Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Journalist and author Zev Chafets profiles the right-wing talk show phenomenon Rush Limbaugh in his new book, Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (Sentinel, 2010)
Rush Limbaugh's biographer, Zev Chafets, author of <b><i>Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One</b></i>, talked to Mr. Media Radio on June 3, 2010, about El Rushbo's new bride, Kathryn Rogers, and much more. <a href=http://www.mrmedia.com/2010/06/rush-limbaugh-is-getting-married-this.html>Check it out by clicking HERE!</a>
I generally love Brian's show. His interview with Chafetz, however was rather shameful. Brian allowed Chafetz to espouse a totally amoral point of view. The entire conversation was about Rush's power and influence, or lack of it over the Republican party and the over the political conversation in the US. At some point Brian should have asked the question, is Rush's power and influence helpful or destructive to America.
Brian would Zev Chefets be so dismissive if Rush Limbaugh made anti-semitic comments about ADL or B'nai B'rith the way he was dismissive around the clearly disrespectful racist comments RL made about the NAACP and other black organizations?? Wouldn't he jump up and down and demand that the NFL refuse RL (partial)team ownership the way the Players Association did??
Would he say that Media Matters are just taking his buddy RL's comments about the ADL out of context and they, the Jewish community, should just "lighten up"???
I don't mind the intellectual exercise of giving the devil his due. But regarding Zev Chafets' attitude towards Rush Limbaugh's obvious and continual racist comments it all depends on "whose ox is being gorged".
Missouri native Rush Limbaugh is the current embodiment of the GOP s "Southern Strategy". A key element of that strategy is to sanitize racialism. Reagan launched his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the three Civil Rights workers, Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were murdered.
Brian,I liked your questions. You deserve a prize for your restraint. I, like your guest, find some redeeming values in Rush. He's a Steeler fan, likes Mannheim steamroller music, etc. But to give this guy credit for being positive in what he does on the air is little bit like giving Hitler his due because he helped the German economy. I despise people who use rhetoric to hurt others and then turn around and say "What's the matter, you can't take a joke."
The fact that someone like Rush Limbaugh has influence over anything or anyone is a commentary on the sad state of the level of debate in this country. I also do not find it very funny when a radio host refers to the president as a Nazi or a racist or any of the other disgusting lies his vile mouth has spewed over the years.
I am also stunned that a respected journalist like Mr. Chafets, who's work I have admired over the years, would come away with such a positive view of an individual who's America is a country of intolerance, and hate for anyone who dares to have different opinions than those in his twisted mind and those of his mindless followers.
So according to the author I need to read an entire book about RL to understand everything about his ideas that I oppose? I think there are a lot more books out there that are worth my time. He's just a guy who got rich by appealing to the worst emotions of his listeners. Glen Beck is another example. They aren't serious thinkers, they're just the guys on the bullhorn trying to tell us all about the end of the world of we don't agree with them.
And anyone who tries to compare Jon Stewart to Rush Limbaugh is either blissfully ignorant or purposefully misleading. Show me one extreme claim or idea Jon Stewart has ever made that compares to RL's comments. And who would ever argue that JS is the leading voice of liberalism? Seriously?
Only "dittoheads" are going to buy this book. Chafets may act like he's being "fair," but clearly this is a cynical attempt to cater to right-wing wackos.
nice.keep on trying to tiptoe around defending the "intellect" of Rush.
you got some stones man.
manages to tap into the dark energy of racism while always keeping short of screaming the N word.
I am as liberal as they come, but I will say that the biggest threat to Democrats are people like Limbaugh and Palin. Their approach-ability make us "pointy heads" look arrogant and above joe the plumber. It is the main reason why the conservative right wing is doing so well and we must respect that if we want to stay in power.
Brian, thanks very much for this piece. The phenomena of "Rush Limbaugh" is fascinating.
How is it that the party of William F. Buckley Jr. and Milton Friedman now turn to a drug addled, racist college drop-out for leadership?
Limbaugh certainly is a leader: of the ignorant, racist, homophobic, sexist, anti-worker, angry Americans who have yet to leave the mid-20th century. If that's who the GOP wants to represent, so be it.
For someone who rails against the elite, Rush is a guy whose taste in haute cusine, Bordeaux and cigars removes him from being able to portray himself as allied with the common man.
If RL is "the intellectual engine" as was just stated, there's absolutely no hope for the U.S. The public's taste in popular entertainment is already the death knell for American culture.
Limbaugh, Brooks, Boener, Palin, McCain, Gingrich... As a left-of-center person looking at the Republicans from the outside, it seems to me that there are too many people tacitly vying to be the "leader", leading to a cold civil war within the party.
The problem with the argument that Limbaugh is more of a character is that not only his opponents, but his supporters take him, and all of his outrageous positions seriously. I don't care if he truly believes what he spews, I care very much that his listeners believe and act on what he says "in character".
Mr Chafets just suggested that pundits like David Frum have less influence than Rush Limbaugh because they have failed to make a better argument. That's far from the truth --- those few times I listened to Limbaugh, I quickly lost count of all the logical fallacies that he committed. Limbaugh hardly constructs an argument at all --- he just speaks loudly and appeals to common fears and resentments.
This caller says that he is funny? He is not funny nor a satirist, he is an uneducated fool who speaks before he thinks.
RL is not the leader of anything, he is just the loudest.
rush limbaugh is a fat blow hard. go back to pill popping.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR, PRI and American Public Media, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.