Sandy Rios, formerly of Concerned Women for America and now with the Culture Campaign, appeared on Tuesday’s edition of ”The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss the ads Michael J. Fox has filmed in support of candidates who support stem-cell research.
When was asked about Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments that Fox was “exaggerating the effects of [his Parkinson’s] Disease” and that the movements he exhibits in the commercial are “purely an act,” Rios defended the comments by claiming that Fox has publicly admitted that he stops taking his medication in order to “exaggerate” his symptoms and that Limbaugh mentioned that fact in the course of his remarks.
O’Reilly bought her explanation and suggested that it made Limbaugh’s remarks less offensive because Fox was doing it intentionally to make himself “look more pathetic” – but according to the original transcript provided by Media Matters, Rios was wrong because Limbaugh didn’t mention it until the following day.
RIOS: Yes. So Michael J. Fox has been public that he does exaggerate. He allows his.
O’REILLY: I don’t know if it’s exaggerating, but he uses drama.
RIOS: If you don’t take your medication and you have Parkinson’s, you begin to have these movements.
O’REILLY: Sure. And he uses drama. But if Limbaugh did, and you saw it, you heard it?
RIOS: I heard it, I read the transcript.
O’REILLY: OK. OK. So he did read the portion of Michael J. Fox’s book that said when I want drama, and I testify, don’t take my medicine so I look more pathetic.
It is hard to know which is worse: Rios insisting that by not taking his medication, Fox is somehow “exaggerating” the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease or O’Reilly claiming that Fox does so in an effort to “look more pathetic.”