This CNN story is quite representative of an obnoxious genre: Stories about Bush’s failed stem cell policy which pretend that the President’s “more than 60” lines claim was only undermined by the passage of considerable time, rather than almost immediately. In fact, as I detail in The Republican War on Science and as others like journalist Stephen Hall have also detailed, the claim was never defensible. The only factor that delayed and defused outrage over Bush’s dramatic misleading of the public on this subject was 9/11, which wiped the issue of stem cells completely off the map (and rightly so). But now that we’re debating stem cells again, can we please stop pretending that Bush merely made an innocent mistake back in 2001, rather than basing his whole policy on poorly vetted (or poorly understood) information?
For more info see the opening chapter of The Republican War on Science.