Michael J. Fox delivered a humble and eloquent rebuttal to Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks, and called out Limbaugh’s corporate sponsored bully pulpit enablers.
Here is the video from CNN:
Piers Morgan Tonight guest host Donny Deutsch asked Fox about Rush Limbaugh’s previous comments about him faking his Parkinson’s and his recent attack on Sandra Fluke. The actor turned activist dismissed Limbaugh’s attacks on him, but had this to say about Fluke, “But the thing with Sandra Fluke, I am husband to a wife and a father to daughters, and a son to a mother, and a brother to sisters, and that was really offensive… I can yell and scream and wave my arms, ironically, or whatever about what he said, but let the free market decide, and all the things. I love there to be voices out there that I don’t agree with. I love people to say vile offensive things, because then I know who they are, and as a voter I know they are, and as a consumer, I know who they are, and then they have identified themselves, and all things being equal, the market will balance that out.”
Fox then contrasted Limbaugh with Bill Maher, “You know there’s this talk about Bill Maher. The difference with Bill Maher is that he is on HBO, and he doesn’t have advertisers. He was once in the public sector and made statements and advertisers bailed on him, and he was relegated to cable. So now, I find it much less egregious in a way, not the content of what he says, it may be offensive, but it’s a different thing than this giant corporate supported bully pulpit that this man has, and the way again, he did the same thing with Sandra Fluke that he did with me, but as I said more egregious I think with Sandra Fluke, because here was a private citizen expressing an opinion that she has a right to express that was sought out by people we’ve elected to represent the point of view the public, and she was knocked down brutally.”
Michael J. Fox has the unique ability to know understand what it is like to some degree to be attacked by Rush Limbaugh for being a minority. I thought Mr. Fox showed a great deal of sensitivity towards what Sandra Fluke is going through, and he was right that Limbaugh’s comments should be offensive to every man, because every man no matter what their place in life came from a woman. Fox was also correct that what Limbaugh did to Sandra Fluke was much, much worse than anything he has ever done to a person in the public eye.
Rush Limbaugh tried to ruin the name and reputation of a private citizen who was doing nothing more than offering her solicited opinion. Rush Limbaugh didn’t like her thoughts, so he attempted to humiliate and dehumanize her in the ugliest and most sexist way possible. Michael J. Fox has been in the public eye since the early 1980s. He can handle whatever Rush Limbaugh throws at him. It comes with the territory, but Sandra Fluke could never have anticipated that simply voicing her opinion would lead to the sort of gender based attacks against her that should horrify any 21st Century man or woman.
Bill Maher may be a caveman when it comes to his attitudes towards women, although I tend to see him as the boy who grew up but never left high school, but there is a difference between Maher being offensive on pay television, and corporate America funneling hundreds of millions of dollars per year into Rush Limbaugh’s public airwaves hate dissemination machine. People choose to subscribe to a pay channel in order to watch Maher, but Limbaugh’s public broadcast reaches millions of Americans whether they want to hear him or not.
The right to free speech allows Rush Limbaugh to attack Sandra Fluke, and that same right allows the American people to reject Limbaugh and boycott his sponsors. Rush Limbaugh is paying for his irresponsible use of his First Amendment rights, and Michael J. Fox was right to call out the corporate sponsored bully pulpit that has enabled Limbaugh to pollute our public airwaves with sexism, racism, and hate.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association