Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Vs. Michael J. Fox : A Rush To Judgement.



There are probably some of you who read my blog and think," Joe's conservative on a lot of issues. I bet he's a big fan of Rush Limbaugh." Well, you couldn't be more wrong about that . True, I sometimes listen to his radio program while driving around, but let me assure you I'am certainly no dittohead. And while I agree with him on some issues, there are many others where he and I part company.

For example: One time Limbaugh talked about a group of people who were holding a protest. He stated that protesting disrupted the natural order of things(I'm paraphrasing, of course.) and that we should let the elected politicians change that things we don't like about our government. In other words, we should just keep our mouths shut, stay at home and let the politicians work their special magic. It seems Limbaugh has forgotten that America was founded on protest. Our fore fathers didn't sit idly on their hands as the British ran roughshod over this country.

Then there was the time Limbaugh spent many a program bashing President Clinton. If truth be told, I'm not a exactly one of Clinton's biggest fans. But after years of Limbaugh raking him over the coals on a seemingly daily basis, Clinton challenged him to a debate. There are other talk show hosts who would have gladly jumped at the opportunity to go one on one with The President in front of a live audience. I know of one Philadelphia radio talk show host named Irv Homer who would've shown up with his notes in hand ready for a lively debate.

What did Limbaugh do? He made a big joke about it on his show and the matter was quickly dropped. I know of a few people who stopped listening to him after that because they felt Limbaugh was all talk and no action, or as a friend of mine aptly put it," He's just an entertainer." After his constant haranguing about what a lousy job Clinton was doing in the oval office, when push came to shove Limbaugh turned tail and hid in the safety his E.I.B booth,refusing to confront the man he criticized and satirized mercilessly to no end.

Limbaugh reminded me of a kid I knew years ago named Jimmy. For reasons unknown, he harbored an irrational dislike for my friend Paul and told everybody who would listen about what a complete jerk he thought Paul was. After awhile Paul grew damn sick and tired of Jimmy's constant back stabbing. One day, I was at the neighborhood park while Jimmy was doing his anti-Paul shtick when Paul just happened to walk up to him and asked," Do you have a problem with me, dick face?" Jimmy's face took on an expression of total fear, as if the angel of death had suddenly appeared before him.He looked down at his shoes and gulped an almost inaudible," No ." Jimmy suddenly bolted away from Paul with such speed you would have thought a rocket was attached to his ass. Believe it or not, Jimmy never, ever bad mouthed Paul
again.

Recently, actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinsons Disease, did a television endorsement for Claire Mc Caskell of Missouri. Mc Caskell, running for the U.S Senate, is a proponent for stem cell research. In the tv ad, Fox is shown displaying the signs of this degenerative disease from which he suffers. It was a powerful case for lifting the government ban on embryonic stem cell research.

Yet on his show, Limbaugh accused Fox of acting for the camera as he imitated the actors symptoms of Parkinsons by shaking spastically for the dittocam in an ill attempt at comedy. After dodging the well deserved brickbats of critics and fans alike, Limbaugh defended himself on his program claiming that certain news shows sped up the tape for the purpose of sensationalism.

Now Rush, that plane doesn't fly. I saw the footage of your spastic movements on a cable news show and it definitely wasn't speeded up. Now, I realize you think that you're smarter than ninety per cent of the people on this planet and that most of us have the mental capacity of an eggplant. But I,like many people, have eyes. I can determine what sped up video looks like; plus when you speed up a video the sound speeds up as well. At no time did your senatorian voice sound as if you'd just inhaled a lungfull of helium.

However,to be fair, Fox did candidly admit in his autobiography that before appearing at a congressional hearing on embryonic stem cell research he didn't take his medication in order to make an impact at the hearing. I've seen him on several talk shows and even when Fox is on the medication, The Parkinsons is still quite visible. But on one program, Fox was interviewed before his medication kicked in and it was painful to watch. And I for one applaud Fox for not hiding from the media making both him as well as his condition visible to the entire world.I can fully undrestand him wanting scientists to find a cure for his affliction, not just for himself but for all of the Parkinsons victims. And that is admirable.

Limbaugh, on the other hand, shot from the hip without first knowing all the facts. But then again, mouthing off is his stock in trade. He's part political pundit and part court jester as well as being judgemental and intolerant of any point of view other than his own carved in stone beliefs. Limbaugh has been lambasted by the media for his statements and justifiably so. He acted like a bull in a china shop, but Limbaugh wants everyone to just let him mouth off as he pleases without any accountability on his part. But from all appearances it's not likely he'll get his wish this time. Sorry Rush.

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