Rushing to Conclusions
October 25, 2006

There are times when I just flipping hate people.

I was watching Michael J. Fox on The Actor's Studio a few months ago. At first I was impressed with how well his meds were working on his Parkinson's ... but it didn't take very long at all before the movement and jerking and shaking became extremely noticeable. And, he couldn't get all the way through the interview without having to stop, go off-stage, take his next round of meds and take a moment to walk and get things back under control again. Later I heard that while he was on an episode of Boston Legal, they had to completely shift the shooting schedule to catch his appearances at just the right moment. He looked completely rigid and I don't know if that was simply the muscle rigidity which builds during Parkinson's or if it was the product of an immense force of will to make the muscles stop tremoring.

Not surprisingly to people at all in the know, Fox (not to be confused with the Fox Broadcasting company) created the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000. Not surprisingly, he's talked frequently about stem cell research.

Not surprisingly, he's campaigning for some Democrats who support stem cell research.

Not surprisingly, Rush Limbaugh, who in my oh-so-humble opinion has absolutely NO right to talk about anyone else's medical condition EVER, spoke out against Fox. Okay ... speaking out against him is one thing. Rush doesn't like stem cell research and thinks it's evil, fine. He can think that. But coming out and saying that he thought Fox was only acting is absolutely reprehensible to me.

Let's just assume that the devastation caused by this disease is a fake. Let's make all those with Parkinson's into whiny little fakers when things start to deteriorate quickly.

Now, of course, Rush has backed off somewhat, however wanting to hold true to the course, he's now accusing Fox of just being a shill for the Democrats.

Right ... cuz the poor Parkinson's dude can't have his own thoughts and beliefs, right?

This, to me, is the worst of Republican party. I'm not saying all Republicans are bad or that they would all do what Rush has done. I'm just saying this type of hot air without facts ... this spout off at the mouth and think later ... is what's gone horribly wrong in the democratic experiment. And, actually, Democrats are susceptible to this as well, don't get me wrong. But in the stories I've heard most recently, it always seems to be Republicans jumping the fastest to the worst conclusions and spouting them as if they are facts.

I wish ... I wish that we could go back to that mythical time where the news was not about ratings and sensationalism. I wish that we would be presented with the facts instead of the "choice" facts and insinuations and opinion misrepresented as fact.

When I was a child ... the first time someone taught us the scientific method ... I was hooked. It seemed like the logical and grown-up way to think and behave. Research, define the problem, hypothesize, experimentation in controlled manner, draw conclusions based on the uncovered facts and observations.

The first time, as a teenager, that I realized that the whole of the adult world did not subscribe to this methodology, I was shocked ... grew ever more cynical ... and began to question adults ever more.

I wish we wouldn't alway rush to the bottom dollar ... to the sensational ... to the easy conclusions. I wish we'd critically examine all the evidence more thoroughly before making our pronouncements public. I know we're only human and sometimes we simply vent or spout off ... but particularly any public persona, be they talk show, news reporter, politician or even celebrity ... public speech from whomever should be more deliberate, researched, thought out.


Posted by Red Monkey at October 25, 2006 11:33 AM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Manic said:

I blame 24 hour news channels for the lack of criticism of the so-called facts. These shows need to show news 24 hours a day, it's no wonder that they sometimes just create news. Ohh America under attack day, ohh China, the evil empire. Iran, the biggest danger? And so on and on and on. Also the regular American isn't thinking about the news, they can have it all the time, so why would you plan on one hour a day to inform yourself about what's going on, they'll see it appear on the bottom of the screen if it's important. This constant attacking of each other by both parties is just horrible. They are ignoring the facts and the figures, they don't make lives better for most Americans. They are only making the people of the US believe stuff which aren't true. The fact is that the American economy is hurting, Iraq is just a way to keep this out of the news. All Americans feel it in their wallet each Friday. They have less money to spend and they need to pay more for their loans. So why is Bush jabbering about terrorism. Easy, because it's not about the economy, duh.

October 25, 2006 11:24 AM


Red said:

Great post ender, I agree with you totally! I am moving to an island with no people, well except you and jodi can visit anytime.

October 25, 2006 11:28 AM


kelley said:

Ugh, Rush Limbaugh. I don't know who his audience is, anyway - probably the scariest group of raving psychos on the planet.

Those comments upset me, too. It was a completely outrageous, insensitive allegation.

October 25, 2006 12:49 PM


Jodi said:

Oh Endy! Every point you hit on, I am nodding.
I have lived by I can not judge any one, even If I have lived through what I speak. FOr we are all unique. We all live differently, so each experience is different. No judgement.
I can dream.......

October 25, 2006 1:08 PM


serenity said:

Great post, and great wider applicability for all of us to think about. Making assumptions about the lives and motives of others without knowing anything about the shoes they walk in is treacherous territory. Interesting that from all people, Rush Limbaugh, who of course in his own life sought pardon and excuse for his painkiller addiction, would then turn around and view someone else suffering a devastating disease in such a manner is not only heartless and ignorant but also goes to show that people are quick to judge others but when it comes to their own lives and suffering, shining the mirror of truth within reveals that suddenly all is interpreted uniquely for them.

Funny how one's political views and desire for power drive them to attitudes and judgments...I have to wonder if he would have had the same harsh words for say, Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Thanks Ender for speaking your mind, having the courage to do so, and for pointing out that judgment and assumptions need to be checked at the door, and the motivations that lie beneath the surface need to be examined and processed and illuminated for the truth that is revealed in them, and in so doing revealing what lives in the hearts of all of us.

October 25, 2006 2:13 PM


mike said:

I've never considered Rush Limbaugh anything but a waste of space and any oxygen he draws into his own lungs would be better used by...well....most anyone else. Maybe he's back into his own little pill popping problem and is even dumber than usual.

Great post!

October 25, 2006 3:04 PM


Leon said:

I was disappointed in Rush for this. Why would he do such a thing? Not everyone is out to gain political mileage.

October 25, 2006 8:06 PM


Pete said:

Did you actually HEAR what Limbaugh said? Of course not. You just heard what the media said he said in a totally take it out of context coverage.

October 25, 2006 10:38 PM


Charles said:

Rush totally crossed a line.

October 26, 2006 8:20 AM


Smash said:

Back To The Future was shit, though. Smashxxx

October 26, 2006 11:33 AM


Andrea said:

My grandfather had Parkinson's disease. He wasn't doing all too well for several years but it was the last one before he died that he rapidly deteriated. He couldn't feed himself because his hands shook so badly plus he was on some kind of medication that made him hallucinate and drastic mood changes. He would be fine one minute and the next he would switch into paranoid mode. It was just horrible.

I think Rush really crossed the line. I think Michael J. Fox's actions are scenere. The disease is hard to have much less know someone with it. I don't think Rush was in any position to make such comments.

October 26, 2006 6:40 PM


Red Monkey said:
Red Monkey says: Wow, I haven't gotten this many comments in a long time -- thanks everyone!
First, Andrea, I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather ... that is just so hard to be around and particularly in someone we love so much.
And to Pete - dude, I think you rushed to some conclusions as well. I did go to Rush's website and look up transcripts, even though I did not link to them. I probably should have ... but I could not bring myself to do it. His statements were not taken out of context. His statements were as inexcusable as some made by the Pope recently and the Muslim cleric in Australia. I stand fast by my statement that these public figures need to THINK and THINK HARD and WELL about what they're saying and what kinds of implications their speech has. Yes, they should speak their minds ... but they better make sure they have all the facts and that their phrasing means precisely what they want it to mean. And Rush Limbaugh knows that. All too often he goes for the easy insult and disguises it as "just plain speech among honest folk." That's crap. It's an excuse to be offensive and then take offense when others disagree with him. He's NOT the only one who does this ... and I think I made it clear that I certainly feel that all sides of the political arena need to freaking STOP taking these easy shots and then demonizing the other side's response.
October 26, 2006 11:20 PM
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