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The Nation

Report: Journalist Tried to Sell Cloning Coverage

January 06, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The former ABC News science editor who said he would verify claims that the first human clone had been born tried months ago to sell exclusive coverage of the cloning to major networks, according to a report published Sunday.

CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO and Fox Entertainment all were approached by freelance television journalist Michael Guillen, the New York Times reported.

At Fox, Guillen proposed a reality-based show on the cloning process, starting before the births, the Times said. He even offered to produce it and be the on-air host, but Fox rejected the proposal.

Another network executive, whom the Times did not identify, said Guillen proposed an exclusive documentary on the cloning at a price of more than $100,000. The executive said the offer would have given the network too little editorial control.

Guillen stepped into the cloning spotlight a week ago when he announced that he would organize experts to independently test the claims of Clonaid, a company linked to a religious sect that believes life on Earth was created by extraterrestrials. The group claimed it had created the first cloned human, a girl it said was born to an American mother Dec. 26, but no DNA tests have yet verified the claim.

Brigitte Boisselier, Clonaid's chief executive, said Saturday the DNA testing had been delayed by the child's parents. She said they promised to tell her today whether they would allow it.

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