Commentary

The Dishonest Media - Part Two

Freedom of the press is a cherished commodity, but there are those that abuse this freedom. The recent over-coverage of the Abu Ghraib prison debacle is just one of those abuses. The New York Times, CBS, NBC, and even CNN aided and abetted the enemy with their repeated coverage of this illegal treatment of prisoners. The showing of these images repeatedly, ad nauseum, only helped to destroy not only our image around the world, but our own self image. It was not as if the news media was reporting on something new that needed to be exposed. The military announced to the media back in January that allegations had been made concerning treatment of prisoners and that these allegations were being investigated. If it did not provide aid to the enemy why did the terrorists that cut off the head of Nick Berg say, “This is in retaliation for what you Americans did to our people at Abu Ghraib.” The media has their own agenda and finds it almost impossible to produce the truth without their own twist to it. The twist in this case is overkill on the bad news about the war where America or the current administration will look bad and a down play about what they don’t want to report. As Fox News likes to report, the New York Times had 44 articles on their front page about Abu Ghraib and during the same time has one article on the UN scandal in regard to the Iraqi Oil for Food program where the French and others illegally profited on this program prior to the war and did not want the war to end their illegal profit.

A blatantly false ‘news report’ occurred shortly after this when the 9/11 panel came out with their report. The New York Times, Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post–Gazette, and a number of other papers followed by the TV media, came out with “news” there was no link between Saddam and al Qaida as per the 9/11 report. This was so blatantly false that both the chairman and the co-chairman of the 9/11 investigative commission could not get on the TV and radio fast enough to repudiate this “news” release. They both insisted there were many connections and there was no dispute about this. What the 9/11 commission had stated was that they did not have credible evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein’s government and al Qaida operatives regarding the attacks on the United States. None of this disputes what the current or previous administrations have said all along. In fact, the 9/11 report detailed a number of contacts between the two organizations. In order to twist the report to their liking, the ‘news’ media omitted the word ‘collaborative’ in their reporting, thus changing the actual statement from the commission.

The above is just two blatantly obvious examples of media dishonesty. The media is composed, for the most part, of very liberal reporters with non-religious backgrounds, proven by various studies which tabulated the religious habits of reporters in general. They are very anti-Catholic because of the Church’s teaching regarding immoral behavior. They see no problem with abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, use of embryos for stem cell research, and the list goes on. Premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual behavior are the norm for the television fare. When confronted with their bias, they don’t see a problem since everyone they associate with thinks and talks the same way they think and talk. They believe they are ‘middle of the road’ Americans. Unfortunately, the average American reads, hears, and sees this bias so much they begin to believe it is the middle of the road.

As an example of the media’s bias regarding embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), just a few weeks ago in a speech before scores of journalists at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dobson called it a "scandal" that Americans are being allowed to believe that the current administration’s policy restricting the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research is impeding progress on cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's. "Embryonic stem cells are not going to be the source of a cure for Alzheimer's," Dr. Dobson told the capacity crowd. "Are you aware that not one human being anywhere in the world is being treated with embryonic stem cells? There is not a single clinical trial going on anywhere in the world, because (embryonic) stem cells in laboratory animals ... create tumors. Nobody will use them." By comparison, adult stem cells have shown great promise in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, Dobson explained. And they do not require the destruction of embryonic human life, since they can be harvested from such sources as umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. "This needs to be reported to the American people."

Scientists who have been telling the Reagan family that embryonic stem cell research could cure Alzheimer's now admit that it isn't true. Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke explained to a reporter at the Washington Post why scientists have allowed society to believe wrongly that stem cells are likely to effectively treat Alzheimer's disease. Big Biotech needs access to taxpayer dollars to fund embryonic stem cell and cloning research--private investors generally give companies engaged in these endeavors a cold shoulder--and they are using famous grief stricken families like the Reagan’s to do their political lifting. This demonstrates a depth of insincerity and disingenuousness by big Biotech that is as cruel as it is unjustifiable. Stem cell experts confess that of all the diseases that may be someday cured by embryonic stem cell treatments, Alzheimer's is among the least likely to benefit.

Researchers have apparently known for some time that embryonic stem cells will not be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's, because as two researchers told a Senate subcommittee in May, it is a "whole brain disease," rather than a cellular disorder (such as Parkinson's). This has generally been kept out of the news.

But people like Nancy Reagan have been allowed to believe otherwise, "a distortion" the reporter writes that "is not being aggressively corrected by scientists." Why? The false story line helps generate public support for the Biotech political agenda. He noted, "It [Nancy Reagan's statement in support of ESCR] is the kind of advocacy that researchers have craved for years, and none wants to slow its momentum." Watch the action of one of Reagan’s sons in the next few weeks to find out how he has been duped by this group.

According to Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture, this is a scandal. He states that misrepresentation by omission corrupts one of the primary purposes of science, which is to provide society objective information about the state of scientific knowledge without regard to the political consequences. Some scientists have become alarmed by how politicized science has become. Another scientist stated that many scientists now willingly adopt tactics of demagoguery and character assassination as well as, or even instead of, reasoned argument in promoting their views. This politicization of science has led some scientists to manipulate 'facts' to support their advocacy, undermining the scientific community's ability to advise policy makers. Consequently, he warned, science "is becoming yet another playing field for power politics, complete with the trappings of political spin and a win-at-all-costs attitude.

If biotechnology advocates would allow a grieving widow to believe cruel untruths about the potential for stem cells to cure Alzheimer's, what else are they allowing us to believe to win the political debate?

The media should be doing some serious digging rather than just passing on the spin.

Jim Fritz

 

 

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