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Media Use Rush as a Distraction From the Facts
October 27, 2006

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Actor Michael J. Fox has used his celeb status and medical condition in political ads that support candidates who favor stem cell research in two Senate races and in support of a proposed amendment to the Missouri constitution.

Responses to Fox came from two sources.

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh questioned whether Fox had taken his medication before appearing on camera because the actor himself said, "I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the [congressional] subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard."

Limbaugh also questioned whether Fox had been used by the pro-cloning forces that have spent tens of millions of dollars to change the Missouri constitution.

Another response came in the form of an ad featuring actors Jim Caviezel and Patricia Heaton, Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, and Kansas City Royals player Mike Sweeney.

Because Caviezel played the role of Jesus in the film "The Passion of the Christ," he drew on his knowledge of Aramaic and used Christ's words at the opening of the ad.

The actor said, "Le-bar nash be-neshak," which means, appropriately, "You betray the Son of Man with a kiss."

The mainstream media have focused on a portion of Limbaugh's comments, framing the matter as a celebrity feud between a liberal Hollywood actor and a conservative talk-show host rather than focusing on the factual content of the responses.

What a convenient distraction for the Old Media.

By using Rush as a bogeyman the media can avoid the fact that Michael J. Fox has inserted himself into a very hotly contested midterm election and a highly deceptive initiative process. Fox's ads are not particularly diplomatic. They charge Republican candidates with heartlessly desiring that those with debilitating diseases suffer and die.

When anyone makes accusations of this nature, their ideas should be scrutinized and responded to in a substantive manner.

The media have used the Rush v. Michael story to ignore the content of the celebrity ad that has responded to Fox with facts unfavorable to the Old Media view of the world.

As the response ad declares:

  • Amendment 2 does claim to ban human cloning, while it actually makes cloning a constitutional right.

  • Amendment 2 compels state and local governments to use tax money for human cloning.

  • Amendment 2 would exploit women to "harvest" their eggs for the researchers' human cloning experiments.

Dr. Frankenstein could only wish for such a deal.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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