This week, the mainstream media showcased their lack of dedication to covering real news, once again, as it spent nearly twice the amount of time on the birth of a baby Orca whale than on the heartbreaking decision made by the parents of U.K. infant Charlie Gard, who yesterday made the difficult but courageous choice to “let our son go to be with the angels.”
Charlie Gard’s story has captivated the minds of onlookers for the past several months, as his case ignited an international debate on the government’s ability to mandate “death with dignity.” Charlie is only 10 months old but suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease that renders him completely unable to move or breathe on his own.
His parents have been embroiled in an ongoing legal battle with the British government which sided with a hospital in disallowing the parents to move the child to the United States in search of a cure on the grounds there was no cure and that moving the child would only cause more harm. President Trump offered to provide Charlie with the best doctors available in the United States.
The parents’ decision to let little Charlie go this week, while extremely poignant and ultimately necessary, also marked the end of an interesting case study into the law’s ability to dictate subjective ethics. And yet, ABC, CBS, and NBC spent a combined total of three minutes and 17 seconds on the story of last baby Orca whale born into captivity, compared to just two minutes and 14 seconds on the decision by Charlie Gard’s parents to drop their legal battle.
The baby whale is cute, no doubt, but the legal and ethical implication of Gard’s case is the newsworthy information to which stations who claim to be giving you “the hard hitting stuff” should be dedicating their time. It is yet another example of the backward, ratings-driven priorities these media outlets operate under at a time when competent coverage is needed more than ever.
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