Sunday, October 29, 2006

King’s stand

By J. Kingston Pierce

By now, most folks have heard about the
criticism actor Michael J. Fox received from right-wing radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh for appearing in TV campaign commercials that back Democratic U.S. Senate candidates who support stem-cell research. “He is exaggerating the effects of the disease,” the talk-show host told his listeners earlier this week. “He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act. ... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.” Of course, Limbaugh knows all about taking meds, doesn’t he? And he doesn’t seem to care that he’s been condemned, both in the traditional media and the blogosphere, for attacking one of Middle America’s most admired entertainers, whose Parkinson’s disease is certainly no laughing matter. (Slate’s Timothy Noah contends that Limbaugh’s dumb-as-a-fence-post behavior is deliberate, “a con job.”)

Stephen King’s own unexpected entry into America’s November 7 midterm election fray hasn’t generated nearly the same level of attention. Yet the novelist’s message, e-mailed last Monday by the liberal group, was more overtly political than Fox’s. It began (emphasis King’s):

If I know anything, I know scary. And giving this president and this out-of-control Congress two more years to screw up our future is downright terrifying. Thankfully, this national nightmare is one we can end with--literally--a wake up call.

My friends at Political Action are organizing pre-Halloween phone parties this weekend, Oct. 28th & 29th. We’ll be calling progressive voters in key districts who may not turn out unless they get a friendly reminder or two.

And since it’s almost Halloween, we’ll celebrate with an optional costume contest, some pumpkin carving (I’ll be making a Jack-Abramoff-O’-Lantern) and--of course--plenty of candy. ...

If you’re concerned about the future of this country, this is the time to get involved. The polls are telling us that this November is
our best shot in over a decade to turn things around, and we’ve got to make the most of it.

The note included a link to a Web site where interested people can find out about phone parties within easy driving distance.

Thus far, Limbaugh hasn’t taken the long knives to King. But then, we’re still almost two weeks out from a national election that seems destined to turn on George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq war and Republican sex and corruption scandals, rather than on GOP-preferred issues such as national defense or “family values.” That’s plenty of time yet for Limbaugh to help turn the increasingly desperate Republican smear machine on the author of the new Lisey’s Story.

(Cross-posted at Limbo.)

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