Thursday, October 26, 2006

Foxy political ad

This is going to be a blog entry about Michael J. Fox's new political ad. It is rather serious, so I am going to get the Top 5 list out of the way early.

Top 5 Michael J. Fox Movies
1. The American President
2. Doc Hollywood
3. Back To The Future II
4. Bright Lights, Big City
5. The Hard Way

Fox is currently in the news as he appears in a television campaign commercial for Claire McCaskill, the democratic candidate for the US Senate representing Missouri. The reason for his appearance is that he currently has Parkinson's Disease and has been an advocate for stem cell research in order to help find a cure. McCaskill is a proponent of increasing that research.

If you watch the ad, you can see that the symptoms have begun to really effect Fox quite dramatically.

The response to this ad has been swift. Ultra right-wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh during his radio show called it "shameless" and was "either of his medication or acting". Limbaugh then went on to say that Fox was "exaggerating the effects of the disease... He's moving all around and shaking, and it's purely an act."

In his 2002 autobiography Lucky Man: A Memoir, Fox did admit that he did not take his medication prior to his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee in 1998. "I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the 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. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling."

Getting back to the 2006 ad for McCaskill...Elaine Richman, a neuroscientist, has stated her opinion, "Anyone who knows the disease well would regard his movement as classic severe Parkinson's disease. Any other interpretation is misinformed."

McCaskill's opponent, imcumbent Republican senator Jim Talent already has a response ad to the Fox piece. These ads include appearances by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, Kansas City Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney, and actors Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) and, the piece de resistance, the actor who played Jesus in The Passion Of The Christ Jim Caviezel.

One final thought, the funny thing about Limbaugh's criticism of Fox is that he was pretty quiet was that he had nothing to say when Fox appeared in ads for Republican Senator Arlen Spector, a supporter of embryonic stem cell research.



Anonymous Skypilot said...

As the son of a 25 year Parkinson's patient (early diagnosis just like Michael J. Fox) there can be one other explanation offered in what we see in this ad. In my father's case, tremor has never been the issue but stiffness and rigidity has. The meds my Dad was taking would induce dyskinesia, the kind of involuntary movement seen in the ad Fox appears in.

See also...

Limbaugh once again proves that he himself is "shameless" and little more than a waste of space.


5:29 AM  

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