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Media Matters has the story. Lauer, in a segment with Laura Ingraham, says El Rushbo was just saying what the rest of us were thinking.
LAUER: And you brought up Michael J. Fox. Let me just ask you: You know, Rush Limbaugh started a lot of controversy when he said perhaps Michael J. Fox was exaggerating or faking these effects of Parkinson's disease in that ad promoting stem cell research. Didn't Rush Limbaugh just say what a lot of people were privately thinking?

Here's the full exchange:
LAUER: And you brought up Michael J. Fox. Let me just ask you: You know, Rush Limbaugh started a lot of controversy when he said perhaps Michael J. Fox was exaggerating or faking these effects of Parkinson's disease in that ad promoting stem cell research. Didn't Rush Limbaugh just say what a lot of people were privately thinking?

INGRAHAM: Well, Michael J. Fox himself, I think, had written that when he testified before Congress, he decided to go off his medication. But this is not about Limbaugh, it's not about Fox. It's about an amendment that claims to ban cloning, Matt, and instead it constitutionalizes the right to clone for the destruction of those embryos that are in the lab.

LAUER: And Sue --

INGRAHAM: That's the fact. It's not about Limbaugh, and the media loves to make it about Limbaugh and Fox. That's not what it's about.

LAUER: But also, Susan, last word. If Michael Fox goes out there politically and puts himself in the fray, he has to expect to be, you know, taken to account, correct?

ESTRICH: Correct. And he is being taken to account.

Maybe the fucktarded folks on the Today Show should've swung on over to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the NIH (National Institutes of Health)  Had they gone to this easy to find site (using TEH GOOGLE) they would have come across this information:  

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination (emphasis added). As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 50.  Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually.  In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others.  As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of PD patients may begin to interfere with daily activities.  Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.  There are currently no blood or laboratory tests that have been proven to help in diagnosing sporadic PD.  Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination.  The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately.   Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases.

I don't know what sick, twisted, petty thoughts Matt Lauer is privately thinking, but I sure know that when I see someone that has been publicly diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease for years shaking with violent tremors I don't think, "FAKER!"  I cry.

My grandfather died after a decade long battle with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  I saw with my own eyes what the medication for each can do.  It's a shitty choice of picking the lesser evil - lose your ability to communicate, or shake violently.  In my grandfather's case, the alzheimer's outpaced the the Parkinson's.  He couldn't communicate anyway, so my Grandmother made the decisiont hat it was better for him to be peaceful than to shake uncontrollably for the sake of a few brief moments of lucidity each month.

I wonder what Matt Lauer would have called my Grandfather.

If this kind of ignorant right wing pandering raises the bile in your throat, let NBC know.  Call 212-664-4444.  A very nice woman answers the phone.  She's going to send you to a answering machine.  Don't let her.  Keep calling, politely, until you speak to a human being.  And let that person know mocking people with nuerological diseases is unnacceptable.

UPDATE: Here are some other contacts that may prove helpful. These are GE corporate investor contacts. Perhaps we should ask these folks how NBC mocking Parkinson's Diesease will impact GE's stock? Being the network that abuses ill Americans can't be good for retaining sponsors.

Daniel C. Janki
Vice President, Corporate Investor Communications
(203) 373-2468

JoAnna H. Morris
Director, Corporate Investor Communications
(203) 373-2472

I spoke with Mr. Janki's assistant(?). She was very nice, took my number, and said someone would get back to me after I inquired if he could talk to me about the potential impact on GE's stock price.

Thanks again to all who help hold GE/NBC accountable for this!

Originally posted to fromer on Fri Oct 27, 2006 at 07:07 AM PDT.

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