RUSH: Some interesting polling data released today from the state of Missouri. From the LA Times/Bloomberg survey: Jim Talent 48%; Claire McCaskill 45%. Survey USA released a poll yesterday showing the same results over a polling period of the 21st through the 23rd. These two polls sort of dovetail, and they do cover the controversy involving the Michael J. Fox ad for Claire McCaskill. So Talent 48; McCaskill 45. In another startling result, Amendment 2 — this is the misleading amendment that everybody is citing as promoting stem cell research, when it actually (legalizes) cloning. This is just one of the most conflagrated things that is out there, typical of ballot initiatives. Anyway, there’s a new poll out there today from Survey USA.
On the 12th of October Amendment 2 in Missouri was passing by 57% yes, 27% no, 16% were uncertain. The Survey USA poll out today, 45% yes, that’s a 12% drop for the yes side, 36% no (that’s up nine for them) 18% uncertain. This amendment is dropping like a rock in Missouri, and Jim Talent has moved ahead of Claire McCaskill 48 to 45%. Now, ladies and gentlemen, yesterday during our discussion of the Michael J. Fox, Claire McCaskill ad flap and controversy, I warned you. I told you the big guns would be aimed at me and this program all day yesterday and into today, and that is the case. You have to understand who I am to these people. There’s no reason they should like me. They ought to hate my guts. They used to have a monopoly before I came along.
For 18 years I have been hammering the Drive-By Media, often by name. It makes total sense they would despise me. It makes total sense that they would try to discredit me. I don’t have any expectations of being treated fairly, and so I’m not disappointed. In fact, this is all kind of exciting, actually. I got a note from a friend. ‘Damn you, here you go again, becoming the focal point of election! Can you save some of this for the rest of us?’ I said, ‘I’m not trying to do that. I’m just telling you what I think about what I see,’ but it’s interesting to note, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve heard this program for the past two days. You’ve heard nearly four hours of detailed analysis of every issue involved in this controversy.
Yet after you hear it, you turn on the Drive-By Media, and you hear one line, you hear one line from what I said the past two days, and that line is, ‘he’s either acting or off his medications,’ and that line is not even put in context. The reason I speculated that Mr. Fox might have been off his medications is because he’s admitted he does that. I’ve got audio sound bites here today of him saying it. One of them to Diane Sawyer who apparently forgot it, that he had said that to her and tore into me this morning while interviewing Sean Hannity on Good Morning America. So here you are. You’re out there. You’re listening to this program regularly. You heard the in-depth analysis of all of this. You turn on any other media outlet, and you are stunned, and you are shocked, and you are in disbelief over how they miss it, miss it totally, miss it purposely.
You wonder, wait a minute, these are the people smarter than all the rest of us. These are the people who have been trained to go out and find the meaning and the truth in every news story out there and pass it on. Then you realize that that’s not at all what they are about. I imagine many of you are rather pleased with yourselves today. You ought to feel a little bit superior to the alleged best and brightest journalists out there. You heard what I said.
They could have heard what I said, but they don’t listen. They simply get their reports from the AP or whoever, but if they listen to this program, there’s no way they could report on it the way they have — well, take that back. Yes, there is an action line to every story in the media. I am a story to the media, and thus I have an action line. The action line is, I personify — I’m the poster boy — for all of the negative stereotypes that they have created about conservatism, and anything they think fits that action line, moves it forward, they are happy to report, but what did you hear me discuss yesterday? You heard the discussion about stem cells versus embryonic stem cells, versus the controversy over federal funding.
You heard about the Missouri deception, the Chicago deception, the Minneapolis, Minnesota deception, and the Maryland deception that the Democrats are engaged in here using the actor Michael J. Fox. You heard about promising cures that don’t exist in the stem cell research area. You heard about research in other areas to cure Parkinson’s or to reduce its effects that is working, involving gene therapy, involving the insertion of a virus in the brain. You heard about that. By the way, that research is being funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. You heard all of that. You heard about which cures the smart money is investing in and not. You heard a number of things.
Do you wonder how it is the Drive-By Media misses all this? Do you wonder how it is they process information or why they process information the way that they do? It ought to be patently obvious to everyone, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll tell you something else, as you will hear in the audio sound bites, advancing the notion, theory yesterday that the Democrats have a strategy of finding victims, either of illness or unfortunate circumstance, they trot them out as infallible. They can say what they say with impunity. Nobody, even when they enter the political arena of ideas, nobody is allowed to respond to them, nobody is allowed to criticize them.
You will hear that personified in mere moments by Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Good Morning America today. So there’s a lot to discuss about this. The president also had a bang-up press conference today on Iraq. He is best when he’s off script. He was off script today. It was cool. We’re working on assembling those sound bites even now. Before we go to the break I want to play for you one sound bite. I saw this last night as I was working and getting ready for today’s program. I’m perusing the World Wide Web. That would be Internet for those of you in Rio — do you think they know about the Internet in Rio Linda yet? Do you think they have broadband there? Well, anyway, KCBS-TV Los Angeles was running a poll on my remarks. We have Internet audio of — I don’t know who the male anchor is reporting the results last night, KCBS television in Los Angeles.
ANCHOR: Here was the big story tonight: accusations of Michael J. Fox deliberately went off his medication in a new campaign ad to make his symptoms more pronounced. Tonight we wanted to know what you think. Well, 38% say yes, the ad looked contrived, 13% no, he’s passionate about the issue, 26% say Rush Limbaugh has some nerve, and 20% say no matter what his message is, it’s an important one.
RUSH: No matter what the message is, it’s an important one: 20% no matter what the message. There you have the moderates. So, according to an online poll in Los Angeles, 38% said the ad looked a little contrived to them, 13% said it didn’t.
RUSH: Now, before we get to the audio sound bites, I want to try to explain to you what the whole point of this is to me. This is not about Parkinson’s disease to me — and this is not about Michael J. Fox and it never was. To me, it is not personal and never has been. I don’t know him. I’ve never met him. I know him only through his career as an actor and a political activist. I think when anyone climbs into the arena of ideas, the political arena of ideas, particularly during a heated campaign; they do not get the special privilege of being the only fighter allowed to throw a punch. There are not special people among us who get to enter the political arena of ideas and say whatever they want.
They can mislead. They can misquote. They can misrepresent. They can even lie — and yet we’re supposed to, if they are victims of something, stand back, be compassionate, be tolerant, and understand, and not respond. Sorry. I don’t follow the script. Daffy Duck could have done a commercial for Claire McCaskill saying the same things that Fox did, misleading about stem cell research and Jim Talent or in Maryland with Ben Cardin and Michael Steele, and my reaction would have been the same. I would have reacted and responded to Daffy Duck. Now, the idea that certain people because of their victim status are allowed to enter the fray with impunity is something I am not going to subscribe to. This is a strategy. It is a tactic that the Democrats have used for as long as I have been observing politics, and I’m sorry, the days are over where I follow the script.
It may sound cold-hearted or mean-spirited, but, ladies and gentlemen, I have my I ideas, and I have my principles, and I think they’re right, and I think they should prevail, and when people who are running for office represent the things I believe in are lied about or are misrepresented, you can rest assured I am going to defend those principles and ideas and the people who stand for them and represent them. I am not going to be fooled or lulled into standing aside. I’m not going to be intimidated under the pretext that some people have a protected, insured right to say whatever they want simply because they are unfortunate, they are victims or what have you.
The Drive-By Media today, in most instances, is acting like a hysterical mother whose afraid her little boy won’t be able to defend himself after he picked a fight, and so they are attacking me and others for being incentive, cold-hearted, cruel, mocking, what have you. I don’t know whether Michael Fox assumed that he would step into the arena of ideas and have impunity, whether anybody would be prone to respond to what he said, but I stand by what I said. I take back none of what I said. I wouldn’t rephrase it any differently. It is what I believe; it is what I think. It is what I have found to be true. Let’s go the audio sound bites. Interestingly enough we heard yesterday that Inside Edition was doing a piece on this, and I had my doubts about this.
Inside Edition is basically a celebrity, slash, Hollywood show. They don’t have a show unless they curry favor with celebrities, Hollywood types to get their participation. So I warned them at Inside Edition (Deborah Norville hosts this show) that we’re going to be monitoring them. If they’re going to monitor me all day; we’ll monitor them, reporting what they do. It turns out that most of the media, in fact all of it in the Drive-By Media category, Inside Edition, the so-called tabloid news show, actually presented the most objective and fair report on this whole controversy. They played more than just the one sound bite from me to provide context and they went some extra effort and dug up tape of Michael J. Fox admitting he does not take his medication before making certain appearances. April Woodward had the story.
WOODWARD: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is accusing Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
RUSH ARCHIVE: He’s either off his medication or acting. He is an actor, after all.
WOODWARD: Limbaugh told his radio and Internet audience he believes the ads are misleading.
RUSH ARCHIVE: He’s using his illness in a — in a way to mislead voters that there’s a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
WOODWARD: And he also attacked Inside Edition for broadcasting part of the campaign ad.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The Drive-By Media including things like Inside Edition are all panting (panting) to make something out of this that isn’t.
WOODWARD: But he has admitted to not taking his medication before some public appearances. That includes this appearance before Congress in 1999.
FOX: Parkinson’s patients wait and wait, as I am right now, for the medicines to kick in.
WOODWARD: He later admitted to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer he wanted to show lawmakers what Parkinson’s was like.
FOX: I didn’t take it deliberately as some kind of theatrical thing but it seemed right for me to be — to be uncomfortable in that situation.
WOODWARD: Fox shot this ad for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, who supports stem cell research. A spokesman for her opponent, Senator Jim Talent said, the attacks are false, and that he supports stem cell research that doesn’t involve cloning or destroying a human embryo.
VOICE: There may be some exaggeration in his symptoms. We’ve seen other ads where Michael J. Fox seems to be very normal.
RUSH: That’s Inside Edition yesterday, and you know what they did that enabled them to get this right? They actually listened to some of my program yesterday, rather than simply rely on a report of what had been said in a five-minute segment of a total 45 minutes on Monday. All of the news that you saw yesterday, last night, into this morning, is not reflective at all of anything you heard or what was said on this program yesterday. It was only five minutes, or even less, what was said on Monday. But Inside Edition actually listened to some of this program yesterday and it enabled them to get the story right.
Imagine that! A so-called tabloid show outdoing the best and brightest of American journalism. Now, here are these two sound bites stand alone. And, by the way, let me stress before playing these, this is not about Michael J. Fox, this is not the reason. I am in an enviable circumstance here. I have the opportunity to set the record straight where the Drive-By Media is being entirely incorrect and wrong on purpose and knowingly in my case. They are saying that I said Michael J. Fox was acting. Some of them got it right and said I said he was either acting or off his medications, said of his off his medications, speculated, because he’s admitted that he does that in order to show the ravages of the disease — which I said, by the way, is not a bad thing to do when you’re trying to raise consciousness about it.
I was not even critical of it. I’m just suggesting that if he’s done it once, done it twice, could he have done it again in the McCaskill ad? I speculated. I’ve never seen a Parkinson’s disease patient — well, I’ve seen Parkinson’s disease patients a lot. I’ve never seen that kind of behavior, and I’m not an expert in it. But I’m just explaining to you why I had the reaction that I had. So since the focus of attention on me and the Drive-By Media is that I think he’s acting and I think he’s exaggerating and I think he was making it up. I want to give you the reasons from his own mouth why I speculated that he might have been off his medications during the taping of the McCaskill ad and the other ads that are running in Maryland and Illinois and Minneapolis. Both of these are very short. The first one is six seconds, 1999 in Washington at an appearance before Congress, Michael J. Fox.
FOX: Parkinson’s patients wait and wait, as I am right now, for the medicines to kick in.
RUSH: In a subsequent interview with Diane Sawyer, this was May 17th of 2000 he explained not taking his medication before testifying.
FOX: I didn’t take it deliberately as some kind of theatrical thing, but it seemed right for me to — to be uncomfortable in that situation.
RUSH: I didn’t take it deliberately as some kind of theatrical thing, that’s fine, I believe that, but the point is he admits he didn’t take it, he wants to make a point — and again, I want to stress, ladies and gentlemen, this is not personal. And those of you who have listened to this program regularly understand this. This is about the ideological battle and the political battle that has waged in this country since I have been born and long before and will go on long after any of us have passed on. It’s a battle that many of us choose to engage in. I happen to take it seriously. I happen to believe that liberalism is not good for America, being as plain and simple as I can.
I think liberalism has to hide at what really is and who they really are, in order to win. They have to misrepresent, they have to lie, they have to make emotional pleas, and I’m not going to fall for the trick anymore of letting them get away with lying and misrepresenting things that I believe, that I know are true, and people who are running for office. I’m going to let them sit around and be attacked. I’m going to defend them despite the fact that the liberals have this technique of putting people forth to do this who they think should be immune from such criticism. Not in the political arena of ideas, and when anybody enters that arena, I don’t care who or what they are or have, they are in the political arena — and as such, as all of us in it are, are subject to criticism, reaction, response, and what have you. Nobody is immune. Nobody.
RUSH: Moving on now to Good Morning America: Diane Sawyer today interviewed Sean Hannity. We have a montage of her questions to Hannity, but before we get back to that I want to go back and play again from Good Morning America, May 17th of 2000, this is Michael J. Fox talking to Diane Sawyer — comments I’m sure she forgot he made explaining about his philosophy not taking his medication before testifying before a Senate committee.
FOX: I didn’t take it deliberately as some kind of theatrical thing, but it seemed right for me to be uncomfortable in that situation.
RUSH: Okay, “seemed right to be uncomfortable in that situation.” He was trying to make a point. He was trying to be persuasive. He was trying to encourage people to understand his plight, what have you. Now, again, I totally understand doing this before a Senate committee to raise consciousness on the issue that you’re concerned about. I have no problem with it. I’m just saying since he’s admitted that he goes off his meds for the purpose, that’s the reason for my speculating about it. We’ll take these questions one by one but I want you to hear them in totality, a montage, Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America today, talking to Hannity and this is a montage of some of her questions.
SAWYER: Limbaugh! What is going on here? Attacking Michael J. Fox? This is the reality of Parkinson’s. That is the reality. Rush Limbaugh, even in his apology, said that Mike Fox was allowing his illness to be exploited, shilling for a Democratic candidate. If you have Parkinson’s disease and you believe embryonic stem cell research is the answer, a possible answer, a possible cure, don’t you have a right to speak up? Did Rush Limbaugh go too far?
RUSH: Now, in this montage, we have a classic illustration of one of the salient points I have been dwelling on the past two days, and that is a victim can say anything about anything and nobody is allowed to criticize it or respond to it in even a slightly critical way. How dare Rush Limbaugh do this! Now, let’s go back to the bite, and you’re going to do a start stop here, Mister Broadcast Engineer, so listen close for when I shout shop. Hit the bite.
SAWYER: Limbaugh! What is going on here? Attacking Michael J. Fox?
RUSH: Stop the tape. As I have tried to explain today, and then yesterday, I think Michael J. Fox’s ad is the “attack.” Michael J. Fox’s ad is full of misleading and false statements about Jim Talent in Missouri, Michael Steele in Maryland, and a candidate in Minneapolis. His is the attack. I defended the issues, the principles, and the people I believe in, in responding to Michael J. Fox in his ad. I raised questions, and this is what they think is the attack, about whether or not he was on his medications or acting in the filming of the ad. But this is the thing. See, you can’t criticize what people (if they are victims) say, because that’s going to be characterized as a personal attack on them. This is how the Democrats attempt to inoculate victims in a political arena so that they can say anything, because most people do end up cowed, folks. Most people don’t have the guts to respond to it because they are precisely afraid of the reaction that they are going to get. Here’s the rest.
SAWYER: The reality of Parkinson’s. That is the reality. Rush Limbaugh even in his apology said that Mike Fox was allowing his illness to be exploited, shilling for a Democratic candidate.
RUSH: Stop the tape. “Rush Limbaugh, even in his apology…” which of course was not accepted. It’s not good enough. By the way, my apology was: if somebody shows me I’m wrong about my speculations of either acting or being off medication, I will hugely and bigly apologize. Well, that’s not good enough. Even after I apologize she says “Michael J. Fox was allowing his illness to be exploited, shilling for a Democrat candidate.” Sorry, that’s exactly what was going on. It is exactly that. Either he was being exploited or he was exploiting it himself, but there’s no question there’s exploitation, lady. When you engage in a television commercial as one who suffers from a disease, with the notion that only if Republicans are defeated will there be a cure for this disease, that is cruel.
I could have said far worse than I said about this. It is cruel to mislead people to believe that there is a cure on the horizon, when there isn’t, if only Republican candidates are defeated. I’m sorry. I’m not going to sit around and let this go by uncommented upon. I don’t care who says it. There’s no question the illness is being exploited. The Democrats do this constantly. They exploit any number of victims. They exploit Social Security victims. All these years they’ve been promising that if Republicans get elected, Democrats say, the Social Security victims (the patients, whatever they want to call them, they’re all victims), are going to have their medicine and their benefits cut back, and their choice will be medicine or dog food, or Republicans are going to kick them out of their homes.
We had John Edwards in 2004 assuring America that if only John Kerry were elected, Christopher Reeve and others who suffer spinal paralysis would walk again. Now, that is mean. It is misleading and cruel. How about the school lunch debate in 1995? The nonexistent school lunch cuts were going to starve our children, and all of this water is carried by the Drive-By Media. Democrats say something and the media jumps right on it, and with kids, why, we can’t criticize them. The kids were sending letters to President Clinton asking him to save the school lunch program. Parents of kids are sending letters to Washington, “Don’t let them starve my kids,” as though the parents have no say-so in whether their kids eat or not.
The Drive-By Media is right in there carrying all of this water. Now, Diane, you can be all upset here that I think that Fox was either allowing his illness to be exploited or was participating in it himself, shilling for a Democrat. It’s exactly what he’s doing. But tell me, Diane, what’s different about how ABC allows their entire network to be used to shill for Democrats, ? la Mark Foley and the Brian Ross investigative team sitting on the news for a number of weeks, perhaps months before releasing it as a premature October Surprise? How about Democrat George Stephanopoulos, Democrat Chris Cuomo, Democrat whoever else appearing as learned, serious, objective journalists in major positions on ABC? You think there’s no shilling for the Democratic Party going on as part of ABC’s network news coverage? What is the point if he’s not shilling for a Democratic candidate, what is he doing here? Let’s resume the tape.
SAWYER: If you have Parkinson’s disease, and you believe embryonic stem cell research is the answer, a possible answer, a possible cure, don’t you have a right to speak up? Did Rush Limbaugh go too far?
RUSH: Now, this perhaps the silliest question that she asked, and let me read it to you from the beginning, “If you have Parkinson’s disease.” Ergo, if you are a victim, “and you believe embryonic stem cell research is the answer, a possible answer, a possible cure, don’t you have a right to speak up?” Of course, and he did. Nobody stopped him from speaking up. Does he have a right to lie? Does he have a right to misrepresent simply because he has Parkinson’s disease and have that not be commented upon, Diane? I mean, I have a disability. I’m deaf. Does that give me the right to tell people whatever I want about anything and have nobody challenge me on it? This is an absurd proposition.
It is beneath the intellectual quotient we believe exists in the Drive-By Media, learned journalists who are informed, more so than the average American. This episode is indicating that they don’t know diddly-squat, and they make no effort to learn, and they make no effort to inform themselves. They have an action line, when they see something that fits the action line, bam, don’t fact-check it, don’t analyze it, just run with it. Michael J. Fox, anybody who has Parkinson’s disease, who believes embryonic stem cell research is the answer, a possible answer, a possible cure, they have a right to speak up. Absolutely. Can say whatever you want, but we don’t get insurance against conservatism if you’re wrong. Diane, does it not matter to you whether the substance of what somebody says is correct or not? There is no evidence, no evidence, and Fox knows this.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation invests in these various experiments and research studies. There’s no evidence that embryonic stem cell research shows promises for curing anything right now. In fact, let me take you not to my words, but to the words of a doctor, Mary Davenport, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist, a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, writing today at the American Thinker. It’s entitled, “The unconscionable claims of Michael J. Fox — The popular and appealing star has taken to the airwaves in Senate battleground states Missouri, Maryland, and New Jersey with a highly misleading ad urging defeat of Republican senatorial candidates opposing the use of taxpayer dollars to fund new embryonic stem cell line research.
“He states, ‘Stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans with diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer?s and Parkinson?s?. But George Bush and Michael Steele would put limits on the most promising stem cell research.’ Mr. Fox and his ads? sponsors are guilty of conflating embryonic stem cell research, which the GOP candidates and many Americans oppose for destroying a human life in the name of curing other people?s diseases, with stem cell research in general, which includes adult stem cell research and umbilical cord blood stem cell research. The only limits in question are on federal funding of new embryonic stem cell lines, requiring the sacrifice of new embryos. Private and state-funded research (California voters are spending six billion dollars borrowing money to fund this) is ongoing. The implicit claim that research based on new embryos is ‘the most promising’ is absurd, completely unsupported by the scientific literature, and an insult to voters, based as it is on the assumption that they are incapable of understanding the issue. Too stupid to tell the difference, is the elitist assumption underlying this campaign.” Yet here is Diane Sawyer asking brilliant questions: Well, hell, if you have Parkinson’s and you believe embryonic stem cell research is the answer, possible answer, possible cure, don’t you have a right to speak up?
Yeah, and you even have a right to be wrong, but you don’t have a right to have impunity when you say it. Does it not matter whether what he’s saying is correct, Diane, or not? Does it not matter? Is that irrelevant, or is it just important that we all think things? Is it just important that we all speak up and be heard? Does it not matter the substance of what we say? Flimflam is a charitable description. Why would federally funded research be more promising than state and privately funded research? As I pointed out, in Maryland and in Missouri, state funded embryonic stem cell research is taking place.
Jim Talent doesn’t want to criminalize it, as the Fox ad says. Neither does Michael Steele in Maryland. The only candidate to vote against stem cell research is Benjamin Cardin, the Democrat for whom Mr. Fox is running a commercial. Does none of the substance here matter to those of you in the Drive-By Media? No, it doesn’t matter. Because the action line on the story is, Republicans, anti-abortion; Republicans, pro-life; Republicans, against curing disease; Republicans want people to die. That’s the action line. It’s absurd, but that’s what they try to put forth, and they wonder why they can’t win elections anymore.
They wonder why it is that people are reading them less, watching them less, and patronizing their sponsors less. They wonder why this is. People are not nearly as stupid as the Drive-By Media participants think that they are. Here is Dr. Davenport again: “The plain fact is that embryonic stem cell research is proving to be a bust. There are currently 72 therapies showing human benefits using adult stem cells and zero using embryonic stem cells. Scientifically-minded readers can review this medical journal article on the status of adult stem cell research. Adult stem cell therapies are already being advertised and promoted while no such treatments are even remotely in prospect for embryonic stem cell research.”
So if these people truly care about embryonic or just plain old stem cell research, why is it they throw out the facts on adult stem cells and focus only on embryonic? Because abortion is the sacrament of the Democrat Party, and they will never abandon that, and this argument of embryonic, federally funded embryonic stem cell research, despite no research that shows any progress toward a cure of anything, advances other ideas the Democratic Party holds dear. Diane Sawyer, does none of this matter to you? I’ve just given you facts from a doctor. You can research it yourself. Michael J. Fox can say what he wants, and he can be wrong all day long, but he doesn’t get a free pass on having his wrong passed off as right.
RUSH: Michael J. Fox in Chicago yesterday for Tammy Duckworth. Two hundred people showed up for this fund-raiser, and, by the way, the headline for the Drive-By Media tomorrow in covering what happened on this program today, got the headline and the story. “Limbaugh Compares Michael J. Fox to Daffy Duck” will be the sum total of this hour’s analysis by the Drive-By Media tomorrow. Here is Michael J. Fox, and this is as characterized by CBS 2, Channel 2 in Chicago, as addressing Rush Limbaugh’s accusations. This is what they say is his response to my so-called accusations.
FOX: I’m kind of lucky right now. It’s ironic, given — given some things that have been said in the last couple days that my pills are working really well right now.
RUSH: All right, I’m not going to interpret this. I’m going to leave that to you. “I’m kind of lucky right now. It’s ironic given some of the things that have been said in the last couple days, my pills are working really well right now,” which implies that they weren’t working well sometime in the past. When? Who knows?
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