Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rush To Judgement

Al Franken once wrote a book entitled, "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot." While I am generally not one who favours name calling as a means of political dialogue, recent comments from the voice of the alleged "Excellence In Broadcasting Network," leave me longing for a second volume.

As you have undoubtedly seen, actor and Parkinson's sufferer, Michael J. Fox, recently did a 30 second spot to advocate for lifting the President's ban on embryonic stem cell research. The spots, which aired in Ohio in support of Democratic Senate candidate, Claire McCaskill, showed the actor visibly shaking from the effects of his illness. The ad has caused some Republicans to cry foul, but none have done so in quite as offensive a manner as Rush Limbaugh, who claimed that Fox was, "either off his medication or acting."

As someone who was arrested for both illegal possession of narcotics AND viagra, Mr. Limbaugh is perhaps uniquely qualified to speak on the ill effects of being off one's medication.

Unfortunately, his assertions about Michael J. Fox aren't true. In the intervening days, many medical doctors have publicly gone on record stating that the symptoms exhibited by Mr. Fox are consistent with his illness. They've also said that stem cell research is the most promising pathway for curing the disease.

It's one thing to be wrong, it's another to be an insensitive buffoon.

And that's the only accurate way to characterize the on camera shaky impersonation Limbaugh did of Mr. Fox, while calling into question the veracity of his performance.

Note to Rush Limbaugh: There is nothing funny about a degenerative central nervous system disease that afflicts an estimated 4 to 6 million people worldwide. There is nothing amusing about losing your ability to control your movements, or the quality of your speech, or your ability to swallow. By the way Rush, that last one has been known to cause death.

Interestingly enough, Rush Limbaugh is a man who has fully benefited from the advances of western medicine. When he had back surgery, there was plenty of medication to ease his pain. When he suffered from erectile dysfunction there was viagra to restore his...

...well never mind.

The point is this: If he is unwilling to extend the advances of science to those who truly need them, perhaps he could at least refrain from mocking them.

He should feel ashamed, but he won't. I guess I'll just have to wait for that next Al Franken book. Hey Al, how about calling it, "Rush Limbaugh Is A Stoned Out, Limp..."

Nah. That would be mean.


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