A CNN report on stem cells derived from amniotic fluid equated an opponent of embryonic stem cell research who has peddled a discredited list of ailments purportedly treatable from adult stem cell research with "other scientists" who "argue that embryonic stem cells are unique and hold the power to potentially cure many diseases."
In a recent article, The New York Sun uncritically reported the false assertion by Rep. James Walsh's campaign that a Majority Action ad claims that Walsh "favors a ban on stem cell research." Similarly, the National Journal reported Walsh's claim that the ad is "false and misleading," without noting that Walsh in fact opposes federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
CNN's Glenn Beck and Fox News' Jim Angle repeated the misleading claim that President Bush was "the first" president to allow funding for human embryonic stem cell research, even though the Clinton administration drafted guidelines to fund embryonic stem cell research, but those rules had yet to take effect when he left office and were suspended by the Bush administration in favor of its own, stricter set of rules.
Rush Limbaugh defended his criticism of Michael J. Fox, claiming: "Daffy Duck could have done a commercial for Claire McCaskill, saying the same things that Fox did, misleading about stem cell research ... and my reaction would've been the same." MSNBC's Melissa Slager said that Fox "has not said whether or not he took" his Parkinson's medication during the shooting of his political ads, even though The New York Times reported that a Fox spokesman "said his tremors were caused by his medication."
Rush Limbaugh likened Michael J. Fox -- who has Parkinson's disease and appeared in a recent campaign advertisement for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill -- to the "Jersey Girls" group of 9-11 widows, claiming that Fox's ad is part of "a script that they [Democrats] have written for years" in which "victims of various diseases or social concerns or poverty" are "infallible, whatever they say cannot be challenged."
On ABC's This Week, George Will misrepresented a reported scientific breakthrough that would allow scientists to grow embryonic stem-cell lines without destroying the embryo. Will dismissed the finding, stating, "[I]n fact, it isn't true. All 16 embryos involved in this were destroyed." However, in making the assertion, Will conflated two issues: whether embryonic cells can be removed without destroying the embryo and whether stem-cell lines could be created from those cells. The first is well established; it was the second that ACT announced.
USA Today uncritically reported that President Bush "has pointed out that he is the first president" to provide federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. Similarly, Glenn Beck stated that "[i]t was George Bush who opened the doors for federal funding [for stem cell research]. He was the first president to fund it," and that "Bill Clinton in 1995 opposed" research on embryos. In fact, the Clinton administration proposed federal funding and, later, drafted guidelines to fund embryonic stem cell research, but those rules had yet to take effect when he left office.
In their coverage of President Bush's recent veto of embryonic stem cell legislation, The New York Times and CNN reported that Bush also signed a bill that day banning "fetal farming" -- creating embryos or fetuses specifically for use as a source of cells or tissue. But neither noted that "fetal farming" is neither being carried out, nor is it "under serious scientific consideration," as National Public Radio's Julie Rovner reported.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that "the militant pro-abortion crowd" is "behind" efforts to legalize federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, "because you need abortions to get these [embryos]." In fact, embryonic stem cells "are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro ... and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors."
When asked by Your World host Neil Cavuto whether "we are dooming a lot of people who might look at promising technologies for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's" by "dismissing" embryonic stem cell research, Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer replied: "Well, anybody who knows a little bit of the history of World War II knows that that was kind of the logic that was used and came up in the Nuremberg war trials. The Nazi prison guards said these people were just going to be killed anyway, whether we did it or somebody else did it."