All the News That’s Fit to Forget
Why you’re not hearing much about embryonic stem cells these days.
Nov 28, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 11 • By WESLEY J. SMITH
How did the New York Times report this story? It didn’t. The L.A. Times? A blog entry. USA Today? Nada. San Francisco Chronicle? At least it was in the paper—on page A16, under the hardly descriptive headline “Regimen Shown To Aid Heart Patients.” And so it goes.
Imagine if a human trial using embryonic stem cells had shown improvement to damaged human hearts. You can just see the banner headline in the New York Times and the breathless announcements on the network news. The thought experiment makes blatantly obvious the malpractice that plagues reporting in this field—which is doubly regrettable, since not only are editors and reporters undermining the media’s already tarnished reputation for objectivity, but many suffering people and their families still have not heard the hopeful news generated by the ethical exploration of regenerative medicine.
Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, a legal consultant for the Patients Rights Council, and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture.