Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why I Hate Local News

By Jeff Simpson 

The Fetal Tissue research bill(AB30%) will be brought up in Committee on Wednesday.  Our friends at MALcontent blog had a great summary of this bill.

  The fetal tissue and stell cell issue epitomizes the phenomenon of know-nothing state legislators, like State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere, Wisconsin), assuring the Wisconsin people their religious-inspired expertise in biomedical research surpasses that of Dr. James Thomson and young scientists' for the moment drawn to an innovative and thriving Madison-based research community with the promise of verdant interdisciplinary and innovative lines of stem cell investigation that one day might rival the magnitude of Dr. Salk and the polio virus vaccine.
By the way, Salk and his colleagues (oh, conspirators) relied on cells derived from fetal tissue in developing the polio vaccine.

Can you imagine if Salk had to contend with the laws now being contemplated by Jacque and his band of know-nothings who want to make Dr. James Thomson and his colleagues criminals, felons?
Dr. Jonas Salk a felon? He would be if Republicans' proposed legislation were in effect in the early 1950s and Salk worked in Wisconsin instead of Pittsburgh and New York.

Then, the Madison CBS affiliate - WIFR-TV covered the story also:

The organization Wisconsin Family Action has lobbied in support of the bill in the past several months and says it’s an ethical issue.
“[Lawmakers] want to make sure… that the most vulnerable and innocent of us are at least respected as human beings, and their body parts aren’t sold or used for experimentation,” says President Julaine Appling.
Researchers disagree. More than 700 University of Wisconsin professors have signed a letter against the legislation, offering up their own ethical argument.
“The bill will do nothing to reduce the number of abortions going on,” said UW Biochemistry Professor Michael Sussman, one of the co-authors of the letter. “The bill, though, will make it illegal for anyone in Wisconsin to utilize the tissue that is available.
“We believe it would be perhaps very unethical not to allow fetal tissue that is available legally and ethically… to be available to help people with very serious diseases.”
Does anyone see the problem there?  What does not quite fit?

To get "both"sides of an important bill(that with nuanes has about 500 different sides, they discuss it with Bob Jones graduate  Julainne Appling - head of a very extremist right wing organization Wisconsin Family Action. gave her uneducated, unqualified view of this bill.  

This was then followed up as "the other side" with decorated UW Biochenistry Professor Dr. Michael Sussman, who just happens to also be director of UW Biotechnology Center for his incredibly qualified and competent stance on this bill(who has the backing of 700 other professors),

Now the story is balanced and its time to run it?   One crazy lady from a joke of a university V a well decorated, renowned expert in the actual field of the bill?  

What is next?  calling up Fred Phelps for comment, next time you have a story on the pope?  

Is this the best you can do?  


  1. Wonder if this is what it felt like at the beginning of the Dark Ages? Soon they will skip hearings and go right to the witch burnings so the TV stations have great lead stories for their six o'clock news

  2. Wonder if this is what it felt like at the beginning of the Dark Ages? Soon they will skip hearings and go right to the witch burnings so the TV stations have great lead stories for their six o'clock news

  3. Why are people with no background in a field of science allowed to have their OPINIONS held up as being equal to scientific fact? This nonsensical comparison of fact to belief has got to stop. The dumbing down of America has been going on for decades now, and it is reporting like this that makes it so successful.

  4. No one actually asked any questions, did they? Like, do you think that use of fetal tissue leads to more abortions?
    Is it ethical to ignore research that can deliver live saving treatments for living people?
    This is largely the same reason that Walker's assertions about the economy have gone unquestioned. Fortunately he is not getting the same pass nationally.

  5. My theory, conspiratorial, or otherwise, is that this particular legislation will only line their pockets. Can you imagine Big Pharma letting this one pass? They depend on fetal tissue.

    All this craziness because of a heavily edited video. What's the difference of donating fetal tissue or organs from a "full-term" ? What's the difference between Planed Parenthood charging a shipping and handling fee versus the passed along expense of vaccinations, or the healthcare cost of donating blood marrow, or a kidney, billed to both the donor and recipient?

    In the days of HMOs I worked in billing, and remember an incident where a Humana insured donor who had lived in Kentucky, died in Indiana had his eyes extracted for donation. His family was charged a $38K bill because when he died and was extracted, he was out of network. The "past due receivable" (ironic) went unpaid and was set for civil judgment. I threw it in the garbage and closed the account, as "deceased". This was not going to be on my conscious.

    It's illegal to sell body parts, but isn't that exactly what the healthcare industry is doing when they charge both the donor and recipient?

    I am not against fetal or full-term donations. The hypocrisy, I am: If I donate a kidney, I cannot be paid, and will be billed, but the healthcare industry can profit.