Thursday, November 02, 2006

On the other hand ... Idiot Limbaugh Again

As much John Kerry really blew it with his ill-timed and inarticulate comments about education and military service on Monday, it is really a bit much to hear Rush Limbaugh go off on the Senator, especially his attempt link the media coverage of the Kerry comments (Rush believes Kerry is getting a pass by the "drive-by" media) and the media coverage of Rush's attack on Michael J. Fox (Rush accused Fox of exaggerating his condition on ads supporting Senate candidates who support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research).

For one thing, John Kerry may be elitist, but he volunteered to go to Vietnam and serve his country heroically, earning several medals to prove it. Rush Limbaugh's service record -- well, he doesn't have one.

Limbaugh today attacked Kerry's grades in college. Kerry average a C in college, but graduated with a degree from Yale University. Rush's grade point average at college -- well, he didn't graduate from college.

Limbaugh claims Kerry has never been a success at anyting except marrying rich women. (I guess winning Senate races don't count). Well, Limbaugh's record prior to 1987 a complete series of failures in radio and with the Kansas City Royals.

His post-1987 success in radio is a bit of a historical fluke. His radio show in Sacramento became popular just as the Federal Communications Commission was getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine (requiring that issues of controversy in a community be covered in a fair and balanced way), and expanding the number of radio stations that groups could own (virtually gutting those restrictions within the next 10 years). Had Limbaugh's show appeared five years earlier, it would not have been the success it had because any station carrying it would have had to balance his show with a liberal equivalent. Most stations would have done with they did when they had to cover issues in a balanced way -- they wouldn't have bothered. Instead, Limbaugh, by tapping into anger and frustration of a core of conservative listeners (aka "dittoheads") drew high enough ratings that these ever-growing radio groups -- way more interested in profit than public service -- were all too willing to have him (and, later, his copycats) on air. So, Limbaugh's success (if you can call diminishing the level of political discourse a success) is in large measure just dumb luck.

In terms of comparing the media coverage of Kerry to the media coverage of Rush v. Michael J. Fox, it's just amazing to see Limbaugh trying to paint himself as a victim of the "drive-by" media.

Michael J. Fox suffers from Parkinson's Disease. He got the disease through no fault of his own. He doesn't claim to be a victim. He also doesn't deserve to have Rush Limbaugh mock him on air, as the video of Rush's broadcasts show him doing. If Rush is a "victim" of the "drive-by" media, then he only has himself to blame.

Then again, that's part of his history. Rush Limbaugh lost his hearing and required a cochlear implant because he is a recovering junkie. At the time he finally admitted he was a drug addict, Limbaugh reportedly was taking as many as 60 OxyContin pills daily, as well as other drugs, including Vicodin and Lorcet. In such high doses, hearing loss is side effect. Limbaugh has no one to blame for that physical affliction but himself.

So, Rush can spend from now to election day slamming Kerry and Fox. The problem is that in both instances, he lacks any credibilty whatsoever.


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