Watching the ABC World News Sunday, anchor Dan Harris reported that there are indications that President Obama will soon be “freeing up federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.” He then went on to say that this would reverse the policy under President Bush who “banned funding for stem research.”
That’s not just misreporting, it’s untrue. Before President Bush, federal funds were nonexistent for research on embryonic stem cells. In fact, what ABC News is not reporting is that President Obama and those who think like him would expand funding and research. In other words, this would not only give the go-ahead to kill more embryos in the name of scientific research, it would devote more federal funds to do this. To compare, the Bush policy devoted federal funds for research on embryos that already existed. Nothing was cut, it was just that federal funds weren’t devoted to the increase. Also, it should be noted, nothing was restricted as far as private funds going to this type of research.
But, the reporting by ABC News and others totally obscures this in a way that is diabolical. They are lying to you, the listener. This television report even misrepresents what’s reported on their own site. These kind of episodes either represent journalistic laziness or, worse, intentional misleading. They deserve the scorn directed their way by outraged viewers.