Monday, October 30, 2006

Ignore Celebrities When They Speak On Politics or Morality

Remember last week, how actor-turned-poster-boy-for-human-embryo-harvesting Michael J.Fox injected himself into Missouri politics by making a political ad exploiting his Parkinson's disease in favor of a Missouri candidate and ballot initiative? Rush Limbaugh rather hamhandedly took Fox to task for the ad, and Limbaugh and other critics were in turn denounced for mocking Fox's disease.

Well, first it came out that Fox has admitted that he has gone off his medication when he has testified before congressional committees and the like in favor of embryonic stem-cell research. So apparently Mr. Fox isn't above exploiting his illness when it suits his causes.

But Sunday, when appearing on "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, he admitted that he hasn't even read the initiative at the heart of the controversy. He said:
And so I have to qualify it by saying I'm not qualified to speak on the page-to-page content of the initiative. Although, I am quite sure that I'll agree with it in spirit, I don't know, I— On full disclosure, I haven't read it, and that's why I didn't put myself up for it distinctly.

He hasn't read it, but he's sure that he'll "agree with it in spirit." Well, thank you very much for that expert guidance, Mr. Back-To-The-Future.

He then goes on to explain how he's "really sincere" about how he feels about this issue, and how he's "prayed over" this, etc. I've provided his post-admittance-of ignorance remarks here, with some interpolated remarks in italics:
But I've made this point before, and I really am sincere in it, in spite of my ignorance, that anybody who's prayed on this, and thought about it, and really considered it and can't get their mind around or their heart around the idea of embryonic stem cell research, I'd go to war for your right to believe that. And you're right to feel that. Because it's really all just about our feelings. After all, that's all I'm going with here. I respect it. I truly do. Because I'm just that kind of guy.

My point is, and our point as a community, is we have a very good and supportable conclusion based on hype, emotionalism, and misplaced sympathy, that a vast majority of people in this country are in favor of science as described by journalists and pundits who are even less knowledgeable than I, playing a leading role in making changes in the future hey, Back To The Future! and believe in embryonic stem cell research. I really, really, believe in it. Can't you feel my sincerity?.

Michael J. Fox does suffer from a terrible disease, and he should have our sympathy for that. But that sympathy should not make him invulnerable to criticism for exploiting his illness or allowing it to be exploited for political purposes. And when he intrudes himself into a poitiical debate about which he is manifestly and admittedly ignorant, he reveals himself to be either a dupe, an idiot, or both.

Seriously, when are we going to stop looking to actors and rock stars for guidance on moral or political issues?