Bioethicist Blasts Media for Overhyping Embryonic Stem Cell

OAKLAND – Alleged breakthrough research on embryonic stem cell lines is being oversold by the media to fit their ideological agenda, according to an article slated for next week’s Weekly Standard by prominent bioethicist Wesley J. Smith.

“The American media too often act as advocates in the embryonic stem cell debate, rather than journalists,” says Smith. “As a result, they are failing the American people who have the right to decide this contentious ethical debate through democratic processes. But to do so, the people need accurate information. Sadly, this is sorely missing in most media accounts.”

Earlier this week The New York Times headline blared “New stem cell methods avoids destroying embryos,” and “Embryos spared in stem cell creation,” in USA Today.

In reality, the above headlines and related stories —which have been repeated throughout the world— are substantially inaccurate and woefully misleading, says Smith.

“Had the media read the actual study rather than apparently reporting from a misleading press release issued by Advanced Cell Technology, perhaps it wouldn’t have committed mass journalistic malpractice.”

In his forthcoming article Smith points out that the actual scientific paper published in the journal Nature tells the real story that the media is ignoring — that in fact, researchers destroyed all sixteen of the 8-10-cell embryos used in their experiments.

Wesley J Smith is the award winning author of Consumers Guide to the Brave New World, who writes regularly on this issue in the Weekly Standard and National Review. Smith was acknowledged by National Journal as one of the nation’s leading bioethicists. You can read more about him at or his own website at

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