November 26, 2001
From: Frank N. Stein
To: Top Boss
In re: Cloning for Profit and Progress
Dear Sir or Madam:
In line with the Campaign's security policies and in deference to your wish to remain out of the publicity glare, I am forwarding this progress report through the usual back channels.
The news is splendid: The Campaign for Cloning for Profit and Progress is all proceeding according to the master plan. U.S. News swallowed our bait, hook, line and sinker: "The First Human Clone" screamed the headline, and then -- get this -- "Scientists Have Finally Cloned a Human Embryo." Could any one headline sum up more blatantly, er, succinctly the message we here at the Campaign have been seeking so diligently, and may I say in the face of certain most inconvenient facts, to promote?
It is not just the complete absence of moral blather, those thoroughly irritating doubts novices sometimes raise about manufacturing human embryos for commercial purposes -- no, no. The essential talking points (you may have seen a version in the fab press release issued by Advanced Cell Technology) are all here: The FIRST -- Americans love firsts. And LIFESAVING -- doesn't get more noble than that, eh?
The Wall Street Journal chimed in on the key point -- success, sweet dollar-sign-producing success -- by telling the business community, "Stem-Cell Researchers Make Cloned Embryos of a Living Human ... Reaching the 6-Cell Stage."
Six cells from one! Now that's what I call making lemons of lemonade. Stories like these will be sure to help keep those venture capital dollars flowing the right direction, eh, boss?
One caveat: Could you do something about Dr. West, the head of Advanced Cell Technology Inc.? Despite our best efforts to keep him on board, he cannot seem to keep his mouth shut -- in public! -- about the "benefits and pitfalls," as the WSJ puts it, of "genetically engineering the human species." That's therapy! Therapy, good doctor, not genetic engineering! Words are so much more important than facts. As a scientist, poor fellow, he has a hard time grasping certain truths.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.