The Very Public Pain of Michael J. Fox

Oct 25, 2006 1:56pm

I would rather not tangle with Rush Limbaugh.  Michael J. Fox just did. It’s been an ongoing issue whether celebrities have a place in the public-policy arena. Mary Tyler Moore practically became the face of diabetes; Brad and Angelina took on poverty in Africa.  I was doing an interview at an environmental group a few years ago, and we were interrupted–Barbra Streisand, they said, was on the phone with a question about climate change.  Our folks have put together a series of pictures on "Stars with Causes."  Take a look HERE if you haven’t seen it. You can get cynical if you like.  Doubtless there are some actors who pick a cause because it will make them look good with the audiences they want.  But Mr. Fox is ill, with Parkinson’s, and he’s become an advocate for funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and that’s gotten into electoral politics–and guess what, it’s a tough business. I have no idea whether Fox’s appearance in those commercials was "purely an act," as Mr. Limbaugh said before  backing off yesterday. (It’s interesting to read what’s posted on Limbaugh’s website, including HERE and HERE.) Sean Hannity, on GMA this morning, said Fox made himself fair game: ""You have a right to speak up, but he also has a right to be criticized."  There’s more HERE.  Fair point?  Please weigh in.

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