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Limbaugh on Darfur, Mandela, etc.

From Media Matters via Talking Points Memo:

LIMBAUGH: Here's [caller] in Lake Orion, Michigan. Thank you for calling. Great to have you on the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. It's great to talk to you. I talked to youonce before. I've been listening to you for a couple of years now, andI think I'm getting brighter, but there's a lot to be learned. I knowI'm no expert in foreign affairs, but what really confuses me about theliberals is the hypocrisy when they talk about how we have no reason tobe in Iraq and helping those people, but yet everybody wants us to goto Darfur. I mean, aren't we going to end up in a quagmire there? Imean, isn't it -- I don't understand. Can you enlighten me on this?

LIMBAUGH: Yeah. This is -- you're not going to believe this, butit's very simple. And the sooner you believe it, and the sooner you letthis truth permeate the boundaries you have that tell you this is justsimply not possible, the better you will understand Democrats ineverything. You are right. They want to get us out of Iraq, but theycan't wait to get us into Darfur.

CALLER: Right.

LIMBAUGH: There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur?

CALLER: Uh, yeah.

LIMBAUGH: It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keepvoting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this votingbloc, they're in trouble.

CALLER: Yes. Yes. The black population.

LIMBAUGH: Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa,you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them.You stand behind Nelson Mandela -- who was bankrolled by communists fora time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go toEthiopia. You do the same thing.

CALLER: It's just -- I can't believe it's really that simple.

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A sad audience, to be charitable here.

"Caller" appears to have quickly found a replacement for Karl Rove.

Anyone who lives or travels just a short distance outside of a metropolitan area shouldnt be surprised at this exchange of Limbaughs obscenity. I have found a predominance of 3 kinds of radio programming in vast portions of this country: right-wing talk shows; evangelical religious broadcasts; and country music.Limbaugh and his ilk overwhelm the radio waves. NPR, Air America, etc. have infinitesimal impact compared to the Limbaughs of the world. This exchange of lies and no-truths appeals to so many people who feel lost, underappreciated, threatened by change and difference. Logic to them is what they agree with before they ever ask the questions. Limbaugh et al are modern-day incarnations of the Fr. Coughlins and Henry Fords of yesteryear. There will always be a market for their brand of fair and impartial reporting and opinions.

So you agree with Limbaugh? Doesn't his analysis of liberals' motivations seem a bit simplistic?

Years ago, I'd sometimes listen to Limbaugh on the car radio. It was for the novelty.Eventually I stopped listening to him for two reasons: (a) Rush did all the talking, and (b) the novelty wore off.I never agreed with him. Indeed, even now I can only think, "This guy can't possibly be real!"

What a snakeoil salesman: "...the sooner you let the truth permeate your boundaries..." Quack job. Yet another argument for liberal arts education. If people could only think for themselves they wouldn't want a guru. Of course he's real--he makes money for talking smack. Nice work if you can live with yourself. The desperately sad part is that his listeners are real.

What is WRONG with you people? Don't you want to get brighter like Caller in Lake Orion?The obverse of Rush's reasoning makes it crystal clear that Rush is RIGHT.Why do the Republicans want to stay in Iraq: Because Iraqis are white, and Republicans need the white vote to get elected. They don't care about going into Darfur because those people are black, and Republicans have never carried a majority of black voters.For those who may not know it, Rush's callers are generally screened to exclude all but the dittoheads, who simply provide handy segues for Rush diatribes.I stopped listening to Rush when my blood pressure went up and I was in danger of throwing a clot while driving, thus posing a danger to myself and thousands of others on the interstates at lunchtime when Rush airs.

I find it interesting that the name Rush was also a brand name for amyl nitrate that was once openly available as a sex-enhancing stimulant. It is now much better controlled.Don't ask.That seems appropriate for an overweight, very rich, druggie.

Actually the Republicans want the Arab vote and there is a lot of it in certain key states, e.g., Michigan. Jean, you are a genius.

Hello All,I've had an experience quite similar to the one Jean describes. I was using my parents' car one summer and they had the radio tuned into the station that aired Mr. Limbaugh's program. Since it's their car I didn't want to change their radio settings so I got some regular exposure to Mr. Limbaugh. I found him strangely entertaining at first but eventually got so incensed at some of his outrageous claims and arguments I decided I had better stop listening to him because I was burning up energy I could better spend working for my students. (Happily my parents and I have since agreed to tune in all the family radios to a local classical music station.)I had an exactly similar experience years ago when I moved to Pittsburgh and discovered by accident Mother Angelica's television program. Again, at first I thought her show was somewhat funny, and eventually I got so angry at some of her silly claims and sillier arguments I had to quit squandering my energy watching this program.Reason I bring this second example up is what I find interesting about figures such as Mother Angelica and Rush Limbaugh is their remarkable staying power. (I am aware that Mother Angelica is now in too poor health to appear on television in person, but her following appears to be as strong as ever.) Many other public and controversial figures have a relatively brief period of widespread fame, and then most people tire of them. I simply don't know why Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Angelica have enjoyed such long runs of fame and long term followers. I suppose that heir followers would tell me, "Peter, it's because they are RIGHT." But I don't think that's a satisfactory explanation. Anyone have any thoughts?

My guess is that Rush has a win-win formula. He feeds the righteous indignation of liberals, and the smug self-righteousness of the conservatives, particularly young white men like my nephew who was at a wedding Saturday loudly proclaiming from the Book of Rush.Ah, to be 25 again, and know absolutely everything!I also think that Rush is able to throw near-libelous insults with a kind of hail-fellow good humor that is weirdly engaging. In very small doses.I think most people view Rush as entertainment, though. Republican politicians, most recently Ah-nolt the Terminator in Gally-vor-nee-ya, said Rush was irrelevant to the political scene.I've never seen Mother Angelica.But I do remember Joe Pine fondly.

When I first heard Limbaugh on the radio, I guess at the start of the Clinton administration, it was because there was no other talk radio at that time of day. I was commuting, mid afternoon, from a rural NH school district. For months, I honestly thought it was comedy show that he was playing the role of a kind of political clown or buffoon.I wouldnt have been laughing if Id known that in fact this was a reasonably bright guy deliberately manipulating the prejudices of millions to contribute to the making of an era of nasty, personalized, and uninformed political discourse.PMM originalfaith.com

Nice little hatefest.Anybody for brotherly love?

If Rush, as a child of God, showed up at my door in need of a nundred bucks and bus ticket to Poughkeepsie, Bob, I'd oblige gladly.I just don't feel compelled to love his show or the lies he tells on it..

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About the Author

Eduardo Moisés Peñalver is the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the subjects of property and land use law.