still on the air.) In October, Stewart went on the show and told the co-hosts what he really thought: that scream fest political shows were hurting America. And he called co-host Tucker Carlson a, well, colorful name. Not too long afterward, the president of CNN told the press Stewart had a point.
"Look, as much as these guys talk, if Pol Pot's talk show was doing really well in the ratings, he'd still have a talk show," says Stewart.