Friday, March 13, 2009

Newsbusters: CNN's Gupta Lets Clinton Mistake Slide

CNN's Sanjay Gupta Fails to Correct Bill Clinton’s Multiple 'Embryos Aren't Fertilized' Gaffe
CNN’s Sanjay Gupta filled in as host on Larry King Live on Wednesday, six days after ending his bid to be Obama's surgeon general. Despite his medical training, he did not see fit to correct former President Bill Clinton after he repeatedly referred to human embryos as not being fertilized.

During his initial question, Gupta referred to Clinton as “someone who studied this,” but after he made his erroneous assertion the first time, Gupta only asked if the former president had “any reservations” to stem cell research that would destroy human embryos. Clinton would go on to make this false characterization five more times in his answer to Gupta’s lone follow-up.

Gupta's interview with the former president was devoted mainly to health care reform. The brain surgeon brought up the issue of embryonic stem cell research after he observed that Clinton’s finger sometimes shook when he pointed it. When Clinton clarified that he had consulted with a doctor, who told him in wasn’t Parkinson’s Disease, Gupta asked the former president about President Obama’s decision to remove the limitations on federal funding for the embryo-killing research: “There was a federal -- an order today providing federal money for embryonic stem cell research. First of all, let me just ask you, as someone who studied this, is this going to always be as divisive an issue as it is now? Is this going to be the abortion of the next generation, or are people going to come around?”...

...Gupta decided to end the interview with this extended answer from Clinton, and even went so far to say “some health seminar” in a complimentary fashion as they said their goodbyes, treating him as a true expert on the subject of health care. However, if he had truly “studied this,” as Gupta put it, Clinton would know that an embryo is a human in his or her first stage of development after fertilization.

It should be noted that Gupta had been named a “featured attendee” at the former president’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in 2006. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Gupta would be so passive to Clinton’s repeated error.

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