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Monday, October 30, 2006

 
What Katie Didn't Tell You

Last Thursday, Couric interviewed Michael J. Fox about the recent McCaskill ad and Rush Limbaugh's response:

"The irony is that I was too medicated. I was dyskinesic," Fox told Couric...

His body visibly wracked by tremors, Fox appears in a political ad touting Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill's stance in favor of embryonic stem cell research. That prompted Limbaugh to speculate that Fox was "either off his medication or acting."

Fox told Couric, "At this point now, if I didn't take medication I wouldn't be able to speak."

Couric did not explain the rationale behind Limbuagh's speculation, although she knew the answer. She had requested an email from Limbaugh explaining his side of the story, and he obliged. NewsMax has the complete transcript of the email. Here is the portion relevant to that question (emphasis added):

I have seen him many times on TV but never have I seen him as he appears in the ads. I read from his own book that he will not take his medications before certain appearances (Senate, 1999) in order to illustrate the ravages of Parkinson's, which I understand and applaud. So the concept of manipulating meds has been stated by Mr. Fox, which is what caused me to question his appearance in his ads.

(This raises questions about Fox's claim that he can't speak without medication.)

Here is the complete email:

"Thanks, Katie, I'll try to make it simple:

"I believe Democrats have a long history of using victims of various things as POLITICAL spokespeople because they believe they are untouchable, infallible. They are immune from criticism. But when anyone enters the POLITICAL arena of ideas they forfeit the right to be challenged on their participation and message.

"I have not met Mr. Fox, do not know him. I have admired his work in film and TV and his appearances on Letterman were howlers. I have nothing personal against him. But I believe his implication that only Democrats want to cure disease(s) is irresponsible (as I believed about John Edwards assuring voters Christopher Reeve would walk if only John Kerry were elected). I think this is ultimately cruel and gives people who suffer these terrible afflictions false hope.

"As of now there is NO EVIDENCE that embryonic stem cells even hold promise, while other approaches, such as adult stem cells, already have yielded results. Michael's TV spots mislead and misinform on this. (You might ask him about the gene therapy research at a Chicago hospital which has produced encouraging results on Parkinson's patients. A VIRUS is inserted in the gene, which is then inserted in the brain. The Michael J. Fox Foundations has committed $1.9 million to further research on this . . . story from earlier this month.)

"I did NOT mock or make fun of Mr. Fox. I have seen him many times on TV but never have I seen him as he appears in the ads. I read from his own book that he will not take his medications before certain appearances (Senate, 1999) in order to illustrate the ravages of Parkinson's, which I understand and applaud. So the concept of manipulating meds has been stated by Mr. Fox, which is what caused me to question his appearance in his ads.

"He is stumping for Democrats, in the political arena, and is therefore open to analysis and criticism as we all are. His suffering is NOT fair game and I am sorry if people drew that conclusion about my comments, but I believe this happens precisely because NO criticism of victims is ever allowed, at all, which as I say is the Democrat strategy in putting them forward."




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