Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 4:23am
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON THE OFFENSIVE AGAINST AD WITH MICHAEL J FOX
[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: David Montgomery]
Possibly worse than making fun of someone's disability is saying that it's imaginary. That is not to mock someone's body, but to challenge a person's guts, integrity, sanity. To Rush Limbaugh on Monday, Michael J. Fox looked like a faker. The actor, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has done a series of political ads supporting candidates who favor stem cell research, including Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin, who is running against Republican Michael Steele for the Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes. "He is exaggerating the effects of the disease," Limbaugh told listeners. "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." Limbaugh, whose syndicated radio program has a weekly audience of about 10 million, was reacting to Fox's appearance in another one of the spots, for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, running against Republican Sen. James M. Talent. But the Cardin ad is similar. It is hard to watch, unless, for some reason, you don't believe it. As he speaks, Fox's restless torso weaves and writhes in a private dance. His head bobs from side to side, almost leaving the video frame. "This is the only time I've ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has," Limbaugh said. "He can barely control himself." Later Monday, still on the air, Limbaugh would apologize, but reaction to his statements from Parkinson's experts and Fox's supporters was swift and angry.
* Limbaugh says actor Fox exaggerating his disease as stem cell issue churns
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