In our December review of Diana Lynne's book on the Terri Schiavo case, we noted that Lynne made no mention at all of anti-abortion extremists Randall Terry and Gary McCullough, who served as spokesmen and advisers to the Schindler family. We speculated that Lynee didn't mention them because Terry's and McCullough's history of extremism would taint the Schindlers as extremists as well. We've discovered another possible reason: Lynne didn't want her readers to know how much orchestration and manipulation went into putting the Schindlers' version of the Terri Schiavo story in the public eye.
Terry lays it all out in an article on the website for his group, the Society for Truth and Justice, written in October 2003, shortly after a judge granted the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube (which was reversed via the passage of "Terri's Law" by the Florida legislature). Terry leads off with a quote from Bob Schindler, Terri's father:
Our family asked Randall Terry to come, and we gave him carte blanche to put Terri's fight in front of the American people. He did exactly what we asked, and more. Randall organized vigils and protests, he coordinated the media, he helped us meet with Governor Bush, which gave us the momentum to pass the law that has saved Terri, for now, from death. My daughter is alive today because of Randall Terry's efforts.
Terry also laid out his seven point plan for publicizing the case, which he developed with McCullough, who Terry calls "my 'media man,' " adding that he "has worked with me since the early days of Operation Rescue. He helps me with the press in every conceivable way":
1. A 24-hour a day, non-stop vigil in front of the hospice where Terri was held starting the next day (Monday) at noon.
2. Focus our public cry for help squarely on Governor Jeb Bush.
3. To garner national press coverage, we would use a noon press conference Monday to notify the media that Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, was leading efforts to make Terri’s plight known to the nation. (We did this because in the news media world, this announcement was sure to get their interest, and get the press present at the hospice. The family’s voice could then be heard across the nation through the media, who up to this point had largely ignored Terri’s plight.)
4. We crafted a short statement asking Florida Governor, Jeb Bush to intervene ("Governor Bush, I appeal to you as one father to another, please save my daughter") and communicating to Terri’s errant husband ("he could have the money, we just want our daughter.")
5. We would need a motor home to park near the hospice where we could strategize and rest. We needed food, water, and signs for those who responded to our call to join the vigil.
6. We would solicit local clergy and politicians for support.
7. Those present would send out emails and make phone calls to everyone they knew locally to come to the vigil. Furthermore, we would utilize larger lists, such as "conservativepetitions.com" and "Terri’s list" to alert people around the nation to what we were doing, and implore their help. (People came from all over Florida as well as Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. And Focus on the Family and other national organizations rallied their troops, as well.)
So, far from being the "grass-roots effort" portrayed by Lynne in her book, the Schindler family publicity machine was an orchestrated campaign conducted by professional, committed activists.
Why does Lynne want people to think differently? Because, as we demonstrated in our article, she's biased toward the Schindlers, perhaps as much as Terry and McCullough.
We've added this to our original article on Lynne's book. While we don't normally don't do such major additions to an article this long after it was originally posted, it's important enough to make sure all this stuff is in one place.