Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Honoring Rush Limbaugh

According to the Media Matters for America, Brian Williams, the replacement for Tom Brokaw as the anchor of NBC's "Nightly News", thinks that Rush Limbaugh is yet to get the credit he is due:

WILLIAMS: I do listen to Rush. I listen to it from a radio in my office, or depending on my day, if I'm in the car, I will listen to Rush. And he will tell you I've been listening for years. I think it's my duty to listen to Rush. I think Rush has actually yet to get the credit he is due, because his audience for so many years felt they were in the wilderness of this country. No one was talking to them.


Rush said to millions of Americans, you have a home. Come with me. For three hours a day you can listen and hear the like-minded calling in from across the country, and I'll read to you things perhaps you didn't see that are out there. I think Rush gave birth to the FOX News Channel. I think Rush helped to give birth to a movement. I think he played his part in the Contract with America. So I hope he gets his due as a broadcaster.

Media Matters goes on to tell us that the sorts of things Limbaugh told his pining audience include these. That Limbaugh:

* compared U.S. guards' torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison to a fraternity prank, saying the guards were "having a good time," "blow[ing] some steam off" [May 5, 2004];
* claimed that women "actually wish" for sexual harassment, and said he "laughed [him]self to tears" when Media Matters for America documented that remark and other sexist remarks he has made [April 26, 2004; May 5, 2004];
* said: "Hugo, Cesar -- whatever. A Chavez is a Chavez. We've always had problems with them." [March 26, 2004];
* stated, when African American Reverend Jesse Jackson joined Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign: "The Kerry campaign has finally gotten a chocolate chip"; University of Maryland political science professor Ronald Walters described Limbaugh's comment as a "backhanded racist remark" [September 29, 2004];
* said: "John Kerry really doesn't think 3,000 Americans dead in one day is that big a deal" [October 11, 2004]; and
* said Democrats believe "the more deaths in Iraq the better" [December 9, 2004].

Yes. But we don't really know what Williams meant when he said that Limbaugh hasn't yet gotten his due recognition. Maybe Williams had rotten eggs expertly thrown at the Rush mug in his mind? Or public spitting? Or maybe not. Maybe Williams adores Limbaugh and is going to give him kisses and stuff in his news program.

Limbaugh has not yet received his dues, I agree. He is personally responsible for a lot of lying, a lot of hatred and a lot of fear in this country. He has deliberately taken the anger he found there and he has made it more vicious, he has deliberately misdirected the anger towards a group of people who cannot fight back very well, and he is still deliberately stoking more anger, anger that may one day result in a civil war in this country and the death of people who have nothing to do with the issues that Limbaugh foams about.

He has made hatreds of all kinds politically correct again. That's what he will be recognized for in the history books one day, and that's when he will get his dues.