The Corner

Speaking of George Will

I did him an injustice the other day. I wrote: “Will writes: ‘Now, however, Frist says that only 22 stem cell lines, of uncertain and declining quality, remain eligible for federal funding.’ Frist didn’t say that, and it’s not true. He was talking about what’s currently available for federal funding, not what is in principle eligible. The currently-available number has gone up in the past and is likely to go up in the future.”

Actually, Frist did say that. He flipped from the “available” to the “eligible” language within the same passage: “When the President announced his policy, it was widely believed that 78 embryonic stem cell lines would be available for federal funding. That has proven not to be the case. Today only 22 lines are eligible.” So it was wrong of me to suggest that Will had introduced an error where Frist had gotten things right. My apologies to Will.

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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