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Home > People

WAWIBF... Michael J Fox

3 November 2006

On October 21st an election campaign ad was aired in Missouri. The ad featured ex-actor and celebrity Parkinson's sufferer Michael J Fox appealing to the electorate not to vote for Republican Senator Jim Talent, as Talent opposes and is pushing to criminalise stem cell research, which Fox maintains may afford him and millions of other sufferers from numerous other diseases a cure. The ad didn't create much of a stir. It was just another campaign ad. America is awash with them at the moment.

Enter Rush Limbaugh. On October 23rd Limbaugh lashed out at Michael J Fox. He'd seen Fox's ad, and frankly, he didn't buy it. 'He is exaggerating the effects of the disease,' Limbaugh declared. 'He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting.'

Of course, being an exceedingly stupid man, what Limbaugh didn't realise was that the medication was precisely the reason Fox was shaking so violently. If Fox hadn't taken the medication, he would have seized up and been unable to speak. Limbaugh didn't know this, and didn't much care. In the same broadcast, after the emails had started to arrive, he went on to say: 'I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong, and I will apologise to Michael J. Fox if I am wrong in characterising his behaviour on this commercial as an act.'


And that was as close as he got to an apology, before reiterating that that Fox was exploiting his illness and using it as another tactic in what he described as 'a negative ad'. A couple of days later he said: 'I stand by what I said. I take back none of what I said. I wouldn't rephrase it any differently. It is what I believe. It is what I think. It is what I have found to be true.' Meanwhile the American media, expressing their well-known Liberal bias, praised Limbaugh for having apologised so readily and lambasted Fox for bashing dcent ordinary people who understand that life begins at four centimetres and basically don't want to be cloned.

The downside of the story is that Rush Limbaugh has a weekly audience of over 13 million listeners and most of these actually look to the hateful fool for their opinions. The upside is that had it not been for Limbaugh's intervention, the audience for Fox's original message would have remained minuscule. Also, not only has Michael J Fox reacted to Limbaugh's ignorance and hideousness with nought but grace, dignity and gently mocking humour, but also, thanks to Rush, millions and millions of people heard Fox's message and are now engaging on the subject of stem cell research, support for which has risen by 5% since Limbaugh goose-stepped in.





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