Media Watch

Eugenics with Your Morning Coffee

CULTURE AND LIFE FOUNDATION, Oct. 8 — A series of ads appearing in The New York Times this year have touted the services of the Genetics and IVF Institute, a clinic that claims it can allow parents to choose the sex of their babies. The Culture and Life Foundation condemned these ads, noting it is “the first time that a eugenics procedure has been marketed openly in a mainstream American publication.”

For $2,300, the Virginia fertilization clinic offers a procedure called “Microsort,” which it says will allow technicians to screen a father's sperm, filtering out those that would yield a baby of the “wrong” sex. The company's Web site also offers customers the choice of shopping for human eggs of a desired race, hair and eye color — and, astoundingly, sorted according to the donor mothers' educational level.

Google Says Yes to Porn, No to Weapons

CATHOLIC LEAGUE, Oct. 16 — On the day Pope John Paul II marked his Silver Jubilee, two polls were released. Catholic League for Civil And Religious Liberties president William Donohue offered his analysis:

“Fifty-three percent of Catholics in the first poll [USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll], and 62% of those in the second poll [the Washington Post-ABC] say the Pope is ‘out of touch’ with the views of American Catholics. Yet 63% in the first poll, and 80% in the second, approve of his leadership. Indeed, almost 90% Catholics in the second poll (the first did not ask this question) give the pope high marks for ‘preserving the church's traditions.’

“What gives? To begin with, there is a strong correlation between Catholics who attend Mass on a regular basis and support for the Church's teachings. The obverse is true as well. It means little to factor non-practicing Catholics into any survey of Catholics — vegetarians who eat hot dogs at baseball games do not provide insight into the sentiments of vegetarians. … What seems not to be understood is that if the Pope sought to bring the Church's teachings more into line with the values of the dominant culture, he would lose the respect of the very same people who voice a desire for change.”

Guerrillas in Our Midst?

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Oct. 14 — Radical Islamists are among American Muslims allowed to visit terror suspects being held at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, said columnist Brendan Miniter in The Wall Street Journal.

Among those named in a widening scandal are Capt. James Yee, a Muslim convert and Army chaplain, who served at the prison camp and is now charged with “failing to follow orders in handling sensitive information,” as well as two translators, one of whom allegedly collected more than 100 messages from prisoners to pass on to terrorist operatives in Syria.

Both of the organizations used to accredit Muslims who wish to serve the U.S. government are “under investigation as part of the U.S. Customs Department's Operation Green Quest for their possible role in helping funnel $20 million to terrorists through offshore financial institutions,” according to a letter to the Defense Department from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. Both groups, along with the Islamic Society of North America, which accredits Muslim chaplains for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, receive funds from the government of Saudi Arabia —where the practice of Christianity is illegal and the possession of a Bible or cross punishable by imprisonment.