Memo to CNN's Franken, Phillips: Ex-Schiavo nurse's charges aren't new, and a judge dismissed her affidavit as "incredible"
Research ››› ››› NICOLE CASTA
Anchor Kyra Phillips wrongly claimed on the March 23 edition of CNN's Live From... that Carla Sauer Iyer, a former nurse for Terri Schiavo, came forward for "the first time" the previous day with allegations that Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, was a "threat" to her caregivers. In addition, CNN national correspondent Bob Franken incorrectly stated that no one had responded to Iyer's charges, then repeated other rumors of abuse without offering support for his allegations.
In fact, as Media Matters for America documented following an interview Phillips conducted with Iyer on the March 22 edition of Live From..., Iyer's charges are at least as old as her 2003 affidavit, and several news sources have discussed them since then (examples here and here).
Contrary to Franken's claim that Iyer's charges have not been answered, Florida circuit court judge George W. Greer considered Iyer's claims and, in a September 2003 order, rejected them as "incredible."
Here is the exchange between Phillips and Franken on the March 23 edition of CNN's Live From...:
PHILLIPS: Bob, real quickly, just since you're outside the hospice there -- those who are caring for Terri Schiavo at this time. Yesterday, as you know, for the first time a former -- or a nurse who formerly cared for Terri Schiavo came forward -- not from this hospice but from another convalescence center-- just talking about Michael Schiavo and how she felt he was a threat to those caring for Terri Schiavo. Anybody responding to that? Anybody talking about that?
FRANKEN: No, and I'll tell you why, because there's an awful lot of very intense rhetoric right now. It's very difficult for anybody to sift through it. There are charges that Michael Schiavo years ago before the cardiac arrest happened, that there was some abuse, that there's been some litigation about that. As a matter of fact, the Department of Abuse and Family Matters in the state of Florida is in the local court now trying to get those records, records that have been kept confidential in the past. So, there is a lot of information, a lot of charges flying around. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to confirm any of them, including the comments of the nurse.