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Monday, October 30, 2006

Crossing the Line

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t engage in political discussions. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say—because I do—it’s just that political discussions are just too volatile for me. You never know who you might offend.

But something happened last week that I have no choice but to comment on…

As you probably heard, Rush Limbaugh accused Michael J. Fox of faking his Parkinson’s symptoms for a political ad supporting a pro-stem cell research candidate. Limbaugh later apologized, but the damage was already done.

There is no doubt that if I were to make a list of my all-time favorite actors, Fox would be near the top. But regardless of how you feel about Fox, or Limbaugh, or even stem cell research, I think you can agree that Limbaugh crossed a line.

As a big fan of Fox, I can see the effects that Parkinson’s has had on him. On “Boston Legal” the past two seasons, his performance actually came off a little stiff as he was obviously trying to control his body movements. In fact, Fox has been working hard since the day he was diagnosed to hide his symptoms (During his “Inside the Actors Studio” interview, Fox actually had to leave for a short time.).

So to drive home a point for a cause he deeply believes in, Fox allowed us to see his worst symptoms for the first time—and he got slammed for it.

Now, forced to defend himself, Fox has had to show his symptoms even more, which he did Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopolous.” It made me want to cry.

Limbaugh has every right to attack Fox’s stance on stem cell research. But to accuse someone struggling with a debilitating disease that has robbed him of his livelihood and certain moments with his family of faking symptoms is just wrong.

Maybe Limbaugh found Fox’s argument a little too convincing…