"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This Time, for Gabrielle Giffords’s Sake, Let’s Not Get Ahead of Ourselves

This is a very good article and once again the media is admonished for their unrealistic stories about the recovery of Congressman Giffords. This author has said exactly what we have been thinking. An article will start out all rosy like a back rub to her husband which turned into a neck rub and down in the article you find the doctors viewpoint that says it would be almost impossible to have happened that way.

She has already had a remarkable recovery but the fact that she was sent to rehab in Texas calls into question how much her brain was damaged -- it had to be a lot as they don't expect to reattach the part of the skull she had taken out to reduce the swelling for four months.

We know her husband is having a hard time facing reality of the situation and his report that she will walk out of the rehab hospital in two months is wishful think unfortunately but that is what the media picked up and down deep in the article is the doctor talking about relearning everything.

Guess it is too much to ask the media to be responsible and report the facts from the medical team instead of family or her office. One person on a site said she will be able to run for President in 2012 or 2016 after reading all the rosy articles. Could not believe reading that. She was shot at point blank range and it is an absolute miracle that she is alive.

She has a tough road ahead without having to face unrealistic expectations by people and the media. This article needs read by every journalist and then they need to look at their articles and see exactly what this writer is saying. Speculation and joy are leading every article and breaking news and deep in the article you find the truth.

We seem to have some journalist today who are incapable of writing about facts for an entire article and are turning what should be news stories into fluff opinion pieces. Some should consider another career in fiction writing. You know if they do this with the Giffords story, they are doing it with news stories that are not human interest.

How much of the news we hear or read has all the facts and the opinion of the person reporting is left out of the story? Too many reporters are so anxious to be the first to report that they don't double source or get all the facts before running to a microphone and TV camera with breathless reporting that will turn out later not to be true. This was one of those stories and now they are doing the same thing on her recovery.

Does anyone know how the other people are doing who were shot or are they not important since they are not a Congresswoman? Because of their obvious bias, we have to wonder if they would be reporting with breaking good news almost every day if it was a Republican not a Democrat. We have our doubts which is a sad state of affairs that we believe they are that biased today.

Giffords voted against Pelosi for Speaker but we have to hear Pelosi's version of how she woke for the first time to see her like they were the very best of friends. Did Pelosi run out to a mic to report this to make herself look good that she was the first person she saw? No confirmation from any doctor that even though her eyes were open she recognized anyone at first.

We wish her the very best and hope and pray that she will have a full recovery. We also hope that the media will give her the time to rehab and as the days turn into months, they will remember not to run articles with unrealistic expectations and quit interviewing her husband who with the shock is going to want to see everything through rose colored glasses. It would be tough for any one close to her to see anything else. Her husband is going to need support as well as they goes through the rehab process and reality begins to dawn on him about the long road ahead.  The media doesn't need to play on his raw emotions right now.

God be with Gabrielle Giffords and all of her family and friends and give her and them the strength it is going to take to make that recovery that everyone prays will happen.

This Time, for Gabrielle Giffords’s Sake, Let’s Not Get Ahead of Ourselves1/21/11 at 1:15 PM

In the immediate aftermath of the shootings in Tucson, the media zeroed in on an irresistible narrative: Overheated political rhetoric had sparked a tragedy. Pundits rushed to judgment, conservatives went on the counterattack, and Sarah Palin assumed her usual role at the center of the maelstrom.

Within a matter of days it became clear that shooter Jared Loughner was a deranged misfit, unaffected by current politics, who had been fixated on Giffords for years. After an emotional speech by President Obama, the current consensus finally solidified: The Tucson shooting was a tragedy caused by a disturbed young man, and if there is any reason why politicians should behave more civilly in the aftermath, it is to honor Giffords and the other victims.

But now we're doing the same thing all over again: prewriting the Giffords narrative in a way that is almost certain to gloss over a difficult reality. Her recovery from the gunshot wound to her head has been described as a miracle. And thus far it has been — as is her very survival. But her complete recovery is very, very far from certain. And the press's breathless coverage of every daily improvement has led to expectations that will almost surely lead to disappointment.

Giffords's husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly, spoke to reporters on Friday as she was being prepared to be moved to a rehabilitation center in Houston: "I imagine the next step is here she'll be walking, talking," he said. "And in two months you'll see her walking through the front door of this building."

It's Kelly's job to imagine exactly that. And her supporters should pray for it. But buried in the story are these warnings from her neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Lemole: "She's scrolling through an iPad. These are all fantastic advancements forward. They do indicate higher cognitive function," he said. "But I do want to caution everyone that she has a long road ahead of her." Lemole explained that "it's not uncommon for people to initially improve, then plateau."

In fact, the structure of most of these stories is this: Lead with the startling, happy news of the speed of her recovery, and then bury the caveats down below. That way, you'll see headlines about Nancy Pelosi predicting Giffords will get back to work, with quotes from actual doctors who actually know what they are talking about only appearing deep into the story. When doctors do appear in headlines, they are "confident" or at least optimistic. But for what? That she'll be the same person she used to be? If you read closely, not quite.

It's easy to imagine a sunny scenario in which Giffords makes a quick and complete recovery, returns promptly to work in Congress, and maybe runs for higher office one day. If this were a movie (and surely such pitches are already being made), that's how it would end. But real life unfortunately isn't so neat. Plateau or no plateau, her family may well decide it is in her better interest to quit Congress while she recuperates.

Excerpt: Read More at New York Mag

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