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Limbaugh, Fox, and Civil Discourse

1. Watch Michael J. Fox's campaign ad for Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill.

2. Watch Rush Limbaugh's critique of the ad (shown the first two and a half minutes of this Keith Olbermann piece).

3. Watch Katie Couric's interview with Fox (transcript here).

Now, having watched these videos, if you don't conclude that Michael J. Fox is conducting himself with extraordinary civility, dignity, and grace under pressure that is difficult to imagine, well, you and I see the world through very different lenses.

This, for me, was the money quote from Katie Couric's interview with Fox:

I want to make that point too, that people that are against stem cell research, embryonic or otherwise, whatever, I couldn't respect them more and they prayed on it and they've thought about and they can't get their head around it or their heart around it, then great, fantastic. I admire them and I respect them. All I have to say to them respectfully, if there was a majority that all prayfully and thoughtfully and emotionally and intellectually and in every other way, weighed this and came on the other side, and said 'No, I think this is the right thing to do,' to very carefully tread these waters, to save these lives, then you have to respect that too. And I don't resort to name-calling or inflammatory language or, mocking, or whatever you need to do to just have a discussion about it.
What a model for us all moving forward.

Interestingly, I thought about Fox's point here and edited out some things I had written about Rush Limbaugh in the first draft of this entry. Maybe civilizing the debate starts with a single person. Besides, I don't think I need to make a specific comment about Limbaugh -- whatever one thinks of him, he generally speaks for himself.


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