AP Falsely Implied Obama Opposed All Cloning

Terry Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com, writes that the Associated Press issued a dispatch that was remarkably incorrect. When it comes to the prospect of "therapeutic cloning" – creating human clones in a lab only to exploit them like lab rats – President Obama hasn’t been as clear as the AP suggested:

Obama’s Monday announcement that he was reversing President Bush’s policy of denying federal funding to stem-cell research that requires killing human embryos included what may be the most cynical of all Obama’s carefully crafted self-contradictions.

This one was designed to build political cover for promoting research that clones human beings for the specific purpose of killing them.

The headline and lead paragraph on an Associated Press story conveyed exactly the impression Obama desired to create. The headline said: "Obama calls cloning ‘dangerous, profoundly wrong.’" The lead paragraph said: "President Barack Obama says human cloning is ‘dangerous, profoundly wrong’ and has no place in society."

But this headline and lead are false. Obama said no such thing.

What Obama did say -- according to the official transcript of his remarks on the White House Website -- is this: "And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong and has no place in our society, or any society."

Note that he did not close the door to human cloning, period. He simply closed the door to "the use" of human cloning for one purpose. He left the door open to "the use" of human cloning for other purposes. 

Jeffrey also challenges the idea that "therapeutic cloning" isn't "reproductive" -- it reproduces a human being entirely, even if the scientist has no intention of giving the clone a normal human existence. But AP shouldn't be giving readers a false impression that Obama is more conservative on this issue than he really is.  

Bioengineering Associated Press
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