Monday began with the on-air apology from the Human Hindenburg, immediately followed by why he was correct in everything he said. “Sorry about the use of the words “slut” and “prostitute” but the Liberals made me do it (I meant the other 68 slurs against Sandra Fluke). By Thursday morning, Limbaugh had scrubbed the slurs from the transcripts of his show. I shake my head in wonder. Videotape, Rush. It’s called videotape and we have it. Senator Jon Kyl lied about what Planned Parenthood really does and when caught in the lie, issued the whole “not intended to be a factual statement” thing and then had his remarks stricken from the official records. I have the tape. When will you boys learn you can’t un-say something?
I’ve watched with amusement the whole Social Networking campaign to have Limbaugh removed from the airwaves and the mass mailings to his sponsors who seem to be dropping like flies. Limbaugh emphatically claims he turned away millions of dollars in advertising because he’s just so doggone popular and by gosh, people like him, so there’s nothing to worry about. Makes me wonder why every day there have been gaps of dead air where sponsor ads once aired. “Nothing to worry about”, says Rush. “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
Honestly, I don’t think Rush has anything to worry about. I predict he will remain on the air and live another day to find something even more interesting to lie about and for which he can make even more outrageous and disgusting comments – much to the delight of his faithful followers.
This may come as a surprise to many of my readers, but I have not signed a single petition to take Rush Limbaugh off the air – nor have I encouraged a single sponsor to distance their companies from him (though I do not judge those who have). Why? Because I consider free speech the crown jewel of our democracy. There have been people who have waltzed their asses through this column for the sole purpose of trolling – like they are going to change my mind on anything, make me look bad or prove me wrong. This is now and has always been an op-ed piece, designed for the purposes of education, entertainment and catharsis. When I educate, I come armed with facts, figures and links to my sources. I’ve yet to be caught in a lie or attempted to deceive my readers. Ultimately, I’ve been chastised for my salty language (fuck ‘em), but they could never dispute my facts. When I entertain, it’s up to the reader to decide if they like it or not and there have been times when I was not kind about it. When it’s for purposes of catharsis, I’m merely venting about something and don’t really require commentary – but if they do, c’est la vie. I don’t frankly give a damn what anyone thinks of my opinions. They’re mine. I own them and will continue to share them as long as Here Women Talk will have me. The one thing about which you can be sure – I won’t lie and I don’t make comments here for the sole purpose of trying to hurt another human being or to gain infamy. I also don’t go to peoples’ blogs, no matter how outrageous the lie, for the purpose of showing them to be wrong or stupid or anything else. They don’t need my assistance in that department. My comments won’t change their opinions. I don’t need to troll their blog or their radio show. Their followers won’t be swayed, so why bother? Ultimately, they are entitled to their opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. Bitch-slapping contests back and forth solve nothing and sway the opinions of no one. Probably why I refuse to post on Fox News.
A friend asked the other day, “Don’t you think Rush is all about hate speech and not free speech?” Well, yes, but since I don’t get to decide the difference, I don’t get to be the judge. A Florida court ruled Fox News may blatantly and openly lie about the things they report and call it “news”. Given those parameters, how can the average citizen discern the difference between free speech and hate speech? Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder. That said, I do believe he slandered Sandra Fluke and think she could and should seek financial relief in civil court. If the things he said about her aren’t slander, then the crime doesn’t exist.
Rush Limbaugh can continue to make outrageous statements and use what is, in my opinion, hate speech, until the cows come home. The listening public must ultimately decide if they want to continue to pollute their minds with his drivel. When enough people say they’ve had enough, he’ll go the way of that other guy… Glenn What’s-His-Name – fired from Fox, went to the internet and is drowning in anonymity because like Rush, he took things too far for too long.
For years, I’d heard Keith Olbermann refer to Glenn Beck as “Lonesome Roads”
Beck. I did not understand the reference but my “nerd-dom” got the best of me as I researched it to a delightful conclusion. The reference is to a 1957 black and white film called “A Face In The Crowd”, starring Patricia Neal and Andy Griffith. It’s the story of how a charismatic drunk and drifter is discovered by someone in the media and elevated to cult-like star status in radio and television. He not only acquires fame and fortune, but political power. Andy Griffith plays Lonesome Roads, the egotistical, cynical and power hungry man, thrust to fame by his charisma and taken down by his own ego. At the end of one of his shows, the engineer cuts the microphone and leaves Lonesome’s jilted girlfriend alone in the control booth while the show’s credits roll. Millions of viewers watch (in what initially is silence) their hero Rhodes smiling and seeming to chat amiably with the rest of the cast. In truth, he’s on a vitriolic rant about the stupidity of his audience. In the broadcast booth, the jilted
lover reactivates his microphone, sending his words and laughter over the air live. A sequence of television viewers is shown to react to Lonesome’s description of them all as “idiots, morons, and guinea pigs.” I love that scene, because in truth, I genuinely believe that’s what Rush Limbaugh thinks of his audience, as he laughs all the way to the bank (with his 60 million dollar a year contract).
Like Olbermann or not, you have to give the guy props for predicting Glenny’s demise years ahead of his time.
Before the Right Wingers come here to bitch that Olbermann is just as bad as the Human Hindenburg… save your breath. Bring those false equivalencies here and expect a smack-down. There’s a chasm of difference between Rush calling a Georgetown University law student a slut and a prostitute because she dared to testify before a Senate hearing on women’s health and Keith Olbermann’s less than charitable remarks regarding S.E. Cupp and Michelle Malkin. Rush took direct aim at a private citizen in a 3-day, 9-hour relentless tirade of hate. Olbermann took aim at two professional political operatives, both known for their own hate speech. While I don’t condone his one-time remarks, to call it the “same” is disingenuous. And if you believe Olbermann and Limbaugh are cut from the same bolt, then you missed his address last night that you can see here.
Thanks to Keith Olbermann for a “teaching moment”. I see the Human Hindenburg coming to a Lonesome Roads end. Rushbo doesn’t need my help. He’ll implode. Like Joe McCarthy, all gasbags crash and burn. Oh, and, for goodness sake, see “A Face In The Crowd”. Rent it. Buy it. Whatever. Just watch it. You’ll feel a whole lot better knowing that Rush’s ego and pomposity will do more to impact his ultimate end than you or I ever could.
Carol Baker is a political writer, satirist, and co-host with Vicki Childs of our Here Women Talk weekly internet talk radio show called BROADSIDED. You can hear their show every Thursday at 11 am Eastern/10 Central/8 Pacific.