The Worst of Conservative Talk Radio

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Aren’t there better and tougher targets for Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck than an 11-year-old boy without a mother?

Marcelas Owens, a young boy who’s been appearing on TV and at press conferences with Democrats who are trying to sell their health care plan, is a new fascination for some right-wing pundits, who have been saying incredibly cruel things to and about the Owens’ family and tragic history. Owens’ mother died in 2007 of pulmonary hypertension – a rare condition that requires constant expensive medical care – after she lost her fast food restaurant job and her health insurance. The family’s representative in the Senate, Democrat Patty Murray, talked about Marcelas at President Obama’s recent bipartisan health care summit and ever since, the boy and his grandmother have been granting interviews and speaking up in favor of Democratic health care reform.

I’ll concede that Democrats are using Marcelas to help sell their plan for comprehensive health care reform. But so what? That’s no excuse for this:

Limbaugh:

“Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama …And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens : ‘Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn’t kick in until 2014.'”

Beck, on the pro-reform group that brought Marcelas to Washington, DC to talk about health care:

“That’s the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care…Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas’ mother was vomiting blood?”

Since Democrats are trotting Marcelas before the cameras, there’s nothing wrong with reporters or pundits checking out his story to see if it’s true. That’s fair game. But – right now – there’s no evidence that anything Marcelas or his grandmother have said was untrue.

Karen reminded me this is not the first time an unfortunate kid has become a target. Remember Graeme Frost?

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