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Frist’s Flop: Some Implications in the NYT Article

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Written by Basil on 07/29/2005 11:59 PM. Filed under:

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Senate Leader Criticized and Praised for Stem Cell Shift – New York Times (registration required)

Yet polls show that a majority of Americans support human embryonic stem cell research.
We’re the New York Times; believe us or don’t. If we say that polls support it, just take our word for it.
Scientists and advocates for patients believe that human embryonic stem cell research holds the potential to treat and cure a variety of diseases.
Another case of believe it or don’t. Yet, in this case, the broad generalization argues in favor of “don’t.” All scientists believe that? All patients’ advocates believe that? Wow. That’s a lot to swallow without some proof, Ms. Stolberg.
“Here’s a man who really knows science and who really knows government.”
The implication here is that there are also people who know not science as well as people who know not government, and obviously those who know neither. Luckily for the venerable Times, this is a quote from a politician, so we expect this kind of vague implication.
“There are 110 million people out there who are madder than hell about being afflicted with disease when it could be prevented or cured.”
More political rhetoric. It “could be prevented or cured” is accurate — it is entirely speculation; that is why it’s called research. However, in this context, Mr. Specter makes it sound like there’s some definite treatment out there using human embryos. Not quite false advertising, so no one can accuse him of lying.

But I am happy to accuse him of being a politician, and I dare him to deny it.

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3 Responses to “Frist’s Flop: Some Implications in the NYT Article”

  1. basil's blog Says:

    Brunch: 7/30/2005

    Try one of these specials with your weekend brunch: Naked Villainy thinks about the Constitution. Pirate’s Cove looks at past recess appointments. Maggie shares thoughts on the McLaughlin Group. Metaphysically Wrinkle Free reviews some books. Kevin Ba…

  2. pete Says:

    I’m not sure–are you accusing the New York Times of having a “political agenda”? I guess I don’t understand what the big deal is. Journalists unfortunately painted themselves into the corner of required “objectivity,” but it doesn’t really work that way. Nobody is objective. Objective journalism, as Dr. Longinow reminds his students, is impossible. Excellent journalism is. Obviously, one’s rubric for excellence is potentially subjective. It seems to me a better strategy to follow Fox News’ lead and express a political agenda boldly. Nobody would have room to accuse you then.

  3. Basil Says:

    Actually, I am examining their article and finding it wanting in several statements, primarily the first two. So, I guess you could infer that I think their journalism sub-par. I certainly did not imply that they had an agenda or a bias, although they probably do; that is not readily inferred from what I wrote here.