Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Michael J. Fox Ad for Democratic Senate Candidate in Missouri Sparks Controversy

Watch the commercial HERE.

A TV ad in support of Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill in which actor Michael J. Fox is shown visibly wracked by tremors from his Parkinson's disease is causing talk and some controversy. In the ad, Fox, who's battled Parkinson's for more than a decade, promotes McCaskill's support for embryonic stem cell research, which some researchers believe holds promise for the treatment of many diseases, including Parkinson's.

In the ad, Fox also talks about the opposition of McCaskill's opponent, incumbent Republican Senator Jim Talent, to embryonic stem cell research. Fox charges, "Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope." Talent believes the research is unethical because it destroys days-old human embryos.

On Monday (October 23rd), conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh was among those critical of the ad, which debuted prominently during Game 1 of the World Series on Saturday and will continue airing statewide this week. Limbaugh claimed that Fox was, quote, "either off his medication or acting," unquote, to make his tremors appear worse, and called the ad "exploitative." A McCaskill spokesperson said Fox looked the same as he did at a fundraiser for them last month, and said, "It's unfortunate that anyone would attack someone who's trying to speak out for lifesaving cures."

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