About

TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

Categories

Marianne Paskowski



Advice to Limbaugh: Zip It

October 25, 2006 1:42 PM

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is a spiteful zealot, attacking Michael J. Fox, who now appears in a political TV ad supporting urging viewers to support stem cell research by voting for Democratic candidates in Maryland, Missouri and Wisconsin.

The ad is spellbinding, showing the ravages that Parkinson’s disease has taken on Fox and how infirm he really is, unable to control movement of his body. Limbaugh told his radio listeners that Fox was “acting or didn’t take his medication.”

Preposterous. I saw the actor in New York just several years ago, where he was attending a dinner to accept an industry award onstage for his role in the popular series “Family Ties.”
Sitting at a table beside him, I saw the difficulties he had handling silverware and noticed that his speech was labored as well. And it was with great difficulty that he got to the stage to address the public. That, Mr. Limbaugh, I assure you was not “acting.”

The actor should be applauded for his activism. He formed the Michael J. Fox Foundation to advance stem cell research, especially for Parkinson’s disease, for which there is no cure yet, and has lobbied in Washington to support his cause.

Limbaugh later gave a half-baked apology, saying the actor is being exploited and is “shilling” for a Democrat. Limbaugh is the real shill here, using the public airwaves to pander to the right wing.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.tvweek.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1370

Comments (10)

Cliff:

Hopefully in the near future the news industry will stop saying what Rush says since he is really out of touch with everything including his own drug addictions. Apparently, everyone has to act normally and not display disabilities or illness. Well, it is about time real people stepped forward like Michael J. Fox and Chris Reeves and say what they believe is important and not be the mouth piece for neocon romantic cultural neverlands. Disability exists, be it developmental, physical or mental.

Oh, I get it Rush has a mental disability and is paid for it too!

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cliff,
Thanks for weighing in. I was so offended by Limbaugh's assault on a man, Michael J. Fox, who is doing something for himself and others, and has formed a nonprofit to find a cure for this disease. There is no cure, presently, for his disease, Parkinson's. Thanks for reminding me about Limbaugh's personal health/mental struggles with whatever. Wouldn't you tthink he would be more sympathetic? Actually, I'm glad, in retrospect, that Limbaugh did what he did, to remind the country before the election about what a self-centered, money-grubbing right-winger's true instincts are. Again, I say, he is benefiting making a salary, using free spectrum to spew his narrow-minded opinions and slam those who don't agree. I guess he doesn't care about health care. But I do.
Ugh, for now,
Marianne

joan:

It frightens me that so many people are tuning in to the hate filled ramblings of a man like Rush Limbaugh. I only hope that a change in political leadership in this country will bring back our sense of tolerance and caring about health care and other human needs as well as respect for science.

Bob Donath:

Thanks for telling it straight, Marianne. Limbaugh, pitifully trying to score points with his pin-headed audience of bigots and know-nothings, once again exhibits the hypocrisy that characterizes so much of the right wing these days. Was Limbaugh simply "acting" when he used to wail about drug addictions and abuse? The way Rush is going, the only people who will be defending his right to blather and bloviate will be the ACLU. Won't that be ironic?!

Marianne Paskowski:

So true. The Federal Communications Committee slaps fines on TV stations all the time. Remember the famous Super Bowl Janet Jackson costume malfunction? The FCC should slap fines for people using public and free airwaves for hateful content. So I guess hated is OK, but nudity isn't.

Marianne Paskowski:

Well my earlier comments were to Cliff and Joan and now to Bob. Frankly, I don't see the ACLU supporting Rush Limbaugh, no matter what hapens in this election. But Bob, I really like your brain work. Thanks for your astute commentary. Maybe Limbaugh was simply "acting" when he used to wail about drug addictions and abuse. I think he owes Michael J. Fox a rea apology for the insults. Agree?

Well, in the peculiar ways of the media, Limbaugh may have done Fox a great favor. Limbaugh's attack earned Fox a lengthy segment yesterday on the CBS Evening News with a sympathetic Katie Couric. He was great, and did his cause far more good than Limbaugh did it harm, I'm sure.

Marianne Paskowski:

Thanks for your thoughtful response, as always. Sorry I missed Fox on Couric, and that she was a sympathetic reporter, as one might expect. And you could be right, in the end Limbaugh could have wound up helping the cause by acting so inappropriately. BTW, I love your daily eletter and its daily updates. A must read for me! mp

John Golden:

As pin-headed bigot and know nothing I must take execption to your rant against Rush. As someone who actually listens to Rush I heard what he said and continues to say on this issue. What Rush said was how extreme Fox's mannerisms were in his commercial. Rush said when he watches Boston Legal, in which Fox apparently does guest shots, his mannerisms are much more controlled. Rush specuated that Fox was either off of his medication or "acting" to show the effects of his disease. It turns out the Fox has admitted to not taking his medication prior to going before Congress to show the extreme mannerisms, much like his commerical. Rush went on to say that within the confines of political discourse that behavior is appropriate and reasonable. However, he also said that once a person, even a disabled person, enters into the political arena he must expect criticism. Rush went on to say that it was ironic that in Maryland Cardin who benefits from the Fox commerical has actually voted against embryonic stem cell research while Steele supports it, in clear cotradiction to the stated ad. Rush further showed that adult stem cell research has shown promise in some 72 areas of study while embryonic stem cells as shown promise in NO AREAS of study. Furthermore, it is also ironic that you are criticizing a disabled man for criticizing another disabled man, Rush is deaf after all. Well, I'm off to sow more seeds of hate and bigotry. I wish you all a good day.

Marianne Paskowski:

John,
First, I find no hate or bigotry in your well-reasoned response to my blog, and because I don't know you, I don't know if you are a pin-headed bigot or have your own talk radio show somewhere in the country. It doesn't sound like you are. But I appreciate what you just added to the dialogue. I saw Michael J. Fox this past Sunday on on of the morning broadcast talking-head shows. He told the reporter he did not want to hide the side effects of not taking the drug. But as I initially wrote, I also saw the actor on his meds, not at a political rally but a celebrity-studded awards show. He wasn't stumping. The drugs, like all, create other problems, most noticeably that evening, it was his speech and his shaking hands. You're right. The actor chose to go public and has to take the heat. And I chose to go public here in this blog and I graciously take your heat. Come back again to balance what has been a one-sided conversation.
Marianne

Post a comment