The Corner

CNN and Me

Yesterday I did an interview with CNN, which I was told would focus on how the stem-cell issues were playing in this year’s races. I wanted to talk about how the Michael J. Fox ads, and the affiliated campaigns, were a) promoting cloning and b) being dishonest. The interviewer wanted to talk about Rush Limbaugh.

When the segment appeared, I got two comments in. I said that candidates such as Jim Talent were not going to be hurt by the controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s remarks, however “foolish” and “unhelpful” they were. (At the time I was not aware that Fox has said that in the past he has gone off his medications to dramatize his illness for political effect.) And I said that critics of the ads should point out how they oversimplify the issues. I didn’t get a chance to say anything about cloning, or the pro-cloning campaign’s dishonesty. The segment ended with the reporter saying that Fox denied supporting cloning or egg farming.

They only had a few minutes for this segment, and they wanted to touch a lot of bases, so I’m not complaining about the snippets from my interview that CNN chose to use. But today they’ve been running the bit on Limbaugh with the emphasis on my distancing myself from his comments, and I do think that they’re playing up the Limbaugh story in part to help their team in the elections.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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