Another salvo in the Million Dollar Baby controversy. Quadraplegic NBC correspondent John Hockenberry’s jeremiad is certain to be talked about up and down tomorrow:

How delusional is it for Hollywood to spend billions on teen flicks and big budget films where teens and youth culture star and yet there is practically never any mention that suicide is the number one public health concern for American teenagers, one of the leading causes of teen deaths? Somehow teen-suicide seems just nutty compared to depressed quadriplegics offing themselves. Maybe the plot twist Hollywood seems so desperate to defend isn’t really assisted suicide. Maybe its Eastwood’s own epic saga of slogging to the Oscar summit that gets these critics all misty eyed?

As a right-wing culture war target, rather than an anti-disabled bigot, Eastwood and the critics can certainly avoid mentioning the director’s high-profile campaign against the American With Disabilities act after he was sued for owning an inaccessible restaurant. The thought of insulting or offending millions of people who live full lives despite a myriad of restrictions on their freedoms and a palpable sense of impatience that we’re “not dead yet” at all enter the minds of these movie culture warriors. Had it occurred to them, they might have mentioned that Rush Limbaugh and his gang were among the biggest critics of the ADA, have endorsed restrictions on healthcare support for people in need of long-term rehabilitation and have eagerly used disabled rights to further their own agenda when convenient.

John Hockenberry – And the Loser Is, a critique of million dollar baby

[Via Andre Soares at Cinema Minima]

UPDATE: An intensive care unit doctor takes the other side. [Via Craig’s MovieBlog.]

Buy Million Dollar Baby on DVD and support the site.