Christine at Ramblings of a GOP Soccer Mom has a typical example of media bias via truncation of a quote.
In another story Wesley J. Smith writes on Science by Press Release about the embryo destroying stem-cell extraction method that the media touted as not destroying embryos. The day this headline blared across the world I saw many blogger’s posting that something was fishy about this and that it did not jibe with the research printed in the Nature article.
Unfortunately, you can’t "honestly" say that. The above headlines–like Green’s statement and innumerable similar press accounts around the world–are just plain wrong. While ACT did indeed issue a press release heralding its embryonic stem cell experiment as having "successfully generated human embryonic stem cells using an approach that does not harm embryos," the actual report of the research led by ACT chief scientist Robert Lanza, published in Nature, tells a very different story. In fact, Lanza destroyed all 16 of the embryos he used, just as in conventional embryonic stem cell research.
And that’s not the only facet of Lanza’s work that the press got wrong. The ACT team did do something new: It worked with very early embryos, of 8 to 10 cells each, rather than the 100- to 200-cell blastocysts usually used in such research. From each of these early embryos, the scientists removed not one cell–as several press accounts reported–but 4 to 7 cells. This misreporting is important because it creates a materially false impression.
But the main stream press has editors and fact checkers so this couldn’t possibly have happened. I mean could they really print stories based on press releases without even reading the Nature article? Next you will try to tell me that Dan Rather would promote fraudulent documents to advance a story.
Wesley J. Smith goes on to show that ACT the company behind this has been guilty of press releases that didn’t match the reality of the research in the past. He relates two stories that received major coverage and laudatory coverage that did not pan out on later inspection.
The failure to report this story accurately amounts to massive journalistic malpractice–and once again ACT is laughing all the way to the bank.
Diogenes also links this press release to the performance of company stocks.