RUSH: CNN, they’re doing their bit tonight with the Michael J. Fox flap. And they’re running promos every ten minutes. Every ten minutes. You know if I didn’t know better I think I’d become a movie star. I’d think I’m Tom Cruise, they’re talking about me so damn much — and, of course, the promo includes this video of me that totally misinterprets, they misinterpret, purposely, what I did and said about Michael J. Fox in that ad, and I want to say again: We have sent transcripts to CNN. We have talked to them personally. We’ve explained all that and what it was, and it doesn’t matter. You know, many of you, and I understand this, many of you have written me, ‘Why don’t you go on television? Why don’t you answer some of this? Why don’t you go out beyond your audience?’
Folks, believe me. I’m one person who can’t do this. They’ve all asked. There is a line a mile long of television shows asking me to do this. But, for crying out loud, if even after talking to us and getting transcripts they insist on getting it wrong, what’s the point of taping an interview that they could then edit or what’s the point of going on live when they have no interest in getting it right in the first place, and who knows what they’ll run after I finish? I am not going to give them ammo, and I’m not going to go out and build up their ratings simply by showing up and allowing them to promote it all over the place.
Case in point: Katie Couric, as I’ve explained now twice, e-mailed me and said she was going to do a feature on an interview with Michael J. Fox and wanted my thoughts. I sat down and composed five or six paragraphs which I read to you today. We’ve posted them on the website. She was on Larry King Live last night as though she never read what I said, and what I sent her was not used at all in her interview with Michael J. Fox. One little line! But the thrust and the whole point that I have been making about all this was totally ignored. So even when I participate, even when I tell them, communicate with them what happened here and what I said and try to get on to the substance.
That’s the thing they are not interested in is the substance of the issue! They are continually interested in parading victims, sympathetic figures, under the notion you can’t criticize them. It’s like Max Cleland. I just saw him on television. Max Cleland lost limbs in Vietnam. As such, they parade him during the 2004 campaign as somebody who’s unassailable. Whatever he says about politics, you can’t criticize it! ‘How dare you! Do you know what he did for his country? How dare you criticize Max Cleland?’ That’s the point. I don’t play the game anymore. I am not going to follow that script. It’s time this came to a screeching halt.
This ends up misleading the American people, flat-out lies to the American people appear in these ads offered by these people. And when you can’t criticize them in the political arena as the Democrats hope, sorry, I’m going to criticize what people say in the political arena, particularly if they’re being used to evoke sympathy from people precisely to make them unassailable and above criticism. So appearing on these programs will only benefit them. I’ve learned my lesson on this. I reach a larger audience here than all of those shows combined anyway, when you get down to it.
“Yeah, Rush, but that’s a different group of people.” Those people that you’re talking about hate my guts. I’m not going to change anybody’s mind out there. I’m not going to change their minds. That’s not something that could happen. I am SOB #1 in America or Bush is. I wear the label proudly, but it’s years and years of experience, ladies and gentlemen, that have taught me that dealing with this on their turf doesn’t end up the way people think it will, because there’s a presumption of fairness. There hasn’t been any fairness about this from the get-go. Why is it that everybody assumes they will be fair when I show up and after I leave?
RUSH: During the break, ladies and gentlemen, I spoke to my chief of staff, who once again this morning sent over transcripts and actually had phone calls with producers and executive producers at CNN about the Anderson Cooper piece that’s coming tonight, and when I tell you this story, I think you’ll understand better what I mean. We sent over all of the transcripts and all of the explanations, and after telling them all that, the exec producer said to the chief of staff, “Well, why didn’t he just come on?” He said, “Because you’re about 23rd in line here, and we haven’t done any, and if we start doing you we make all the others mad. We aren’t doing any of these. That’s why we’re telling you what happened.”
The guy said, “Well, why don’t you just come on and correct the record?” To which chief of staff said, “Isn’t that the role of journalism, and aren’t you guys journalists?” And when I heard this, my reaction was, “who is it that uncorrected the record? Who is it that’s getting the record wrong?” I have said what I have said. I have said it on record behind this microphone. Why is it that what I say on my program doesn’t count? How come if I only go to their network shows does what I say count? “Why don’t you come on and correct the record?” Who got it wrong in the first place? Who continues to get it wrong on purpose? CNN, MSNBC, and all of these other networks that are going wall-to-wall with this.
Folks, all they want is for me to come on. They don’t care about getting this right, otherwise they would. They’ve had two weeks. They don’t care about getting the real thrust of what I was saying. They want this to be about competing personalities, with me of course being the guy wearing the black hat, and they think they can effect that with an appearance by me on their networks or what have you. Why don’t I come on and correct the record? The fact of the matter is, in this circumstance, who is the record? I am the record. They are telling me that they are the record, what they say — and this is a great lesson because this is true.
What they say somebody said, what they say somebody did becomes the record, and then the accused, the suspect, me, I have to go on and correct the record when I am the record in this case. What I did and what I said, by definition, is the is record. I am also the record because I am me. This program is the record. This is the radio talk show of record. They talk about the New York Times being the newspaper of record. Well, this is the talk show of record. Now they got me in a rowboat with Bush, rowing in unison at speed. They’re all worried about this interview that happened. Bush was revved up. So there you have it. I have to appear with them on their stupid little networks to correct the record when I am the record. It’s pointless, folks, and this, because of years of experience guided by intelligence, I understand.
RUSH: All right, now let me tell you what I just saw during the EIB Extreme Obscene Profit Break Time-Out. I was over there watching PMSNBC, and they have an info babe on the ground in Maryland, and they were doing a report on the Senate race between Benjamin Cardin and Michael Steele. The focus of the point was that Michael J. Fox was in town campaigning for Benjamin Cardin. Okay, fine and dandy, except for one thing. Michael J. Fox ran ads all over the country for stem cell research. Benjamin Cardin voted against stem cell research in the United States Congress. (Gasping.) Yet there is Michael J. Fox doing commercials for Benjamin Cardin, giving his support. He’s in town campaigning on the basis of stem cell research.
Of the two candidates in that Senate race, only one of them has voted for stem cell research, and that’s Michael Steele, and yet Michael Fox is in town doing appearances for the Democrat, who voted against stem cell research. Now, I am not supposed to say this. I’m not supposed to say this because Mr. Fox has Parkinson’s disease, but we’re not supposed to question his motives because, ‘Isn’t he entitled to want to do anything to help find a cure?’ Yes, he is. He’s entitled to mislead people. He’s entitled to have hope in things that show no promise. He’s entitled to all of that. But he doesn’t get away without having it commented upon, at least on this program, as I have just done — and I’ve been doing it for two weeks. I think, frankly, one of the reasons they haven’t dropped it is because I haven’t, bottom line. Audio sound bite time. Harold Ford last night was on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes. Sean Hannity said, ‘Can you explain to me what the joke was supposed to be that John Kerry was trying to tell? I don’t get the joke.’
FORD: Look, we forgive Rush Limbaugh for what he did to Michael J. Fox.
HANNITY: This isn’t about Rush.
FORD: When Vice President Cheney mistakenly shot his friend while they were out hunting, he said he was sorry, didn’t mean to do it. I believed him. If John Kerry says that it was an awful attempt at a joke, I take him at his word.
RUSH: How forgiving is Harold Ford. He forgives Cheney for mistakenly shooting his friend in the face. (I don’t know if that was an accident. The guy was a lawyer. Just kidding!) We forgive Rush? Who’s forgiven me? Harold Ford forgave me? It’s the first I heard of that. Harold Ford forgave me for what I ‘did’ to Michael J. Fox. What did I ‘did’ to Michael J. Fox? I ‘did him wrong’ is exactly right. You know how I did him wrong? I dared to criticize what he was saying. I dared to criticize what Mr. Fox was saying, because you’re not supposed to do that. It’s not fair. Jim Talent was also on the program last night, and Alan Colmes said to Talent, ‘Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh that Michael J. Fox was faking his symptoms for the sake of the commercial?’
Now, I sent Hannity a note last night when I was watching this: “Would you please tell Alan…” because I like Alan, and I’ve been on that show a number of times. I like Alan Colmes, and I think he’s in a tough spot, by the way. The liberals don’t like him because they don’t think he’s tough enough. But I asked Hannity to tell him I was disappointed, because he ought to know I didn’t accuse Fox of “faking” anything, and he wrote back, and he said, “I’m sorry, you’re right.” (Let me find the note. I don’t want to paraphrase this.) I got a note from Alan, and it says, “What I should have said is that Rush ‘raised suspicion’ that Michael J. Fox was faking.”
Well, that’s a John Kerry kind of distinction. “Rush raised suspicion that Michael J. Fox was faking it”? How many times do we have to repeat what I said? I said, “He was EITHER off his meds OR he was acting.” He is an actor. I said, “I will apologize if somebody tells me I’m wrong.” About two days later Michael J. Fox said, “I was overmedicated.” I had read his book in which he says he doesn’t take his medication on occasion. To me, that means he manipulates his medication, when he admits that he doesn’t take it sometimes.
Then he came out and said, “I was overmedicated.” That’s when I apologized. I apologized I said it was under-medicated; he says it’s overmedicated. He was overmedicated. At no time did I say he was faking it. I never, ever used the word. Now, see, that’s an example. I am the record, and yet the record has been distorted, yet I’m supposed to go on these TV shows and correct the record when I am the record. They have distorted the record on purpose. At any rate, here’s the Talent answer to the question: “Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh that Michael J. Fox was faking his symptoms for the sake of the commercial?” And this is a good answer from Senator Talent.
TALENT: I have no idea. I don’t speculate as to people’s motives. My gosh, I mean, there’s enough flying back and forth in Missouri without doing that. I think the commercial was over the top, you know, and it’s pretty clear I think that he wasn’t informed about what’s really happening in Missouri. I don’t know what his motives were. This is a question really of whether you believe that human cloning is something that’s acceptable or not, and I’m not for it. And I’ve strongly supported medical research as well as various kinds of stem cell research.
RUSH: And let’s go back to Larry King Alive last night, because Katie Couric appeared. We played this earlier in the program, but we may as well stay in the moment, as they say, since I am the record on this. Larry King says to Katie Couric, “Were you shocked at what Limbaugh did and said?”
COURIC: I think that it was thoughtless. I think Rush Limbaugh himself would concede that, and I think that it was based on misinformation about Parkinson’s. I heard many conservative commentators making statements that Michael J. Fox had somehow manipulated his medication or was acting or made sure he did that when his symptoms were heightened. And I think most scientists and medical experts who really understand Parkinson’s would be the first to tell you that just isn’t the case.
RUSH: Now, I always admire people who claim to know what’s in my mind as Katie just did. I think that it was thoughtless. I think Rush Limbaugh himself would concede that. She asked me before her interview with Michael J. Fox if I would send her some things that she could use, and I didn’t tell her that I thought what I had done was thoughtless, and we have posted my answer to her here on RushLimbaugh.com. I’m going to go through it again since you just heard what she said and you might have seen… Well, you probably didn’t see the interview that she did with Michael J. Fox, but she also aired the video that everybody is using that distorts purposefully what I was trying to illustrate here. Dear Katie…
“I believe Democrats have a long history of using victims of various things as POLITICAL spokespeople because they believe they are untouchable, unassailable. They are immune from criticism. But when anyone enters the POLITICAL arena of ideas they forfeit the right of immunity and can be challenged on their participation and message. I have not met Mr. Fox, I do not know him. I have admired his work in film and TV and his appearances on Letterman were howlers. I have nothing personal against him. But I believe his implication that only Democrats want to cure disease(s) is irresponsible (as I believed about John Edwards assuring voters that Christopher Reeve would walk if only John Kerry were elected). I think this is ultimately cruel and gives people who suffer these terrible afflictions false hope.”
Do I sound “thoughtless” here?
“As of now there is NO EVIDENCE that embryonic stem cells even hold promise, while other approaches, such as adult stem cells, already have yielded results. Michael’s TV spots mislead and misinform on this. (You might ask him about the gene therapy research at a Chicago hospital which has produced encouraging results on Parkinson’s patients. A virus is inserted in the gene, which is then inserted in the brain. The Michael J. Fox Foundations has committed $1.9 million to further research on this…story from earlier this month.) I did NOT mock or make fun of Mr. Fox. I have seen him many times on TV but never have I seen him as he appears in the ads. I read from his own book that he will not take his medications before certain appearances (Senate, 1999) in order to illustrate the ravages of Parkinson’s, which I understand and applaud,” by the way.
“So the concept of manipulating meds has been stated by Mr. Fox, which is what caused me to question his appearance in his ads.” Yet she said here: “I think most scientists and medical experts who really understand Parkinson’s would be to tell you that manipulating medication just isn’t the case.” Well, I guess we’re to ignore what Michael J. Fox wrote in his own book. Anyway, I concluded by saying… ” He is stumping for Democrats, in the political arena, and is therefore open to analysis and criticism as we all are. His suffering is NOT fair game…” Does that sound “thoughtless,” by the way? I think it sounds thoughtful. “His suffering is NOT fair game and I am sorry if people drew that conclusion about my comments, but I believe this happens precisely because NO criticism of victims is ever allowed, at all, which as I say is the Democrat Party strategy in putting them forward.”
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