The rude and crude radio fool is back and he’s poking fun at a Parkinson sufferer and accusing him of faking illness in order to help Democrats win office. Meet Viagra-smuggler and Oxycontin-addicted and mudslinger-against-the-disabled, Rush Limbaugh. Here’s his mugshot when he was arrested on fraud charges:

The Oxymoron!

On October 23, 2006, Rush Limbaugh said this on his national radio program:

LIMBAUGH: Now, this is Michael J. Fox. He’s got Parkinson’s disease. And in this commercial, he is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He is moving all The Oxymoron!
around and shaking. And it’s purely an act. This is the only time I
have ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the
disease he has.

I know he’s got it and he’s raising money for
it, but when I’ve seen him in public, I’ve never seen him betray any of
the symptoms. But this commercial, he — he’s just all over the place.
He can barely control himself. He can control himself enough to stay in
the frame of the picture, and he can control himself enough to keep his
eyes right on the lens, the teleprompter. But his head and shoulders
are moving all over the place, and he is acting like his disease is
deteriorating because Jim Talent opposes research that would help him,
Michael J. Fox, get cured.

Michael J. Fox isn’t playing politics with his disease.
He isn’t a good enough actor to fake the shaking. It’s interesting that
the shaking that offends Limbaugh so is actually a side-effect of the
Parkinson medication Fox is required to take every day. Without the
medication, Parkinson sufferers become quiet and immobile and,
ultimately, comatose.

LIMBAUGH: All right. Now, people are telling me that they
have seen Michael J. Fox in interviews and he does appear the same way
in the interviews as he does in this commercial for Claire McCaskill.
All right, then, I stand corrected. I have never seen — I’ve seen him
on Boston Legal,
I’ve seen him on a number of stand-up appearances, I’ve never seen the
evidence that he’s got — I know he’s got it. It’s pitiable that he has
the disease. It’s a debilitating disease, and I understand that fully.
Now, just stick with me on this.

It is fascinating to me when drug addicts play doctors and try to
diagnose illness from the sick perspective of their own broken minds:

LIMBAUGH: All I’m saying is that I’ve never seen him the way he appears in this commercial for Claire McCaskill. So
I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong, and I will apologize to
Michael J. Fox if I am wrong in characterizing his behavior on this
commercial as an act, especially since people are telling me they have
seen him this way on other interviews and in other television

Not quite able to leave well enough alone, Limbaugh
fell back into the habit of the addict to persuade and to poke away any
personal responsibility for mistakes made and to once again accuse the

LIMBAUGH: So Mr. Fox is using his illness as another tactic
to try to secure the election of a Democrat [sic] senator by implying
that with her election, that we’ll be on the road to stem cell research
her opponent opposes, and people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease,
as he does, will have a cure. Now, I just — you know, it’s a negative

In 2004 Michael J. Fox campaigned for a Republican as he discussed in an interview with Katie Couric on October 25, 2006:

“Would you support a Republican candidate?” Couric asked.
“I have,” Fox replied. “I’ve campaigned for Arlen Specter,” describing
the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania as a “fantastic champion of
stem-cell research.”

Limbaugh never objected to Fox’s support of Specter.
When one media star mocks the verified disease of another by using
innuendo and rumor — and when that attack is done on a vicious
personal level in the name of a disingenuous political cause — we
begin to see just how severe the erosion between real people and the
mediamongers has become and how much worse we all are for being stuck
in that crevasse of mistrust.



  1. The fun fall days of October and all of their surprises always make this time of year fun, as long as it doesn’t get too personal.
    I’ve been trying to avoid all the negative aspects of political matters as much as I can in these days before the election. It’s hard to do. Across the state line and in our media market, things are pretty crazy. I’m glad I don’t live there — all of the candidates in both major parties want to destroy everything that is good and sacred in America!
    Or, at least that’s the impression of ads and talk.
    But, I love the “sport” of politic as much as some people love watching the World Series, so Nov. 7th, I’ll be tuned in watching the election results on the flat panel with a six pack of beer wishing that Dan Rather was on making the types of comments he’s famous for making.
    I already know who I’m voting for in the election.
    Even if I find out my candidates are involved in all sorts of crazy things — unless it involves tax money being used in corrupt ways — I’m not going to change my vote.
    I suspect most people are like that.
    It’s too bad people in the political arena don’t just stick to the issues and stay away from anything that verges on the personal.
    Negative ads don’t build up our American community. Same goes for personal attacks — whether on the radio, in letters to the editor, on blogs, political ads, or wherever else. It just makes most people want to avoid the whole political process.
    We should stick to debating the issues, instead of slinging mud at each other.
    It’s too bad we couldn’t debate the merits of stem cells in all of their various forms, instead of scrutinizing what drugs someone may or may not be taking for their various diseases.

  2. I almost mentioned Harold Ford, Jr. in my comment.
    This is a case where a negative ad missed its intended target and came back to damage its maker.
    From EURweb:

    “It is a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African American men and white women,” said Hilary Shelton, head of the Washington office of the NAACP, according to the Los Angeles Times.
    Shelton said the ad contradicted the spirit of remarks delivered at last year’s NAACP convention by the Republican National Committee chairman, Ken Mehlman, in which he criticized his party’s past efforts to “benefit politically from racial polarization.” He was referring to the party’s so-called Southern strategy of energizing white voters with race-baiting messages about integration and civil rights.
    “I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong,”
    Even Ford’s Republican opponent, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, called the spot “distasteful” Tuesday, telling MSNBC, “I think it ought to come down.” Former Republican Senator Bill Cohen criticized it in an interview on CNN as “a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment.”

    The negative ad doesn’t hurt Harold Ford, and in fact probably helps him. I heard him on Shawn Hannity’s radio show yesterday and he sounded reasonable and decent. I’ve also watched him on Imus’ radio show on previous occasions.
    The negative ad gives Ford free publicity worth more than anything he could have done with his own political advertising.
    And, we should stop focusing on people’s private lives as much as we do — unless it is interfering with their duties as public servants or they are stealing tax money.
    Most guys wouldn’t pass up going to a Superbowl party with Playmates. It isn’t a big deal to me and I assume most people. I bet that party was as wild as going to Hooters to get some chicken wings and a beer after work.

  3. For readers who don’t have MSNBC, I watched Imus’ radio show on television. 🙂
    I like Harold Ford, Jr. from what I’ve seen of him.
    Check out Harold Ford’s “Church Pew” ad.
    Also, see Harold Ford’s “Airplane” ad where he says there’s “nothing more important than our security.”
    In my congressional district, the kinds of things Harold Ford supports would have him branded as a “right wing conservative.”
    It’s too bad the Democrats can’t have Presidential candidates who are like Harold Ford, Jr.

  4. Chris —
    Here’s what Joe Conason said about the Anti-Ford Ad today:

    The case in point today, of course, is the obnoxious television attack ad that recently targeted Rep. Harold Ford Jr., the Democratic Senate nominee in Tennessee, who’s bidding to make history as the first black senator from below the Mason-Dixon line since Reconstruction. That Republican National Committee-sponsored commercial features an apparently unclad blonde actress who says she met Ford at “the Playboy party” and ends with her beckoning to him while she winks and coos, “Harold … call me.”
    How bad is it? Bad enough to provoke “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, no proponent of political correctness, to refer to the “Mehlman cesspool” at the RNC.
    Taken off the air in most of the state’s markets by now, that offensive ad achieved saturation in the Tennessee electorate with heavy rotation and extensive news coverage. A literally naked attempt to inflame white bigotry about interracial relationships and white fears of black male sexuality, the anti-Ford ad was certainly the most blatantly racial political spot since the infamous “Willie Horton” episode of 1988.

  5. Oh, and Chris, I love watching Imus, too. He’s more fun on TV than on the radio. He’s been a HUGE supporter of Harold Ford, Jr. from the start. He also supports Rick Santorum — for some strange reason.

  6. Speaking of Santorum… have you heard about the concentrated effort of some liberal bloggers to “Google Snipe” 50 Republican candidates so the most awful search return on the candidate’s name shoots up in the top spot in a search return?
    Here’s the top link for a Google search on “Santorum” —
    Negative is effective, though.

  7. Right, Chris!
    It’s a pretty ingenious plan — that took a lot of time and foresight to implement — to manipulate voters and to skew Google to one side of the aisle.

  8. Here’s the explanation of of “Google-Bombing” the election:

    According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number one way that voters use the Internet for political action is to search for information on candidates. During the final two weeks of the election, it is reasonable to expect that as many as twenty million voters will be searching for information on candidates online. During this key time, this project will help push the most negative article written by a non-partisan media source on all key Republican candidates to the forefront of any search for that candidate. The negative article will appear both high on all Google searches for the candidates, and as an advertisement that appears whenever anyone searches for that candidate. By giving this article two prominent locations on Google searches for the candidate, and because it will come from a non-partisan source, it will increase the likelihood that the article will be seen and trusted by those searching for information on the candidate.

  9. Interesting use of the internet.
    I wonder if Google will ever try to develop a way to “sandbox” these types of efforts before people stop trusting search engine results?
    I can predict that some fringe group might try to do this in the future to draw attention to their candidates who get little or no attention. A write-in candidate might benefit from this kind of campaign.
    With enough money and dedicated followers, I could see an evangelical campaign of a similiar type getting started. Certain issues could be influenced … searching for certain keywords could get people routed all over the place depending on which group was more committed to “playing” the system.
    Or, what if a government decides to get into the action to influence American or world opinion?
    Unlimited resources could mean unlimited influencing of search engine results. Plus the government has a built in advantage in this system. Dot gov domains usually have a 10 Page Rank, so a link for a government site counts for a lot more than a standard civilian link.
    What if Senators and Representatives start playing games with the system using their government computers — then blame rogue staff members when they get caught? Firing someone who does that just means they move over to a nice job on K Street.
    Remember elected officials were caught playing with Wikipedia not too long ago.

  10. Hi Chris —
    The reason the Google campaign is so successful is because established websites like Dailykos and are part of the network to help push the agenda. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging new websites and blog entries to pump up — or put down — another candidate and that’s what allllll those links are doing: Tipping the balance by using the system to perpetuate a certain POV. The GOP are quite good at doing this on the ground. Dems seem better at doing it cyberkinetically. The Google content isn’t Spam. It’s al part of the expected noise right before an election.
    Fringe groups and write-in campaigns would be sandboxed because they don’t have history or the links behind them. In those cases the system alarms would work and block the faked effort to affect the search returns.
    Most of the senate Republicans I checked this morning have the first spot in the Google return and it is the homepage for their elected office! So, right there, you see the advantage of a .GOV URL in action and importance.
    This is all about manipulation of perception and setting importance and you’re right they’ll do anything in their power to swing the momentum –- the pendulum, if you will –- their way… even if for a moment or two.

  11. Chris —
    We hope it all evens out in the end. Did you hear the NPR interview with Karl Rove? Scary stuff. Did you know there’s a difference between “Math” and “The Math” — it sounds like we’re in for another vote-counting, vote-denying problem again… my guess it will happen in two states: Virginia and Tennessee. Those two Senate races are the hotspots and there will be lots of funny business in getting out the vote and then getting the vote counted.

  12. Hi David,
    I read a case study about a site that got the number one position for a while by internal linking within one website. Pretty standard stuff, to quote Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.
    It was pushed off the top spot with others discovered it.
    From Deconstructing Google Bombs:

    The “Jew” Google bomb began shortly after the discovery, in March 2004, that a search for the word “Jew” in Google would yield an anti–Semitic Web site,, as the number one search result. Interestingly, there is no indication in the data that became the number one ranked return other than by the internal linking structure within their site. That is, they achieved this position entirely by themselves. Steven Weinstock, a New York real estate agent, was the first to discover that searching the word “Jew” returned the site in the number one position (Becker, 2004).
    Two distinct movements resulted from this discovery. Weinstock started an online petition to remove from the Google search results. He established, Web site where he was able to very quickly collect signatures in support of removing from Google’s search results. Google resisted this effort and finally wrote a letter explaining their rationale. The online letter is listed in the sponsored links above the search results for the term “Jew.” In the letter, titled “Offensive Search Results” (see, Google explains that “views expressed by the sites in your results are not in any way endorsed by Google” and that the results for the term “Jew,” although offensive, are the objective results of the search (Google, 2004).

  13. There are domains with “urb” as a keyword. “” is #1 on the Google search list right now.
    I wonder if consistent internal linking to the “urb” reference page would make a difference in search engine results for that term in relation to this page?

  14. Hi Chris!
    Wow, that’s a keen story! I didn’t think the internal linking was popular any longer. Didn’t Google change the way it indexes pages and ranks them not too long ago?
    I know a lot of webmasters were furious that their Page Rank dropped when masses of raw links were no longer as valuable as links from websites that were established for a longer period of time. “Mature links” –- as I understand it –- indicate longevity and authenticity: The links vouch for each other.
    Internal linking is incestuous and I don’t think it does much good now.
    I still know of new websites that use hundreds of keywords like “fruit, plums, delicious” over and over again on their front page hiding the text by making it the same color as the background. That trick is definitely not helpful now and in some cases it will immediately get you banned by the search engines.

  15. But I do love the idea of linking “URB” and even “Urban Semiotic” back to this site, Chris! Let’s forge a 1,000 mature links to make it so!

Comments are closed.