El Rushbo Speweth Over?
March 6, 2012
I was just graduating from college in the Midwest in 1991 when I remember becoming aware of Rush Limbaugh. A good friend of mine listened to him regularly and had become quite partisan to the right back in the days when politics were almost like cryptography, the era for me when anything to do with politics was ‘wonky’. I checked in with El Rushbo then and sampled his offerings and it did not take long before I was thoroughly disgusted by the content that was alternately misogynistic, racially degrading, menacing, self aggrandizing pomposity and never ending foul tasting ?humor? Further, the ‘news’ and opinion was full of easily debunked mendacity. Never truly challenged, Rush’s conservative brand of ‘entertainment’ apparently was embraced by a mostly white male audience. Being a new graduate, I was moving around through out the Midwest as I started my own career and was able to sample various radio markets while looking for work. Exploring the radio dial across the midwest was a pasttime and I was amazed by the reach Rush had established already and the lack of any true counterpoint to all of his outrageous claims.
Being curious about this new exciting conservatism and whether there was a fair debate available on his broadcast, I personally spent time calling in to his show to present points in contention with his arguments of the day. It took only two attempts before I realized there would be no fair debate with liberals on his show. Anyone who made it to the airwaves was cut off as soon as was convenient and then thoroughly excoriated and marginalized. Most liberals will never get past the call screener filtering callers so Rush doesn’t have to face the ‘unwashed unruly’ masses with inconvenient and embarassing questions.
Rush established a platform and echo chamber in which only right conservative ideas were allowed and no rigorous debate with consensus beyond that of the right wing could form. He is an architect of the polarized political environment we now find ourselves in where neither side can have a fair discussion with the other. He allowed and encouraged conservatives to believe they do not have to concede anything in a debate with the left and that they do not even need to engage in a debate at all with counterpoint from the middle and poverty stricken classes.
In turn, conservatives came to worship at the platform he created and maybe even mistook it for a town square of sorts. Rush became so elevated in their eyes, that there is nothing the the Rushbo can do that could be wrong or indefensible. Megadittoes became the code word for everything you say is true and we surrender our critical thoughts over to you Rush.
I say Rush deserves to be able to speak his mind freely, as loudly and as noisily as he wishes — on a street corner. He should be able to go out on the internet and blog all he wants and podcast all he wants even. I do not think he deserves however, the benefit of the American public’s am or fm radio air waves. There is nothing in the bill of rights about the freedom to speak on the radio. We have something in the US called the FCC that settled that years ago.
- George Will Finally Admits GOP Leaders are Afraid of Limbaugh (crooksandliars.com)
- Apology Not Accepted (swampland.time.com)
- Rush Limbaugh said what? (ynative77.wordpress.com)