Friday, March 09, 2012

Rush Crumbling?

Rush Limbaugh has, for years, exemplified the very worst in American talk. I would not say "American thought," because his performances skip that step. He shoots from the hip and normally whatever random target he hits goes down, his audience is loyal and large, he and his dog-pack followers have ruined more than one career since he started in 1984. There is nothing uplifting in what he says, nothing constructive, his message is that the individual should consider himself (and not herself, his audience is nearly entirely male) the center of the universe and treat anything peripheral with disdain, disrespect, and disgust.

He has millions of listeners but generally he talks for several hours a day on the radio and nobody outside his fan-club pays any attention. If you don't buy his point of view he is impossible to listen to, and so the media typically do not report on his statements and people outside his hermetically sealed universe rarely know what is going on there.

For some reason Rush's recent rants about a Georgetown law student got publicized outside the fishbowl, normal people saw the transcripts and the video of Limbaugh rolling around in his chair in front of his microphone, extemporizing about the sex life of a young woman he has never met but would like to watch having sex on the Internet.

And once people saw what he was saying, they did not like it. Companies that have paid millions to support Limbaugh's venomous rhetoric for years started hearing from their customers, who are not pleased with them. The companies are responding by pretending they never knew that this was how the guy talks on the radio. Surely, they say, Rush Limbaugh does not speak for them when he says these things. Though, of course, he has been saying these same kinds of things for thirty years. The only difference this week is that he was exposed to people outside his ordinary audience of disaffected and politically impotent males.

Media Matters for America reported yesterday that fifty companies have withdrawn their advertising from Rush Limbaugh's show. They monitored WABC in New York on March 8th and found:
  • A total of 86 ads aired during WABC's broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show today
  • 77 of those ads were public service announcements donated free of charge by the Ad Council
  • Of the nine paid spots that ran, seven were from companies that have said they have taken steps to ensure their ads no longer air during the program
  • WABC's online feed included about 5:33 of dead air when ads would normally have run.
    Rush Limbaugh's Advertisers, March 8

In the meantime, Politico is reporting that Limbaugh's web site has purged transcripts of the parts where he called Sandra Fluke a slut and prostitute:
Type in the word “slut” in the archive search bar on, and you’re told: “No results found. Please try another search.”

Type in the word “prostitute,” and you get plenty of results, including a link to “Butt Sister are Safe from Newt and Rick” – the transcript from the first time Limbaugh made his derogatory comments about law student Sandra Fluke last Wednesday. The only problem is, when you click on the link (it was included in a POLITICO story last week), you are routed to a blank white page.

The same is true for the link to “Left Freaks Out Over My Fluke Remarks,” which should house Limbaugh’s continued attacks against Fluke from the next day.

I would not predict at this time that Rush Limbaugh is toast. His followers include the leadership of the Republican Party and his comments were directly on target for the party's campaign message, which is usually kept at a subliminal level, but because Rush is an "entertainer" he can say things in public that the profession politicians can only mutter in closed meetings. There is a lot of money behind the GOP and I am not convinced that any candidate has the courage to challenge Rush head-on -- they may even save him. He has issued apologies but they are a joke.

Not surprisingly, his ratings have surged in the past week. There is no shortage of frustrated men who believe that women with opinions are sluts and prostitutes, and this has been good for his ratings in the short run. And you know that if there are listeners there will be advertisers -- Rush's demographic is male and prosperous and the companies would like to sell stuff to them. Let's watch and see if they come creeping back.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Throughout the coverage of radio shock-jock Rush Limbaugh’s ‘slut shaming’ of Sandra Fluke, his listenership has been reported as either 15 or 20 million. But how do journalists know how many listeners he actually has?

Could it actually be less than a tenth of that much reported number?

Back in 2009, The Washington Post did report that the constant republishing of this huge number — a number apparently unchanged since 1993 — was based on a guess.

This is because (unlike how TV viewership numbers are calculated), radio listenership figures are still based on the rather ancient method of diaries and numbers include anyone who listens, even if only for a minute, during a week. The numbers also come from those with a self-interest in big numbers rather than some independent measurement body.

The Post found that Arbitron, the overseer of U.S. radio ratings, has never tried to measure Limbaugh’s audience.

Arbitron told The Post: “There is no economic motivation for any objective third party to do that kind of analysis.”"

Here's what we do know. Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams are America's Favorite News Personalities
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Nancy Grace are least favorite

"which three of the 26 news personalities are America's least favorite, almost half say Rush Limbaugh (46%). Three in ten say Bill O'Reilly (31%) and almost one-quarter say their least favorite is Nancy Grace (23%). Rounding out the top ten least favorite news personalities are Sean Hannity (14%), Katie Couric (10%), Piers Morgan (10%), Barbara Walters (10%), Chris Matthews (10%), Rachel Maddow (7%) and Wolf Blitzer (7%)."

March 09, 2012 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one comment Jim.

Watch this :

and never one word from you !

Not once.


March 09, 2012 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be so hard to be a woman and to support the GOP these days. Senators Snow and Murkowski have found out that their constituents at home favor birth control by huge margins and resent the GOP's war on women. The GOP has to go so far as to use the occasional potshot of a comedian to try to justify Rush Limbaugh's 3 days of sustained personal attacks against a female student women's health advocate.

Bill Maher, by the way, *supported Rush* just like some GOP women did after Rush issued his apology for two of the most hurtful of too many hurtful words: slut and prostitute.

Why? Because they'd rather talk about anything but Obama's success with the economy.

"WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States added 227,000 jobs in February in the latest display of the economic recovery's surprising breadth and brawn. The country has put together the strongest three months of pure job growth since the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent. It was the first time in six months it didn't fall, and that was because a half-million Americans, perhaps finally seeing hope in the economy, started looking for work.

The Labor Department also said Friday that December and January, already two of the best months for jobs since the recession, were even stronger than first estimated. It added 41,000 jobs to its total for January and 20,000 for December.

Economists were expecting February job growth of 210,000.

"It's a very strong report," said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors, an asset management company. "I could hardly find anything not to like in it."

Since the beginning of December, the country has added 734,000 jobs. The only three-month stretch that was better since the recession ended was March through May 2010, when the government was hiring tens of thousands of temporary workers for the census.

Stocks rose steadily through the morning. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 48 points to 12,956. Last week, it closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008, four months before the financial crisis.

Obama on Friday visited a manufacturing plant run by Rolls-Royce, a maker of aircraft engines, in Virginia, a state expected to be closely contested in November. He told workers there that American manufacturing is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.

"The economy is getting stronger," the president said. "When I come to places like this and I see the work that's being done, it gives me confidence there are better days ahead. I would bet on American workers and American know-how any day of the week."

Mitt Romney, the leader in delegates among Obama's would-be challengers, did not directly address the fresh economic data at a stop in Mississippi, but he criticized Obama for failing to bring the unemployment rate below 8 percent.

The unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent since February 2009, a month after Obama's inauguration, a point regularly hammered by Romney. But as more jobs are created, it is increasingly likely that the rate will fall below 8 percent by Election Day."

March 10, 2012 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plaintiff challenging healthcare law went bankrupt – with unpaid medical bills

Obama administration lawyers say her case is an example of why an insurance mandate is needed to prevent 'uncompensated care that will ultimately be paid by others.'

Mary Brown, a 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama's healthcare law because she was passionate about the issue.

Brown "doesn't have insurance. She doesn't want to pay for it. And she doesn't want the government to tell her she has to have it," said Karen Harned, a lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Business. Brown is a plaintiff in the federation's case, which the Supreme Court plans to hear later this month.

But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address.

The central issue before the Supreme Court is whether the government can require people to buy health insurance. Under the law, those who fail to buy insurance after 2014 could face a fine of up to $700.

The business federation, along with other critics of the law, calls the insurance mandate a "threat to individual liberty" that violates the Constitution.

Obama administration lawyers argue that the requirement is justified because everyone, sooner or later, needs healthcare. Those who fail to have insurance are at high risk of running up bills they cannot pay, sticking the rest of society with the cost, they argue. Brown's situation, they say, is a perfect example of exactly that kind of "uncompensated care that will ultimately be paid by others."

"This is so ironic," Jane Perkins, a health law expert in North Carolina, said of Brown's situation. "It just shows that all Americans inevitably have a need for healthcare. Somebody has paid for her healthcare costs. And she is now among the 62% whose personal bankruptcy was attributable in part to medical bills."

March 10, 2012 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch this :

still no comment Jim ?
How do you justify this ?

March 10, 2012 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Most Pleasant Minute Of Rush Limbaugh's Career

March 10, 2012 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Georgia state Rep. Terry England compared women to farm animals while discussing an abortion measure on the Georgia state house floor.

The republican lawmaker was commenting on HB 954 -- a measure which would prohibit a woman from having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy -- when he made the curious comparison, according to The Raw Story.

“Life gives us many experiences,” England explained. “I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. … It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.”

England went on to tell the story of a man who expressed his concern about abortion with his own animal metaphor.

"[The man] said, ‘Mr. Terry, I want to tell you something. You tell those folks down there when they quit killing babies, they can have every chicken I’ve got,'" England said.

The controversial bill would even apply in situations where the fetus was not expected to survive. England's response to such concerns is what sparked the bizarre comparison.

Opponents of the bill believe that it would force women to carry stillborn fetuses or to have Caesarian deliveries. Regardless of any complications surrounding the pregnancy, under HB 954 a woman is expected to carry the child until birth.

March 10, 2012 12:33 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, I have watched the video you linked twice now, and I don't have any idea why you think it is important. Bill Maher spoke not-nicely about Sarah Palin. I would say that is far overbalanced by comments that have been made about Nancy Pelosi, for example, or Michelle Obama, and in any case it is not nice language on either side. We talk about our public figures, not always in flattering terms.

You will also note that Bill Maher has defended Rush Limbaugh, believing that if he can use ad hominem sexist language, so should someone he disagrees with.

People are not upset that Limbaugh called someone a bad name or used sexist language, he has made a career out of that. Decent people agree that his torrent of personal and false accusations of Sandra Fluke went entirely out of bounds for discourse at any level. Nobody should talk about anybody like that. Ever. And most of us don't. It was inexcusable.


March 10, 2012 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Theresa can explain why ShePAC has only called on Bill Maher's political contribution to be returned to him because of his sexist comments, but hasn't called for any such corrective action regarding Rush Limbaugh because of his sexist comments.

Does ShePAC support allowing Rush's sexist comments to be broadcast to our troops, which include many women serving to defend our nation?

March 10, 2012 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rush Limbaugh show transcript Oct. 14, 2011


"RUSH: President Obama has deployed troops to another war, in Africa, ladies and gentlemen. Jacob Tapper, ABC News, is reporting that Obama has sent 100 US troops to Uganda to help combat Lord's Resistance Army. Tapper reporting today: "Two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to help regional forces 'remove from the battlefield' -- meaning capture or kill -- Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA." I wonder how the Wall Street crowd is gonna react when they find out that Obama has sent troops to another war? "Mr. Limbaugh, it's just 100 peacekeepers." Yep, yep, yep, that's how Libya started, and, by the way, there's no end in sight for Libya."

Actually, Libya worked out very well for the world -- a dictator was killed by his own people. However, Rush doesn't think Joseph Kony should be brought to justice because he uses the word "Christian" in the name of his "army" that kidnaps innocent children and turns boys into mutilating and murdering soldiers and girls into sex slaves.

What about those innocent kidnapped girls turned sex slaves in Uganda, ladies of ShePAC? Can't you show any support for them?

March 10, 2012 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rush Limbaugh, Defender of the Lord’s Resistance Army
Disgusting does not begin to describe it.

March 10, 2012 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fine Jim.

I will agree that what Rush said was inexcusable.

Will you agree that what Bill Maher regularly says is inexcusable ?

And by the way, Rush apologized. Bill did not.


March 10, 2012 5:17 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Maher doesn't need to apologize for anything I've heard him say. There is no requirement that liberals have to be nice all the time, sometimes they might fight hard and they don't have to apologize for that. What'd he do, called some public figure a "stupid twat?" People who cannot stand being referred to in such a way should not run for office, because it happens every day.

BTW, Rush did not apologize in any common sense of the word. Ed Schultz did, when he stepped out of bounds, Rush's "apology" was an insult to anyone has ever actually regretted having said or done something.


March 10, 2012 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you really listened to that entire video and did not find anything offensive in what Bill Maher said ?

Not when he joked about Hillary's c*nt ? not when he referred to both Palin and Bachman as MILFs ? Not when he talked about Palin squeezing a retard out of her C*nt...

nothing, really Jim ?

wow, you are worse than I thought if cannot see the harm in those comments....

truly unbelievable if you can't see that...

March 10, 2012 5:56 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Of course it was offensive. Don Rickles was offensive, half the stuff they play on the radio these days is offensive. Bill Maher is a comedian in the tradition of Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, his job is to find humor in the frustration that thinking people feel these days with the sad state of our political processes. I don't happen to think that kind of humor is very funny but I did not hear anything that he should apologize for.

Further, if you asked any Democratic politicians, they would instantly condemn him for saying those things, not one of them would make excuses for him or condone it, as Republicans have been doing with the very-much-worse statements of Limbaugh.

It's a tough game out there, not for lightweights. Hillary, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin are professional politicians; Sandra Fluke is a college student who made a public statement of her opinion,


March 10, 2012 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so your justification for Maher's comments are :

1) he is a comedian and Rush is not.

2) Sandra Fluke is not a public figure and the other women are.

I call that splitting hairs Jim.

March 10, 2012 6:18 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Bill Maher did not select a private citizen and tell the world that she is having so much sex it's a surprise she can walk. It is ridiculous to assert that these comments of Maher's are comparable at all to what Limbaugh said.

Listen, we have been hearing stupid things about Michelle Obama for a long time, comments about her body, her attire, her behavior, and everything else. It's stupid and offensive but nobody complained too much about it. Same with Nancy Pelosi, the attacks on her have been misogynistic and personal to say the least. I'm sorry to say the national rhetoric these days has that tone, there are a lot of personal comments made -- many more from the right, but the left throws some punches too. Maher's comments are no worse than we have been hearing constantly for a long time.

Rush was not just tasteless, his statements were disgusting. The market will determine his future, maybe advertisers will come back and maybe the audience will remain loyal. And maybe not.

Oh, also note that I do not personally care if he apologizes or not. He is a slob no matter how he handles this. Nobody should ever speak about another person in that way, especially in public, especially an influential person like him aiming fire at a private citizen who had the courage to speak in a public forum. Even if he apologizes he deserves every negative consequence that comes his way.


March 10, 2012 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so your justification for Maher's comments are :

1) he is a comedian and Rush is not.

2) Sandra Fluke is not a public figure and the other women are.

I call that splitting hairs Jim.

Jim also said "BTW, Rush did not apologize in any common sense of the word. Ed Schultz did, when he stepped out of bounds, Rush's "apology" was an insult to anyone has ever actually regretted having said or done something."

Let's examine the these very different apologies.

Rush's apology #1 to Sandra Fluke

"For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Ms. Fluke's testimony before Congress made no mention of "sexual recreational activities" whatsoever. Her testimony was about medical conditions like endometriosis that rely on hormonal oral contraceptives to be controlled or cured.

Rush's apology #2 to Sandra Fluke

"I acted too much like the leftists who despise me. I descended to their level using names and exaggerations to describe Sandra Fluke (roll the videotape of Rush's (and other right-wingers') "names and exaggerations" regarding Nancy Pelosi, well before he supposedly "descended to their level….to describe Sandra Fluke" It seems to me it's his level, he resides there.). It's what we have come to know and expect from them, but it's way beneath me. And it's way beneath you. It was wrong and that's why I've apologized, 'cause I succumbed. ...

"Don't be mad at them or mad at her. Everybody here was being true to their nature except me. I'm the one who had the failing on this, and for that I genuinely apologized for using those words to describe Ms. Fluke."

March 11, 2012 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed Shultz's apology to Ingraham This was after Ed said Ingraham was a "right wing slut." One insult, one time not 3 days of 53 insults like Rush did to Fluke and her classmates.

"Good evening, Americans and welcome to The Ed Show from New York tonight. Thomas Roberts will be here tonight anchoring the program, but first I want to take some time to offer an apology. On my radio show yesterday I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.

It doesn't matter what the circumstances were. It doesn't matter that it was on radio and I was ad-libbing. None of that matters. None of that matters. What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to. I want all of you to know tonight that I did call Laura Ingraham today and did not make contact with her and I will apologize to her as I did in the message that I left her today.

I also met with management here at MSNBC, and understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay. I want to apologize to Laura Ingraham. I want to apologize to my family, my wife. I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company.

And I have been in this business since 1978, and I have made a lot of mistakes. This is the lowest of low for me. I stand before you tonight in front of this camera in this studio in an environment that I absolutely love. I love working here. I love communicating with all of you on the radio and the communication that I have with you when I go out and do town hall meetings and meet the people that actually watch. I stand before you tonight to take full responsibility for what I said and how I said it, and I am deeply sorry.

My wife is a wonderful woman. We have a wonderful family. And with six kids and eight grandkids, I try to set an example. In this moment, I have failed. And I want you to know that I talked to my sons especially about character and about dignity and about the truth. And I tell you the truth tonight that I am deeply sorry and I tell them every day that they have to live up to standards if they want to be a successful human being in life. And I have let them down. I have never been in this position before to the point where it has affected so many people. And I know that I have let a lot of people down....

March 11, 2012 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....To the staff here at MSNBC, I apologize for embarrassing the company and the only way that I can really make restitution for you is to give you a guarantee, and the only way that I can prove my sincerity in all of this is if I never use those words again. Tonight, you have my word that I won't. Laura Ingraham, I am sorry. Very sorry. I'll be back with you in the coming days.

And you can hear the sincerity in his voice this video of Ed Shultz's apology to Laura Ingraham

Laura Ingraham said Ed Shultz's apology seemed "heartfelt" to her. It sure sounds heartfelt to me too. Compared to Limbaugh's apologies, especially.

Sandra Fluke said Rush Limbaugh's apology was insufficient because,"this was not someone who made one accidental statement. This was three days of significant portions of his three-hour show. He insulted me and the women of Georgetown who have received no apology. He insulted us over 53 times."

Now let's say someone called your daughter a "slut." Which apology to you think she'd be willing to accept?

March 11, 2012 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to the videotape of Rush's (and other right-wingers') "names and exaggerations" regarding Nancy Pelosi, well before he supposedly "descended to their level….to describe Sandra Fluke" It seems to me it's his level, he resides there.)

March 11, 2012 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Rush Limbaugh is a professional hate-monger, in the literal sense of the word. This becomes clear after listening to only a few minutes of virtually every program he broadcasts.

March 12, 2012 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U.S. Army among 141 groups pulling ads from Limbaugh

March 13, 2012 8:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home