Inclusion Daily Express
Monday, November 06, 2006
  Shame On Rush
Inclusion Daily Express

While Inclusion Daily Express does not usually cover politics or finding "cures" to disabilities, a story involving both of those has taken a very public detour right into our disability rights consciousness.

Last Monday, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh used the airwaves to condemn Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, for appearing on television commercials supporting candidates who favor stem cell research.

This is an important issue for the television and movie actor, who, like the late actor Christopher Reeve, lobbied for federal funding for such research that is believed to hold promise for treating or preventing conditions associated with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and others.

What deserves attention, here, is how Limbaugh, who opposes stem cell research, characterized Fox's appearance on the ads: "He was either acting or off his medication . . . He is using his illness as a tactic to secure the election of another Democratic senator."

Fox later said that the irony is that he was too medicated; that the medication he uses to treat Parkinson's can actually increase the shaking and swaying seen on the ads.

Another irony is that Fox also supports Republican Senator Arlen Specter, from Pennsylvania, and other Republicans that support stem cell research.

Still a third irony is that Limbaugh is accusing Fox of using his disability for personal gain. This from a man who made a big deal out of receiving a cochlear implant in 2003 after losing his hearing as a result of Auto-Immune Inner Ear Disease, and publicly stated three years ago that he was seeking treatment for addiction to pain killing medication that was initially prescribed to treat his pain after spinal surgery.

While I won't climb onto the "research for a cure" bandwagon, I respect Fox's right to have his cause. I also respect how Fox, whose autobiography is titled "Lucky Man", has refused to portray himself and others with Parkinson's disease as "victims".

Shame on you, Rush.

If you truly abhor the exploitation of disabilities, why not go and pick on someone else, like, say, Jerry Lewis?

Related:
Limbaugh, Not Fox, Has His Priorities Wrong by Lennard Davis (National Public Radio)

Dave Reynolds, Editor
News@InclusionDaily.com
 
Comments:
RE: Rush & MJ Fox

Since when do people with disabilities want pity?

Are we supposed to feel sorry for MJ Fox? He is a filthy rich grown-up adult with fame.

I do not feel sorry for him.

If he came out to exploit his disability to get a liberal DFLer elected, then he opens himself up for criticism. And, Arlen Spector? Spector is a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Spector is for abortion on demand (Including and not limited to late term abortions in case you happen to have "severe" disabilities, or Down's Syndrome or Spina Bifida).

There are those of us in the disability community that do not want human beings created to cure our family members, our children, or ourselves. If you are a person with a disability that supports EMBRYONIC stem cell research, then you are no different than the pro-abortion groups and those in the medical profession who support abortion on demand ESPECIALLY if you have a disability, or active euthanasia of people with disabilities.

MJ Fox deserves constructive criticism and debate over his appearance. His disability does not give him some "special needs" ticket to get out of criticism free card. Maybe Rush was not so constructive, but at least he had the guts to criticize MJ Fox.
 
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