No sh*t, Sherlock!

From an AP story.

The freelance journalist who said he would oversee DNA testing to prove whether the first human clone has been produced said Monday he was suspending his efforts for now.

The testing has been blocked by the parents of the baby, according to Clonaid, the company that made the claim Dec. 27. Clonaid was founded by the Raelian religious sect that believes space aliens created life on Earth, and acknowledges that outside DNA testing would be needed to make its claim credible.

In a statement, Michael Guillen, a former science editor for ABC-TV, said he had assembled experts to do the work but suspended the effort Monday morning.

“The team of scientists has had no access to the alleged family and, therefore, cannot verify firsthand the claim that a human baby has been cloned,” Guillen said. “In other words, it’s still entirely possible Clonaid’s announcement is part of an elaborate hoax intended to bring publicity to the Raelian movement.”

Duhhhh….reeeeeeeeeeeely? A hoax?????? Whooda thunkit?

The performance of the mainstream media in covering this non-story has been a disgrace. Note that even the latest account is by the AP science reporter, whose next assignment will no doubt be the likely impact on the Bush Presidency of Mars rising with Saturn in the ascendant.

I only wish that the standards of political journalism were higher. But Ari Fleischer makes a living proving that they aren’t.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com