Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stem-Cell Ad Battle Reaches World Series

This stem-cell ad debate is turning into the politics-culture-sports nexus story of the moment:

You may have seen the Michael J. Fox ad promoting a pro-stem-cell research amendment in Missouri. It's only been viewed on YouTube, like, a million times.

(Rush Limbaugh did more harm for his cause than good by calling attention to it by ripping Fox as, um, faking or playing up his Parkinson's. Let me disclose now that my paternal grandfather died of complications related to Parkinson's, so I am more than sympathetic to Parkinson's research in all of its forms.)

You also might have seen the rebuttal ad against stem-cell research, which features Cardinals World Series Game 4 starter Jeff Suppan, Kurt Warner, Mike Sweeney and Ray Romano's TV wife.

I've just read that the ad's proponents have bought time for it to be shown during the World Series game tonight. The same game that the ad's star -- Jeff Suppan -- will be pitching in. I suppose the only thing left to wonder is if he'll put on a wristband that says "SAY NO TO STEM CELL RESEARCH." And just imagine if he gets the W and is corralled for a post-game interview.

I wonder how many Missouri voters (who are presumably mostly Cards fans) will base their vote on Suppan's performance: Gem? Vote with him! Shelled? Vote against him!

Anyway, it's always interesting -- not to mention pretty rare -- when politics and culture and sports get thrown together like this. Gotta love the election-year home stretch.

-- D.S.

18 comments:

rafael said...

Crazy Christians.









Sidenote: Studio 60 started off well...but already seems to be tailing off. I think they are pushing the romance between Perry and his blonde too hard.

Brian in Oxford said...

Will they be airing anti-gay marriage ads, too, during the World Series? Oh wait, that was the 2004 hot-button issue out in "middle America".

I started busting out laughing at my desk a few weeks ago, listening to the Twins play a day game, and they were airing ads by a pro-life organization.

Not to sound like an ad for the cable company, but how about matching up your message with the right target audience, huh?

Dan Mega said...

"Crazy Christians"

That's a nice bigoted comment isn't it?

mark said...

Brian the Oxonian: don't look now, but gay marriage is on the ballot again in nine states this year. It wouldn't surprise me if you saw ads.

And New Jersey is expected to announce its decision literally any minute now...

On a more sports-related note: Obviously, millionaire athletes can say whatever they please, just like anyone else, but they've got to realize that part of the reason for sports' continued popularity is precisely the fact that it has nothing to do with politics: entire communities share their teams, and can forget everything outside the ballpark. As soon as athletes start using their celebrity to espouse particular viewpoints, that ability of sports to transcend politics erodes. Compare, for example, John Rocker before he opened his mouth to John Rocker afterwards.

Hende said...

Why do people/organizations expect me to care what Suppan/Warner/Fox/
Limbaugh/Clooney/Stein/Shilling etc. think. I don't want to hear any of their views, and the fact that their opinions are somehow held in higher regard because of celebrity status really annoys me. Fuck 'em, and let me make my own decision which whores to support this election year.

rafael said...

dan mega:

Crazy Christians is a studio 60 reference.
Considering the main opponents of stem-cell research are from the religious right, and in lieu of Limbaugh's attacks on M.J. Fox, it seemed fitting.

I'm a humanist. Anything that I feel will aid the human race as a whole is good. I don't see anything wrong with stem-cell research.
But I also wouldn't want to see the pro-stem cell commercials during sporting events.

Husker Dave said...

Just so you know, its government supported stem cell research, meaning your tax dollars. There are already private companies doing stem cell research.

Gary said...

Dan, this is your second political related post in as many days...I go to sports sites to get away from this shit

nyc-steelers fan said...

Wonder which of the quartet in the commercial tonight suffers from a debilitating disease which may one day be cured by research into stem cells... Suppan looked pretty healthy on Thursday night, and I doubt Warner's shakes are due to PD. I wonder if they'll reject the cures developed over in Europe in 30 yrs, when they get some of the relevant diseases, because they were developed using stem cells...

Dan Shanoff said...

Gary -- Sports is always compelling when it crosses over into non-sports contexts, like culture or politics.

mikeeyes said...

Unfortunately, the vast majority of our electorate, which ironically will not even vote in the upcoming election given historical trends, use campaign ads on which to base their opinions.

A lot of people really care what celebrities think. Why do you think magazines like Us and People thrive? Why do Oprah's book recommendations become best-sellers?

I think this also brings up a larger question of how should a person's politcal/religious beliefs or their non-professional actions color how we see them on the field or on screen.

How many people liked Mel Gibson's movies before he made anti-semetic comments that wouldn't see any of his movies now? What about Tom Cruise and his statements on depression and psychiatry?

Who thinks OJ Simpson's football career has been tainted because of his being suspected of murder?

Finally, in Dan's defense, this is his freakin' blog, he can write about what ever the hell he wants. Politics, sports, whatever...

Brigadier Pudding said...

jesus, the GOP is really scraping the bottle of the barrel. couldn't they find any athletes that are actually good at sports?

VcdeChagn said...

Christian has nothing to do with the Stem Cell thing. It's about what our taxpayer $$ should go for. Over 50 documented uses for adult stem cells and ZERO (with the same amount of research if not more) for fetal stem cells. Waste of money and a stupid idea.

At least both sides are getting equal time.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe I'm doing this...

You know what we should use our tax dollars for instead?

(do you see this coming? Do you? It's coming!)

The war in Iraq!


(seems like a punch line at this point)

jdn9201 said...

1. This is Dan's blog, so he can post whatever he wants. Don't like it? Then read something else.

2. I'm a 23 y.o. female that is pretty hard-core Conservative. I don't go to church on a regular basis, but I have in a common a fair share of the viewpts of the Religious Right. I've been a listener of Rush's for years, but think that his comments about Fox went WAY too far. We may get annoyed when celebrities from both sides spew about politics, but they have the right to say what they think.

3. On Embryonic Stem Cell Research, I'm against federal funding, but my number one reason isn't really religious. First, I think it's wrong to fund something with taxpayer dollars, when a significant portion of the population is against it, because of their religion. Second, I think it's wrong to fund something that hasn't had any track record of success. I feel the same way about our public education system, but that is another story.

And before it looks like I'm hijacking his blog, the biggest reason why is that everyone has to die of something. I had a Grandma die of Parkinson's two years ago, and I felt so sorry for her suffering. I miss her dearly, and wished she was still alive, but if it's not Parkinson's or LGD, or whatever, it's going to be something else. Imagine this planet if everyone lived to be 100 because we had cured everything. I wouldn't want to be apart of it.

EPorvaznik said...

>>jesus, the GOP is really scraping the bottle of the barrel. couldn't they find any athletes that are actually good at sports?>>

Does the 2006 version of Curt Schilling count as an athlete (grin)? Joining him are Tiger Woods and Bush contributors Jeter, A-Rod, Glavine, Leiter, Piazza, Beltran...

The list of GOP former athletes is pretty damned impressive, mainly because they like keeping a good chunk of the dough they made when playing:

Nolan Ryan, Jack Nicklaus, Roger Staubach, Ernie Banks, John Elway, Lynn Swann, Charles Barkley, Steve Largent, Steve Young, Karl Malone, JC Watts, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (yes, I recognize he's a stretch). Coaches though they may be, Joe Paterno, Joe Torre, Tom Osbourne as well.

Bush supporter Jason Sehorn explained it this way:
"In most of the locker rooms you'll find a little more Republican (support) than Democrat, at least thinking and leaning towards that way. I think because we understand that, you know, we're very capable and adept at taking care of ourselves, and we don't need somebody to place a lot of regulations. I mean, put things in place so I can take care of myself and protect me."

Oh, hate him all you want, but President Bush grooved a helluva pre-Series pitch back in '01, too...with a flak jacket on no less.

Crazy Christian,
Eric

rafael said...

Well, it does always help being a multi millionaire when it comes to taking care of yourself. ;)

Great points also, JDN. Although just because a breakthrough hasn't happened yet...do you give up on it?
Truthfully, I have no real conviction one way or the other. I'm a strong believer in Darwinism. And I'll leave my thoughts on religion off the keyboard.

Now..back to sports..

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

In Maryland were Fox supports Cardin because Cardin supports stem cell research. Here is a newsflash while in the house Cardin voted against a measure that would allow federal funding for stem cells that many Republicans voted for and then sent to the Senate.

What the Fox ad in Missouri does not tell you is that the amendment he supports is to allow human cloning to use stem cells. In Missouri stem cell research is legal and is being researched at many hospitals in the state. (This is something that Rush Limbaugh said on his show during his classless monologue on Michael J. Fox, but it is true about the hospitals and their research.)