View Full Version : Liberals & Limbaugh [Left Goes Beserk]

04-05-2009, 05:36 PM
Last week in these pages, Andrew Klavan, a conservative who writes for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, addressed himself to liberals, insisting that "whatever you claim, you still haven't listened to Rush Limbaugh."

He concluded with a proposal: "I am throwing down my gauntlet at your quivering liberal feet. I hereby issue my challenge -- the Limbaugh Challenge: Listen to the show. ... Ask yourself: What's he getting at? Why does he say the things he says? Why do so many people of goodwill -- like that nice Mr. Klavan -- agree with him?"

We asked four local liberals to take that challenge, and one fallacy in Klavan's argument quickly became clear: They all had already listened extensively to Limbaugh.

Here's what they concluded from the experience:
Marc Cooper Director of Annenberg Digital News at the USC Annenberg School for Communication

"I have been listening to Rush Limbaugh for years, and it's usually under the same circumstances: When I'm barreling through some Godforsaken desert in the dark of night and the only thing on the radio is a repeat of that morning's Limbaugh show bouncing off the ionosphere and into my car from 10 different directions.

"I don't find Limbaugh even remotely entertaining, and certainly not thought-provoking. But I also don't consider him offensive or even dangerous.

"Mostly, Rush Limbaugh is depressing. Deeply depressing. Which might explain precisely why I choose to listen to him during those lonely, lonesome and alienating drives through the darkness. The emptiness of the show makes a perfect audio companion for the barren landscape that surrounds me and the grim mood that sometimes immerses me during those travels.

"Simple, really. The ditto-head audience relies on Limbaugh the same way that a drunk uses a lamp post or the way a fundamentalist zealot relies on Scripture: not for illumination but rather for something to lean on.

"Call Limbaugh's rants offensive, racist, extremist or just plain intellectually insulting, if it makes you feel better. I think it's more useful to understand him instead as a form of religious experience, one of the more dogmatic strain. He's a completely reliable inspiration and reinforcement for those who are embittered and battered and who confuse their natural allies for their enemies. He's an electronic opiate for the masses. For Limbaugh's audience is not a happy lot. They are completely convinced that an unholy coalition of liberals, homos, feminazis and overly entitled minorities are responsible for the mess of their own tiny, dead-end lives.
Laurie Ochoa Editor in chief, LA Weekly
"Any real ditto-head can tell you that liberals have always been an important part of Rush Limbaugh's audience. They may not get a lot of caller airtime -- "Rush babies," budding right-wingers with, as Limbaugh likes to put it, "perceptions beyond their years," and flirty female conservatives will always get on the show before cranky lefties -- but Limbaugh loves to lecture and tease his liberal listeners. I know this because I am a longtime listener who needs no Limbaugh Challenge to tune in.
Norman Lear Writer, producer and founder of People for the American Way
"Hi, there, Mr. Klavan. I hate to call you wrong from your very first sentence, but I read the L.A. Times and listen to Rush Limbaugh. In fact, I pay what El Rushbo & Co. charge to get transcripts of his show every day, so I can be sure to see in context those 'selected excerpts spoon-fed' me 'by the distortion-mongers of the mainstream media' you write about. I am thoroughly up to date on Mr. Limbaugh and what you label 'his pieces of outrageous hilarity.'

"And as I came across all that hilarity last this week, I could feel my 'scrawny chest swelling with a warm sense of completely unearned righteousness.'
Constance L. Rice Civil rights attorney in Los Angeles
"As yet another liberal, long-time listener, I've formed many opinions about Rush Limbaugh. He is a brilliant circus barker, the perfect cipher for cynics, a masterful agitator of paranoia and a beguiling oracle for the low-information cohort. I suspect that the only human he loathes more than "feminazis" and "limousine liberals" is himself. As with all malignant narcissists with a megaphone, he bears watching. Just think of him as the Father Coughlin of 2008."