Media Mostly Uncritical in Covering Assisted Suicide Advocates

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.

Most of the current level of public support for euthanasia and assisted suicide comes from people who think that no one should be allowed to die a lingering death in torment. But both Goodall and Nitschke showed themselves to be partisans of something completely different: a state-supported right to die at any post mid-life age, for any reason.

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.”

Below is the complete transcript of the above-referenced NTN24 report, as aired on May 9, 2018 Informativo NTN.

YOELI RAMIREZ, ANCHOR, NTN24: The personal choice of an elderly person has generated an international controversy with respect to the right to a dignified death.

CARLOS, ANCHOR, NTN24: We’re talking about David Goodall. He is 104 years old, and he’s not sick. Nonetheless, he decided to take advantage of a Swiss law which allows him to end his life at his own determination. This Thursday, May 10, will be his last day on Earth. The day he chooses to die.

NTN24 REPORTER: This is a trip with no return. David Goodall, an Australian scientist, arrived Wednesday to the city of Basel, Switzerland, where tomorrow he will live his last day before taking an injection that will put him to sleep eternally. Even though he does not suffer from any terminal illness, Goodall decided that the end has arrived.

DR. DAVID GOODALL: At my age, and even rather less than my age, one wants to be free to choose their death when the death is the appropriate time. Well, I suppose in some sense there is pressure, but I don’t feel that anyone else’s choice is involved. It’s my own choice to end my life tomorrow, and I look forward to that and am grateful to the Swiss medical professionals to make that possible.

NTN24 REPORTER: In his Australian homeland euthanasia is illegal, but in Switzerland assisted suicide is allowed beginning at forty years old. Goodall does not deny that with his choice he is attempting to send a strong message to his government.

DR. GOODALL: Oh yes, I certainly hope my story will increase the pressure for people to have more liberal view on the subject. I think there probably will be a step in the right direction .

NTN24 REPORTER: 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, to be able to make an elected decision by a rational adult to take this step. This is the reason why we would like his idea to be considered by the public, particularly in Europe, where this argument is gaining momentum.

NTN24 REPORTER: At his 104 years of age, this man has many dietary restrictions which is why he chose to opt out of a last meal. He assures he wants Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to accompany him in his last moments.

DR. GOODALL (singing in German):  Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken.

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Below is the report aired on Dr. Goodall’s death on Noticiero Univision’s late-night edition, Edición Nocturna, on May 10, 2018:

ENRIQUE ACEVEDO, NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: David Goodall, a 104-year-old Australian scientist, ended his life by assisted suicide with a lethal drug in a clinic in Switzerland. The man had raised more than $20,000 in donations from the public to fund this trip to Europe from Australia where euthanasia is forbidden. Goodall died while listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

NB Daily MRC Latino Culture/Society Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide Telemundo Univision
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