Deep in Chi Trib’s p-1 story on Michael J. Fox, (embryonic) stem cell research, and the Mo. senate race, is that which if it were the lede would have sent the story to the city desk spike before it saw the light of the press room, much less my front step:
Terry Jones, a political science professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said [Sen. Jim] Talent's loss of some moderate Republicans [by opposing embryonic research] is likely to be outweighed by the religious conservatives who are stirred by the issue to go to the polls.
"It's a very minor factor in the voters' decision about the Senate race," Jones said.
But then where would Trib be without the touching p-1 pic of Fox embracing Talent’s Dem opponent, Clare McCaskill and puffing Dems’ poster research item? It would have had to look for something else with matching human interest or political ploy or whatever they think grabs morning coffee-drinkers on train or at Caribou.
That said, one may note two other things:
1. Trib gave sidebar play to Rush Limbaugh, who had noted that Fox skips his meds when going before Congress etc. to make his case for deleting Parkinson’s Disease, the better to look ravaged, according to a listener who said Fox admitted this. Mainstreamers have Rush in their story-reference tickler file routinely these days, it would seem, which is a far cry from the studied indifference they used to demonstrate.
2. The story has nothing about anything more than “possible” connection between embryonic research and Parkinson’s cure — shot down in this Ill. GOP release naming “72 known cures” and/or working therapies discovered from adult-cell research, vs. zilch from embryonic — which a normally inquisitive person might want to know, not to mention a newspaper reporter. Nothing either, correlatively, about adult stem cells and their “72 known” cures. More than a release is required to back this up, to be sure, but why wouldn’t an editor and reporter ask about this?