Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mr. Heidel Blissful Ignorance

I got this email from the Hartford Courant:

"Thanks for all the comments. I posted most of them, but two didn't make the cut because they contained factual untruths. While we appreciate comments and opinions from readers, we will not publish things that are verifiable untrue.
In the first, on Dodd, Englehart DID NOT SAY Dodd should run unopposed, merely that it would be difficult for the Repubs to find anyone strong enough to beat him.
In the second, THERE NEVER WAS ANY PROPOSAL to "to harvest the brain cells of human babies aborted at latest of all stages for Alzheimer's disease patients." Where in God's name are you getting your information?
At any rate, the rest of your comments have been green-lighted. Thanks for sharing your comments. "

Ken Heidel
Editorial Department
The Hartford Courant
860 241-6601

Whats most profoundly odd is how perky and thankful this email is in some parts for my contributions, then he goes on to call me a liar and he's again perky and says 'well I approved of some of your comments so be happy with that ok? Have a nice day!'

I was actually surprised by this example of censorship since in the first instance I was simply being sarcastic by characterizing Hartford Communist cartoonist Bob Eaglehart comments following
this cartoon. I didn't use any four letter words I swear!

I noted that Eaglehart got through his entire commentary without even mentioning the name of the guy that is currently beating his candidate by a point in a
Quinnipiac poll.

For the record that dude's name is Robert Simmons. LOOK here's his picture.

I sarcastically characterized Eaglehart's commentary following his cartoon (which seemed rather desperate to me) as saying that Republicans should let Chris Dodd run unopposed since they have no chance anyway. He was essentially rebutting his own cartoon that showed Dodd's favorable ratings sinking like a stone. Liberals are real defensive these days if a mild comment such needs to be hidden from public view.

The second instance of censorship baffled me
[in response to this cartoon]. I am guessing Mr. Heidel is in his 20's and was in High School in the 1990's and like me didn't read the paper at that age. Sadly there were not only proposals to harvest the brain cells of human babies aborted at latest of all stages for Alzheimer's disease patients but it actually happened.

"Where in God's name are you getting your information? Mr. Heidel asks. Well actually I probably got it from the Hartford Courant and other newspapers in the days before Al Gore 's invention was available to me. I also remember magazine shows featuring the subject on TV. I recall even one fiction TV show where a couple conceived a baby for the purpose of curing the man's Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. The show was about the doctor's ethical dilemma. Should they let them do it or not? After a lot of arguing they did let them do it but the girl cried as the tube sucked out her baby's cells and was transported into her boyfriend's head.

The idea is simple. You take the brain cells out of a baby who is happily gestating away in Mommy and you insert them into the person you want to save. It was the enlightened position of all the editorial boards at the time. For everyone else, it was cannibalism.

Back in the 1990's I actually was tempted by such idea rationalizing to myself that if the kids are going to die anyway, why not put their cells to good use? It was supposed to be the holly grail of genetics. Sound familiar? After much soul searching however I did eventually decide against this in my own mind. The issue seemed to disappear overnight from public debate. It would not be until the next decade when I found out why from columnist Mona Charen.

Well in preparing this blog I was searching that Mona Charen op-ed I remember reading to throw in my young friend's face that I probably in the Hartford Courant. I will grant Mr. Heidel the Hartford Courant can be a dubious source of material from time to time but Mona has never steered me wrong. Mona's op-ed had to do with stem cells which was a new idea then. I am guessing this is around 2001 since the issue was President Bush coming out against the idea. Well Mona was recalling this monstrous idea of brain cell switching and relating it to the stem cell debate. I found out from Mona what I never read anywhere else: This brain cell switching experiment was a colossal failure!

She wrote not only did the therapy not work, but the patients suffered cruelly from seizures and God only knows what else. I recall Mona wrote that once the therapy started it could not be switched off. That makes sense. You can't go get the cells once you have put them in someone's head. You have thought such would make a good newspaper story but you would be wrong.

My point with this cartoon was with the stem cell dilemma, we have been down this path before. Sadly not only have some of us not learned from the past, but thanks to the self-censorship of the newspaper Mr. Heidel works for, many of us will never read the news that does support the newspaper's agenda.

So much so that even some of the younger employees at the Hartford Courant are blissfully ignorant. At least I have Mr. Heidel on record as being opposed to the concept. That is a partial victory since he finds the idea morally repugnant. If only his contempories 10 years ago thought so too.


Anonymous Ken Heidel said...

It's a hoot finding this preposterous blog post five years later, in February 2014. Frankly, I don't remember a time when we had to green-light comments at the Courant -- we have been through many commenting systems -- but it's plausible enough.

What's crazy is that the blog owner is offended that we would not allow his assertion that the brain cells of late-abortion fetuses were being piped into Alzheimer's patients' heads.

Yikes. As far as I know, the only place this procedure is being done is in the blog owner's own fevered brain.

February 25, 2014 9:28 PM  

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