Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Mightly Wurlitzer

Update 1: Lance Mannion has a good take on this.

Update 2: Kos has the numbers that show the GOP had good reason to fear the Michael Fox ad.

It's always amazing to me and also quite disgusting to see the rapidity with which the traditional media fall into line with Rush Limbaugh's game. Rush Limbaugh's comments about Michael J. Fox were calculated to change the dynamic of the conversation and dialogue about the value of stem cell research and nothing more. The GOP is in serious danger in the upcoming elections and they cannot afford to let Michael J. Fox bring the stem cell issue to the voters in Missouri or anywhere else without responding. The only response they can manage (because the ads are true and accurate regarding Jim Talent’s opposition to stem cell research) is to change the subject. The media seem completely unable to realize that they are being played like a cheap harmonica, once again, by the mighty Wurlitzer.

They’re bound to recognize that Rush’s comments about Fox purposely exaggerating the shaking which stems from his Parkinson's disease were outrageous and ridiculous or that he purposely quit his medications to look sicker was simply a lie. They cannot be so dense that they cannot see what the hidden agenda is. While one shouldn’t doubt Rush's extensive knowledge of drugs, they should seriously question his leap of logic which boils down to… "doesn't everyone start shaking when they stop taking drugs" and the fact that it is not germane to those, like Fox, who suffer from Parkinson's.

Don’t forget to ask yourself another important question and that is why Rush even has to comment on the campaign ads in Missouri. Why? Because that is what Rush is paid to do. His job, which he admittedly does well, is to get this kind of ugly crap into the media and into the dialogue. Change the focus. Set up straw men and knock them down. He does this over and over. Pay attention folks! Can you not remember just a few weeks back when Rush pounced on child molester excuses to blame the House pages for tempting Mark Foley into his pervert shtick. This is what Rush Limbaugh does for a living and he does it all the time.

How is it that these vaunted “journalists” can’t seem to see the larger context around this attack? Do they all assume it is just another example Rush's ignorance. Do they think to themselves…Why is Rush concerned with Missouri? Somehow they are unable to grasp the bigger picture and bring these, at first glance, isolated instances into context with what is going on in the nation today. They should have figured out by now that Rush is a mouth for the GOP spin machine and that anything and everything that spews forth is a calculated piece of propaganda. Why can’t they recognize that the GOP is desperate to maintain control of the Senate? Do they not know that success in maintaining that control is going to be determined by a few races? In both Tennessee and Virginia they’ve fallen back to good old reliable racism, but the Fox ad in Missouri is dangerous in that it is accurate and Jim Talent’s position is clear. There is no other way to try and respond but with a hatchet job on Michael J Fox.

Rush has once again performed as required and the dialogue has been suddenly changed, Fox’s legitimacy and veracity are now considered legitimate to question, it is now OK to ask if someone suffering from Parkinson's disease is justified in making a campaign appeal or whether they are just being used to try and get more votes. Not only is Michael J Fox’s sincerity and desire for stem cell research being impugned but he is being treated as if he should have known better than to insert himself into politics in the first place because this is what happens if you do. Tragically, as Atrios pointed out yesterday, not a word was said by the mouth breathers a couple of years ago when Fox made commercials for Arlen Specter supporting his position on stem cell research. He wasn’t accused of faking his disease or being a dupe then because IOKIYAR.

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