Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Personal Aside: Michael J. Fox Was a Foxy One by Going Off His Meds for Effect.

Actor Michael J. Fox who has Parkinson’s wrote a book in 1999 that said before he testified in a congressional hearing for embryonic stem cell research legislation, he voluntarily went off his medicine so as to appear pathetically shaky and discordant. He justified it by writing that he wanted to show the congressmen how tortured a person could really be from the illness. In doing so, he was playing a cruel trick on the Congress…was duplicitous. In a video released from a TV commercial he did for a Democratic Senate candidate in Missouri, he looked pathetic: jerky, twisted, tortured. Obviously off his meds again.

The story of the book evidently got to Illinois quicker than it did in Missouri so when Fox came here to campaign for Tammy Duckworth, the legless veteran running as the Democratic nominee in the 6th he appeared calm and reserved. But the idea of someone trying to influence Congress by pulling that trick is repugnant. For one thing, there is not a single case on record where embryonic stem cells have worked but there are replete cases where other stem cells have worked. And for another thing, the Democrats infer…more than infer but proclaim most loudly and boldly…that opposing embryonic stem cells means people who are suffering like Michael J. Fox will be deprived of help from embryonic stem cells. Not at all. What we’re talking about is the federal portion of research. Private research is going on all the time. And private research…in the millions of dollars…hasn’t worked yet.

There is a new level of duplicity in this Democratic campaign across the board. Democrats who run against Iraq have no counter plan except to withdraw…either now, tomorrow or the next day. Democrats who campaign for Todd Stroger for president of the Cook county board have no comment to make about the unparalleled waste, fraud and abuse under John Stroger. They only say that Tony Peraica is a far-right nut. But I have criticized Peraica for not being socially conservative enough. They just don’t have any positive program to offer. Now here comes Michael J. Fox, having boasted that before he testified earlier he hadn’t taken his meds…and coming here now saying that if Peter Roskam wins, people who have Parkinson’s will be deprived of needed medicine.

Just about the lowest of the low. I’m very sorry for Michael J. Fox. Sorry he has Parkinson’s. Sorry, too, that he has decided to lower the bar to truth about embryonic stem cells by attempting to mislead the electorate.


  1. So-Called "Austin Mayor"October 25, 2006 at 7:51 AM

    "I had made a delierate 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, bee seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling." -- Lucky Man: A Memoir, Michael J. Fox

    As someone who watched his grandfather suffer for decades with Parkinsons I have to ask: How is honestly presenting the effects of Parkinsons to the subcommittee dishonest?

    If you think it was dishonest for Mr. Fox to testify about his illness without attempting to cover up the extent of his illness, do you also think is was dishonest for Maj. Duckworth to testify before Congress without covering up the extent of the injuries she suffered in Iraq?

    Should Christopher Reeves have been propped up against a wall when he testified about the hope offered by stem cell research?

  2. Lovie's LeatherOctober 25, 2006 at 9:31 AM

    If your medication puts you at ease, why would you not take it? These stunts don't point toward any real progress, they just try to convince people of certain things using the one aspect of life that can hide all truth, emotion. The fact is, Michael J Fox isn't in as much pain as he leads you to believe. We don't know how badly Parkinson's effects him when he is on his medication. But that is the democratic play book... drag out somebody that got a raw deal in life and it will give our ideas credibility no matter how much science says our ideas aren't credible.... It really makes me wonder who the true zealots are. I find it funny how much democratic dogma goes into "science".

  3. No, it was dishonest for Mikey to go off his meds for this show. He's fortunate that he can afford the care he's getting.

    If his lobby wanted to trot out an insured, suffering the full effects of untreated Parkinsons, they could have found one. But an uninsured sufferer couldn't afford genetic therapies anyhow.

    When you're telling the truth, you're telling the whole truth. You can't pick and choose which truth you're telling.

  4. The fact that Fox testified before the Senate and waited until he wrote a book to tell of his ruse showed that he would do anything to get what he wanted. He admits in the book that it was done to "Show how tortured a person could really be from the illness." If he mislead then, what stops him from doing it now? Some might say but that is the way the disease makes you act. Then why not tell the Senators while testifying or people watching the ad, that he was not taking his medication for that reason?
    In fact he uses the symptoms to call someone else's motives into question. Nobody has answered the purpose for deliberately leaving out the word "Fetal" in front of stem cell research. It sounds like Talent is against stem cell research when it is Embryonic stem cells that are the trouble. When you mislead for political reasons you deserve to be questioned about your sincerity. He knows the difference and the argument and the reasons why some are against using fetal tissue and still he misleads by leaving out the word fetal. He got caught and is hiding behind a disease to deflect criticism. How Democrat of him.

  5. Tom, I love ya, but come on. You should really stop referring to Duckworth as the "legless veteran." That doesn't help us. And I don't think the real you comes across well when you dismiss a war hero like that.

    Similarly, I don't think it's anyone business whether Fox takes his meds or not, or on what schedule. I mean who cares? Since when do we ask people what kind of medication they are on? I think it's well within his rights to testify off his meds. If a Congressman on the panel cared that much, they could have asked.

    And from a political point of view, this kind of obsession is just hurting Republican chances more. Rush Limbaugh's immature behavior - especially his physical impression of Fox - may cost us that seat in Missouri more than any single thing. All this stuff just plays into the stereotype of Republicans as heartless bastards.