Human Exceptionalism

KANSAS CITY STAR: Where the Bias Never Stops

The KC Star is, in my view, the most biased newspaper in the country in its reporting on the ESCR/human cloning controversy. For example, when the political decision was made by promoters of human cloning research in MO to rename embryonic stem cells “early” stem cells, the paper made the shift without missing a beat. And it continually pimps the Stowers Institute line that unless Missouri whole-heartedly supports its desire to engage in human cloning research, why scientists will refuse to work for Stowers and the biotechnology industry will leave the state–never mind that most biotech is not controversial and doesn’t involve cloning or embryonic stem cells.

Well, the paper has done it again in this whining editorial about how the “uncertainty” caused by continued resistance in MO to human cloning research is making life tough for Stowers. From the tale of woe:

Continued opposition in Missouri to a promising form of stem-cell research [BIAS ALERT: actually, human cloning] is causing medical researchers to view the state as unfriendly. Leading scientists who work with embryonic stem cells have declined offers to bring their work to a second Stowers facility, saying they can’t risk the political uncertainty.

The news would be much worse if the institute had decided to establish a second campus in a state, such as California, that encourages cutting-edge medical research. Kansas City can ill afford to squander its best opportunity for scientific excellence. Jim and Virginia Stowers, fortunately, remain committed to Kansas City. The institute announced Thursday that it has acquired a large tract of land in Kansas City. Plans for the property will be firmed up when Missouri’s political climate becomes more settled. The sooner that happens, the better. It’s shameful that a facility with a humanitarian mission and superb scientific talent should continually be placed on the defensive.

Poor Stowers Institute. Here, Mr. Stowers buys his own constitutional amendment to the tune of $35 million, which pays for a thoroughly deceptive and dishonest campaign that, among other wrongs, misled the people by claiming to outlaw human cloning when it explicitly legalized it–all abetted by the in-the-tank Star–while threatening to take his Institute somewhere else if he didn’t get his way. Yet, despite a 10-1 financial advantage, the blackmail, the media pimping, and the lies, Amendment A barely passed and the Star is upset that opponents don’t just roll over and play dead. And note the new tantrum: Either MO citizens bend their necks to our will or we won’t build the new facility. (“Stowers Puts Expansion Plans on Hold.”)

Can you imagine if a tobacco or oil company executive acted with such hubris and sense of entitlement? The KC Star editors would be having conniptions. Well, that’s democracy, Mr. Stowers and Star editorial board. There’s plenty of non controversial work for the Institute to accomplish, a few of which are mentioned in the editorial. The price of insisting on one’s own way through a deceptive campaign about morally contentious ethical issue is more contention. Live with it.