Republican Memo on Terri Schiavo Case Disputed, Investigation Sought

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 23, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Republican Memo on Terri Schiavo Case Disputed, Investigation Sought Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 23
, 2005

Washington, DC ( — When Congress passed a bill to support Terri Schiavo’s parents, media outlets pounced on a memo supposedly written by a top Republican senator or staff member indicating getting involved in the legal battle was a good political move.

However, there is no indication the memo is authentic.

Washington Post reporter Mike Allen wrote the initial report on the memo, and Accuracy in Media Editor Cliff Kincaid had a suspicion that it was a hoax.

Kincaid called the Post, according to a WorldNetDaily report, and spoke with Robert Kaiser.

Asked if the memo had ever been seen, Kaiser told Kincaid, "Good question. … Mike is not here now so I can’t confirm my hunch that his sources read him the memo but didn’t give him a copy. That happens quite often these days."

Kincaid told WND that the Post’s response was "revealing."

"Read him the memo but didn’t give him a copy?" he asked. "And that ‘happens quite often these days?’ It’s no wonder the media get into trouble when they rely on documents in their stories. Is it possible that this anonymous memo is a fraud?"

Kincaid told WND that his group has sent an email to Allen asking to verify the authenticity of the memo, but has yet to receive a response.

"The memo may have been written by some Republican somewhere," Kincaid told WND. "But there’s no independent evidence at this point that it was authorized by a Republican senator or written by a top Republican staffer."

He said if media outlets are "confident that the memo is real, let them produce an actual copy and describe in detail how they verified it."

Meanwhile, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg has written a letter to Senators Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, and Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat. They are the top members on the Senate Rules Committee.

Lautenberg demanded an investigation into who distributed the alleged memo.

A web site claims to have a copy of the memo, although it does not appear on any Senate letterhead and has no name of any Republican senator or staff member on it.

"In light of this troubling incident, I am writing to request that the Rules Committee conduct an investigation of the attached document, its source, and how it came to be distributed," Lautenberg wrote.

Lautenberg admitted that the memo was distributed anonymously and that Senate Republican leaders said they had not been responsible for it.

Related news stories:
Terri Schiavo’s Hospice Nurses Want Her to Die, Dissenter Fired

ABC News Poll on Terri Schiavo Case Uses Inaccurate Question

Terri Schiavo Tried to Tell Parents’ Attorney She Wanted to Live

Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents –