Human Exceptionalism

The Media Continues to Blur the Line Between ESCR and Cloning

Remember when President Bush faced his first big policy controversy back in the innocent days of 2001? The issue; whether and how the federal government should fund embryoninc stem cell research. The request from Big Biotech and their business partners in the universities: All we want is access to leftover IVF embryos that are going to be tossed out anyway for use in deriving stem cell lines. Bush’s “compromise” was to allow federal funding of stem cell lines created before 8/9/01.

That was then, this is now. Today, we are told by Big Biotech and their university business partners–aided and abetted by a compliant, in the tank, media–that Bush’s policy is impeding science because it doesn’t permit federal funding of human cloning. Oh, they don’t necessarily call it that. What used to be called human therapeutic cloning is now simply called stem cell research. And, Bush’s policy was always intended to apply to ES cells derived from leftover IVF embryos. Indeed, there is no federal proposal about which I am aware to fund therapeutic cloning with federal dollars. Finally, federally funding therapeutic cloning would violate the Dickey Amendment, that has been the law since 1996 and was first signed by Bill Clinton.

But never mind. According to the Boston Globe, Bush’s refusal to fund human cloning research–which a recent poll demonstrated is opposed by 59% of the people–is hurting science in Connecticut. You see, in the media on issues such as these, increasingly facts don’t matter. Only desired narratives do.

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