Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fox and Counter-Fox

[Hat tip to R. Alta Charo for the title]...

Making Stem Cell Issue Personal, and Political

Alessandra Stanley does a great job of teasing out the fact from fiction in her column in the NY Times this morning about the contentious comments of Rush Limbaugh regarding Michael J. Fox's ads about stem cell research:

The plea is as disturbing — and arresting — as a hostage video from Iraq. In a navy blazer and preppy Oxford shirt, the actor Michael J. Fox calmly asks viewers to support stem cell research by voting for several Democratic candidates in Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin, while his body sways back and forth uncontrollably like a sailor being tossed around in a full-force gale...
In short, Mr. Fox’s display of the toll Parkinson’s disease has taken on him turned into one of the most powerful and talked about political advertisements in years.
Rush Limbaugh rushed in to discredit Mr. Fox, though he mostly hurt himself. Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk show host, told his listeners that the actor either “didn’t take his medication or was acting.” Mr. Limbaugh later apologized for accusing Mr. Fox of exaggerating his symptoms, but said that “Michael J. Fox is allowing his illness to be exploited and in the process is shilling for a Democrat politician.”

Republicans cobbled together a response ad attacking the ethics of embryonic stem cell research, including testimonials by the actress Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and James Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ.” At least in the advance version shown on YouTube last night, Mr. Caviezel’s introduction seemed either garbled or to be in Aramaic.

Michael J. Fox

Fox Stem Cell Video

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