Jewish World Review Jan. 8, 2003 / 5 Shevat, 5763

Jerry Nachman

Jerry Nachman
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Consumer Reports

Why the media covered the cloning story, fake as it seemed | There are actually critics out there who say we, the news media, print and broadcast, gave too much coverage to a story about a cloned baby girl announced by a sect that claims that aliens came here to create life through genetic engineering.

The sect, called the "Raelians," is headed up by a guy who looks like he just beamed aboard, from some far quadrant of the universe, the U.S.S. Enterprise for a glass of Saurian brandy.

His bishop, a lady with a French name and funny hair, made the announcement. She said the baby, named Eve (as in Adam), was healthy and would be available for testing by an objective investigator in just a few days. Dr. Brigitte Boisselier holds a press conference Friday in Hollywood, Fla., to announce the birth of the first cloned human, a baby girl born Thursday.

Then, the bishop lady said, well, maybe there will be no test. That's up to the kid's parents- parent, I should say- but as a consolation prize, another cloned baby, we're told, is due out in the next week or so.

And we're not supposed to cover this stuff? Aliens who we're told have lots of sex, a cloned baby, the first ever? We're not gullible in the news business, we're needy.

It's been an unrelenting run of horrible stories: war and rumors of war, snipers, dirty politics, unemployment horrors, a limping economy, an angry election, a senator whose mouth shot himself in the foot, and even lousy weather everywhere.

So you deliver us a funny-haired, promiscuous bishop who hangs out with a French ex-sports writer who claims to have been visited from aliens from G-d knows where, and they tell us they've taken the mystery of life to a new level, we're going there.

How could we not?

JWR contributor Jerry Nachman is vice president and editor-in-chief of MSNBC, and the host of “Nachman,” which airs at 5 p.m. ET, weekdays on MSNBC. A former radio reporter, newspaper Editor-in-Chief, and even Hollywood screenwriter, he is the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association and an Emmy Award, plus numerous others. He has served twice as a Pulitzer Prize Juror in the Journalism competition. Comment by clicking here.


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