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January 26, 2009


I enjoy Mr. Noonan's articles, including today, except his unfounded and inexplicable statement in paragrapg one that "After all, it wasn't until the war in Iraq went badly and Katrina went ashore that the press did anything more than cheerlead every move of the last, recently departed occupant of the White House." The press did nothing more than cheerlead Bush in the early years? To what press could Mr. Noonan be referring? Certainly not the U.S. press. Having lived through it, there was never a media pep rally for George W. Bush.

Dear Bob:

I realized when I was writing this that reader's perceptions would differ, but my point could have been expressed the other way with equal justification: after Katrina and the downturn in the war in Iraq (i.e., 2006-2008), the press followed the public dissatisfaction with Mr. Bush by being much more negative than they were beforehand (2003-2005). Would you disagree?

Thanks for the comment

Kevin, do you send your writings to the publications as reader's response? I think you should.

Wonder how Mr. Heller would feel if people freely copy his work without any attribution or compensation? He wouldn't have any motivation to write and publish in the first place. Patents are no different. Even countries like China and India are beginning to appreciate the value of patents, because now, the home-grown inventions need patent protection.


As you correctly point out, Prof. Heller makes the usual "rhetorical nonsense" that patents stifle biotech innovation without any supporting factual evidence, just speculation. The same argument was made as to why Madey v. Duke University should be reversed to allow for a "research exemption." Interesting how no data was ever provided to show how not having a "research exemption" impedes biotech research. In fact, the continued fiing of biotech patent applications (which normally require biotech research to happen) suggests otherwise. I'm sorry, but academics like Heller need to focus on reality (and the facts), not just spin theories.

I agree with "Prior Art" - you should submit your post to Newsweek as a reader response.

Umm, Gleevec (imatinib) isn't a monoclonal antibody. It's a "small molecule" drug (albeit a molecule of substantial size within that category). Certainly it isn't a biologic.

Dear EDD:

Quite right. My mistake. Thanks for catching that - we corrected it.

Bob writes: "The press did nothing more than cheerlead Bush in the early years? To what press could Mr. Noonan be referring? Certainly not the U.S. press."

Kevin, in the future, please just ignore the wingnuts.

Dear PF:

Everyone is entitled to these sorts of opinions. Although I don't agree with Bob on this, he did give me the opportunity to make the related point - I would expect Bob and many others noticed how the press turned on President Bush like dogs when they thought the public had lost faith in him.

Unfortunately, the same will probably happen to President Obama. It will be interesting to see if the purported motivation for the initial press obsequiousness (patriotism over 9/11 and the war(s)) also works for the kind of economic crisis we are facing (and how much "better" things will need to get and how quickly before the press starts showing its fangs again).

Thanks for the comment.

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