Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rollin' and Tumblin'

Last night my Tabloid Friend on Facebook linked to a Limbaugh clip referring to Dennis Kucinich, or rather to Kucinich's wife: "Really? She's a babe? I don't notice babes anymore, I have one."

So one of TF's friends commented: "You mean the wife-whore he bought a couple years ago, who's half his age?"

You see, this is how liberals show their moral superiority to the likes of Limbaugh: by aping his style. I commented to that effect, and the first commenter replied, "Sorry Duncan Yo-Yo, that's how I roll. Diff is, I'm telling the truth, and he lies. So if you don't like it, blow it out your ass."

The trouble is, that's how Limbaugh rolls, too: both the misogyny and the claim to be telling the truth. (Is "how I roll" a Limbaugh trope? Katha Pollitt wrote in a recent blog post that Limbaugh's apologists among "media insiders think it’s na├»ve and boring to complain: that’s just the way Rush rolls.")

Tabloid Friend also linked to a Kevin Drum piece which lamented the left's failure to take Limbaugh seriously. Drum quoted Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, who wrote that "We liberals have been too lazy, too feckless, too ditto-headed to insist that big news orgs challenge Limbaugh." Why should the big news orgs challenge Limbaugh? He belongs to the same part of the political spectrum as the corporations that own the big news orgs, so it's hardly surprising that they welcomed him when he was in the ascendant: Ted Koppel invited him on Nightline, and:
But Limbaugh is taken seriously by "serious" media--in addition to Nightline, he's been an "expert" on such chat shows as Charlie Rose and Meet the Press. The New York Times (10/15/92) and Newsweek (1/24/94) have published his writings. A U.S. News & World Report piece (8/16/93) by Steven Roberts declared, "The information Mr. Limbaugh provides is generally accurate."

He's also taken seriously as a political figure. A National Review cover story (9/6/93) declared him the "Leader of the Opposition." Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who recently officiated at Limbaugh's wedding, says he tapes Limbaugh's radio show and listens to it as he works out (USA Today, 5/13/94).

CBS News, the platform from which [Edward R.] Murrow denounced Joe McCarthy, has been seeking to hire Limbaugh as a political commentator.
There was a newsletter, the Flush Rush Quarterly, which combined reasoned rebuttals of Limbaugh with childish attacks, like the riddle: "What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and a whale?" Answer: "Fifty pounds and a sports jacket." Haw haw haw! The newsletter's founder and editor, Brian Keliher admitted he'd "forsaken the moral high ground."
"I feel badly when we make the weight jokes. But Rush does it constantly," he says. "When people read this they think we're really putting the guy in his place."
The he-does-it-too excuse is embarrassing. What he says about his readers, unfortunately, is true: a lot of liberals think it's as hilarious and clever to make fat jokes about Limbaugh as conservatives (and not a few liberals) think it is to make fat jokes about Michael Moore. This proves liberals' moral superiority to conservatives.

Still, I have to give President Obama credit: his supportive telephone call to Sandra Fluke was a good thing to do. He should try doing the right thing more often.