The Cult of Celebrity on News Shows

Yesterday NBC News had a couple stories about the controversy over stem cell research. The stories were prompted by George W. Bush’s meeting with the Pope wherein the Pope expressed his view that stem cell research is immoral.

I happen to support stem cell research, but I was appalled at the short piece NBC News ran giving the pro-stem cell research point of view. What appalled me was that the segment was an interview with Christopher Reeve.

Reeve is a capable actor, but he’s no scientist and he’s certainly not an expert on stem cell research. The last person in the world I want to see explaining a scientific and ethical controversy is an actor who is best known for his role portraying a comic book super hero.

A longtime friend is of the view that network news shows are simply entertainment — differing little in form from the sitcoms, dramas, and soap operas served up by the networks. Sometimes, I’m inclined to agree.

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