Who’s shameless?

The WaPo picks up the Fox-Limbaugh story, and offers a fuller transcript of what Limbaugh said, first when he attacked Fox:

"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."

…"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."
Then when he “apologized” (emphasis mine):

"Now people are telling me they have seen Michael J. Fox in interviews and he does appear the same way in the interviews as he does in this commercial," Limbaugh said, according to a transcript on his Web site. "All right then, I stand corrected... So I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong, and I will apologize to Michael J. Fox, if I am wrong in characterizing his behavior on this commercial as an act."
Then when he redirected his assault on Fox:

"Michael J. Fox is allowing his illness to be exploited and in the process is shilling for a Democratic politician."
He also went on to accuse Fox of giving people false hope, by implying that a cure lies with electing Democrats. And Limbaugh is calling Fox shameless? Shit.

Meanwhile, Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO’s The Corner charges in with the defense of Limbaugh, asserting he was only saying “what doctors and other experts were saying off the record on Monday when the news of the Michael J. Fox ads were fresh to the election buzzlines: That it looked like he must have laid off his medication to make sure viewers would have a worse-day kinda look at life with Parkinson’s.” She also said she knows that Fox does go off his meds sometimes, like for Congressional testimony, because she saw it on the E True Hollywood Story.

That's not to say that he doesn't suffer — he obviously does. But the hard-to-watch Fox ads we've seen this week were, like most political ads, made in Spin City.

…To make the point Rush made was not mean or heartless. … As Rush pointed out on his show yesterday (scroll down), it’s mean to give people false hope. And when it’s suggested in no subtle way that sick people will be sick if Democrats lose and cured if Republicans do … that’s mean. And that was Limbaugh’s point.
Yeah, I don’t doubt that was Limbaugh’s point—but it’s still a ridiculous fucking point. Advocating voting for the Democrats because they are more willing to support stem cell research, which provides the best possibility for a cure, isn’t implying that people will be cured if the Democrats win. It’s saying, quite frankly, that if there is a cure to be found through stem cell research, the Democrats are the party willing to support finding it—and that’s a hard reality to dispute, considering that President Bush pulled out his first and only veto on behalf of blocking stem cell research.

And I still don’t begin to comprehend why giving people “a worse-day kinda look at life with Parkinson’s” by going off one’s meds is somehow shifty or insincere. It’s not like those meds are curative; Parkinson’s is a disease that kills people. It’s also a disease that’s expensive to treat—and anyone who has the temerity to suggest that there’s something exaggerative about Fox making his point sans meds can only do so by ignoring the Parkinson’s sufferers who don’t have the resources and healthcare access he has, and look like that every day, even though no one’s putting them in a commercial or before Congress.

I’ve seen a lot of low lows in politics in recent years, but this just about beats all. I’m truly sickened that Limbaugh would even say this mendacious shit, no less that he’s got defenders who are praising his honesty and pretending as though he’s more of a champion for Parkinson’s sufferers by not “getting their hopes up.” Yes, what a great American patriot he is, because we all know that America’s best attribute has always been saying “No,” has always been telling people they shouldn’t look for more or fight the good fight or hope. Limbaugh looks at people whose American Dream is not to get rich or be successful or get their own talk radio show, but to exhaust every possible avenue in finding a cure for Parkinson’s (and other diseases), and he tells them “Your American Dream is foolish. Your American Dream is stupid and naïve.” What a hero.

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