The Corner

Nothing Political about Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Nosiree

Speaking of disingenuous stem It’s a miracle I got past the headline in this WaPo piece about the Obama administration’s recent decision to allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research:

Obama Aims to Shield Science From Politics

Really now? A decision fund embryo-destroying stem cell research by taking taxpayer dollars from millions of people that have ethical problems with it amounts to shielding science from politics? Because it sure seems to me that decision injects politics into the mix, whether they like it or not. “Obama Aims to Shield Science from Troubling Ethical Questions” strikes me as no less neutral a headline.

Unfortunately, it’s not just a bad headline — it’s the tone of the entire piece, which includes a string of choice quotes such as this:

“We view what happened with stem cell research in the last administration as one manifestation of failure to think carefully about how federal support of science and the use of scientific advice occurs,” Varmus said. “This is consistent with the president’s determination to use sound scientific practice, responsible practice of science and evidence, instead of dogma in developing federal policy.

Well, that’s a fair way to characterize what happened in the Bush administration. Thank goodness the piece included some intelligent and sharply worded rebuttals to Obama administration officials. Hah! Joke’s on you! There aren’t any.

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