With the controversy over Michael J. Fox’s commercial for Claire McCaskill, it turns out that a lot of people — both on and off the radio — don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to Parkinson’s Disease. So I decided to do something unorthodox and ask an expert.
Today I talked with Dr. Joel Perlmutter, the neurologist who treated Jack Buck, to get the facts on Parkinson’s Disease and an explanation of why Fox is moving around so much in the commercial (and we did it from a non-partisan point of view). The doctor said that Fox’s movements, which he referred to as “fidgeting and writhing” are absolutely due to the medication he’s taking for the disease, and are a very common side effect of that therapy, not because Fox is over-acting or didn’t take his medication.
We also had a discussion this afternoon on the opposing ad that features Cards pitcher Jeff Suppan, plus Kurt Warner, Patricia Heaton, and Jim Caviezel.
The latter played Jesus in “The Passion Of The Christ” and opens the commercial with a message in Aramaic, because there just aren’t enough political messages targeting the Aramaic-speaking demographic. Made me wonder if the same people behind this campaign are the ones pushing for English-only legislation: “These foreigners have to learn to either speak English or the language of a long-dead civilization if they want to stay here!”
As for Suppan’s participation, some have questioned whether the guy who’s scheduled to pitch Game Four of the World Series (which meteorologists tell me won’t happen until Halloween night) should be appearing in a political ad that will air during the game. It’s a non-issue. Suppan has the right to express his views, just like anyone else, and you have the right to ignore them, just like anyone else.
The contradiction arises when those who are on one side of an issue make a fuss because a celebrity has dared speak their mind for the other side of the issue. You hear, “What does he/she know about this, and why does his/her opinion matter so much?”
I’d have no problem with that line of thinking, if it were consistently applied. If you make that point for those with opposing viewpoints, you also have to stand by it for those with viewpoints you agree with. In other words, if you don’t like Jeff Suppan’s part in the debate (because he’s just an athlete), then you can’t like Sheryl Crow’s part on the other side of the debate (because she’s just a singer).
On the other hand, I don’t care what any celebrity has to say about any political matter, but I do have a unique take on Amendment 2. I don’t believe that it does allow human cloning, as some of its opponents claim, but if it did, that would only make me more in favor of it. I dream of the day thousands of human clones grow up, healthy and strong, and come back to kick the crap out of the people who make all these noisy, negative, obnoxious political ads in the first place.