Today's Washington Post (page A21) included a news article by reporter Rick Weiss, ostensibly about the first meetings of President Bush's new Council on Bioethics. Weiss accurately stated that the immediate mission of the Council is to examine "the ethics of human cloning and of experimentation on cloned human embryos - contentious topics that will be the focus of a Senate hearing next Thursday and are due for a full-blown debate by March."
But Weiss then went out of his way to equate religious Americans who are troubled by the laboratory manipulation of human life with Afghanistan's Taliban regime which - as the Post has reported elsewhere - maimed and killed numerous citizens during its five-year reign of terror.
Weiss wrote: "The council will be navigating a scientific and ethical landscape significantly more complex than the one that existed when the House became embroiled in the topic last summer. In November, researchers announced that they had made the first human embryo clones, giving immediacy to warnings by religious conservatives and others that science is no longer serving the nation's moral will. At the same time, the United States was fighting a war to free a faraway nation from the grip of religious conservatives who were denounced for imposing their moral code on others."
After a front-page Washington Post article on February 1, 1993 matter-of-factly described religious conservatives as "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command," the Post's Howard Kurtz reported that then-managing editor Robert Kaiser "said he and other editors failed to catch the 'profoundly opinionated assertion' before publication. 'We really screwed up....One of the sins we commit from time to time is insensitivity,' he said."
Apparently the Post's "sensitivity" to religious conservatives has not grown with the years. - Rich Noyes