Carol Platt Liebau: Crass and Misleading

Monday, October 23, 2006

Crass and Misleading

Here, Michael J. Fox makes a plea for electing Claire McCaskill because she supports stem cell research.

It's up to each viewer to decide whether the ad is an over-the-top example of Fox allowing his illness to be exploited. Dean Barnett, who has some "street cred" to speak about exploitation of illness, has some thoughts that are well worth reading.

But, in any case, let's not fool ourselves that Fox is doing anything more than shilling for a Democratic politician. That's because there's already a stem cell initiative on the Missouri ballot -- so whether one votes for Jim Talent or Claire McCaskill has no impact on what happens with stem cell research in Missouri.

In other words, Fox is really just using his illness as a way to mislead voters into thinking their vote for U.S. senator has a direct impact on stem cell research in Missouri. It doesn't. Ultimately, Fox is just using his illness as another tactic to try to secure the election of a Democratic senator.

Fox's condition is pitiable. But his behavior is appalling.

Update: Isn't this ad an example of Ann Coulter's doctrine of liberal infallibility? She defined the term as follows: "If they [liberals] have a point to make about the 9-11 Commission, about how to fight the war on terrorism, how about sending in somebody we're allowed to respond to? No, no, no, we always have to respond to someone who just had a family member die [i.e. the 9/11 widows]."

The Fox situation is analogous.


Blogger Editor said...

More power to Micheal Fox for excercing his free speech rights. You don't always have to attack the messenger. If you are up to arguing the subject instead.

There is no reason to believe his desire for stem cell research isn't sincere and it is only political because Bush won't allow funding of it on the government level but, will on the corporation level. If there was a moral issue, Bush sure doesn't seem too concerned. He could outlaw it and let the rest of the world surpass the US in medicine.

10:57 AM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

If only we kill enough babies and get enough stem cells we will solve all the world's problems.
The dream of stem cells continues.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I have to constantly correct people
on this subject. They say, "stem cell research," and I say, "what type, embryonic or adult?" VERY FEW people realize that there is a difference and I know that those who push and advocate this, "research" prefer to keep the masses confused on the issue.
Embryonic requires the taking of a life, whereas, adult, does not. I'm glad that stackja1945 realizes that.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Let's just set the record straight. Bush just won't fund embryonic stem cell research. He has not outlawed the reserch by corporatations.

So if some people think the research is murder, Bush does not agree with you. He doesn't make a great deal of sense on the issue. He should either fund it or outlaw it.

GOP has obviously sided on funding the research.

No eight cells in a petri dish are not babies. They would need to be implanted in a womb for pregnancy to occur and this will not happen. THey vast majority will be dumped as medical waste.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

A cursory reading of President Bush's August 2001 national statement on the matter show he is, indeed, "concerned" about the "moral issue."

"I strongly oppose human cloning, as do most Americans. We recoil at the idea of growing human beings for spare body parts, or creating life for our convenience. And while we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention to the moral concerns raised by the new frontier of human embryo stem cell research. Even the most noble ends do not justify any means.

My position on these issues is shaped by deeply held beliefs. I'm a strong supporter of science and technology, and believe they have the potential for incredible good -- to improve lives, to save life, to conquer disease. Research offers hope that millions of our loved ones may be cured of a disease and rid of their suffering. I have friends whose children suffer from juvenile diabetes. Nancy Reagan has written me about President Reagan's struggle with Alzheimer's. My own family has confronted the tragedy of childhood leukemia. And, like all Americans, I have great hope for cures.

I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our Creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your President I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world. And while we're all hopeful about the potential of this research, no one can be certain that the science will live up to the hope it has generated.

Eight years ago, scientists believed fetal tissue research offered great hope for cures and treatments -- yet, the progress to date has not lived up to its initial expectations. Embryonic stem cell research offers both great promise and great peril. So I have decided we must proceed with great care."

1:15 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Embryonic stem cell research doesn't appear very promising from a scientific view point.

Adult stem cell research, however, does.

So Michael J Fox is at best indulging in wishful thinking when he says that the most promising research is being held up.

At worst he and his disease are being exploited to mislead the public as to the promise of embryonic stem cell research.

Incidentally, here in Maryland Ben Cardin voted AGAINST stem cell research of the kind that is actually showing promising results.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

eddy-boy bloviates again,

The messenger is ripe for attack if his message is purposely deceitful, which, as Carol describes, seems to be the case. I never thought that the issue might be already an initiative for which one can cast a vote, but only that McCaskill was a supporter of embryonic stem cell research. So Fox is certainly entitled to express his opinions, but if he is doing so deceitfully, all bets are off.

I'm sure his desire for embryonic stem cell research is sincere. He's a lib, after all, and libs have such an easy time deciding who's worthy and who isn't based on flimsy emotions and such. eddy-boy also chooses to blur the line between what the prez can and can't do without Congressional support. And questioning whether or not it's a moral issue speaks volumes on eddy's lack thereof.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

If I had Parkinson's and the name recognition to help delineate between two people in an election -- one who supports aggressively researching my cure and one who votes to jail the scientists who would do the research -- you bet I'd do it.

And I wouldn't give a good damn about what anyone thought about me either.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol asks, "Update: Isn't this ad an example of Ann Coulter's doctrine of liberal infallibility? "

Since Michael J. Fox recorded similar commercials back in 2004 for Arlen Specter (R-PA), it would appear not. Unfortunately for Jim Talent, the facts behind this ad belie Carol's claim.

9:29 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

one who votes to jail the scientists who would do the research

Quick... find the vote Jim Talent made to do anything of the sort!

11:50 AM  

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