Why are we spending so much time and money in Congress focusing on a private bill addressed at just one person’s tragic story? It’s certainly not about saving lives–in the same amount of time, Congress could save thousands of lives, not just one. Those lives, however, don’t make good TV.
Congresspeople from both sides of the aisle are falling over themselves to see who can get the most airtime talking about the case of Terri Schiavo. Not because it’s a legislative priority or because the medical facts support their efforts. They’re doing it because it’s a compelling story, a story with a simple, vivid, powerful argument on one side and a more subtle, fact-based analysis on the other.
Because we’re people, not computers, the first kind of story usually wins.
Regardless of your point of view about the issue, the marketer in us has to acknowledge that this is all about the story. It usually is.