From The Guardian:
This week, Human Events, which has been “leading the conservative revolution since 1944”, is celebrating the 20th-anniversary of Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh, of course, is the right-wing radio monologuer who has “remade American politics”, according to Karl Rove, or is a “big fat liar” as Al Franken has called him, in homage to the man’s own distinctively rebarbative style. A distinctively American phenomenon, his partisan rants would lose any British station broadcasting him its license.
“I’m not making this up,” is Limbaugh’s catchphrase. But, in fact, he often does just that. Rory O’Connor’s book Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio, details the right-wing talkshow universe and makes the point that it was not just Limbaugh’s native charm that got him launched on the airwaves. Rather, the concentration of media ownership, under a complaisant FCC, paved his way, along with the inspired political entrepreneurship of Fox CEO Roger Ailes, who offered the show free to local stations.
Limbaugh’s audience is so overwhelmed that they suffer from amnesia on the same scale as his megalomania. As he now boosts John McCain against Barack Obama, who remembers his comment that “all the candidates on our side, for various reasons, are uninspiring, or worse”? Who remembers the campaigner for drug-takers to go “down the river”, as the same pill-popping poly-prescriptive panjandrum who copped a plea deal for going into treatment? Then, maybe he thought that OxyContin, like nicotine, was non- addictive, just as, in fact, he thinks carbon monoxide is non-toxic.
For the Limbaughs of this world, gays, blacks, liberals, feminazis, Clintons, Obamas and all the rest of his Grand Guignol dramatis personae are unpatriotic, not real citizens, maybe not even human. They deserve neither rights nor respect. This is Bush’s Radio G’tmo. It epitomises the ethos of the age.
Twenty years of Rush Limbaugh radio? Eight years consecutive of Bush and Cheney? Surely it’s time for parole?
Chimpy, Poppy, and Jebby called the show to congratulate Limpy. Here are some snippets of what Chimpy and Limpy had to say:
THE PRESIDENT: President George W. Bush calling to congratulate you on 20 years of important and excellent broadcasting.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m just calling along with President 41 and the former governor of Florida. We’re fixing to have lunch here, and I said, “Listen, we ought to call our pal and let him know that we care” for you. So this is as much as anything, a nice verbal letter to a guy we really care for.
RUSH: They were waving at me trying to tell me you were on the line, and I didn’t know what was going on. So you succeeded here in the surprise. How are you doing, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I am great. We’re doing very good, thank you very much, sir. Concerned about our economy, obviously, but know we need to be drilling for some oil and gas in order to take the pressure off the gas prices — and I’m pleased with the progress in Iraq.
RUSH: Have you heard what Senator Obama wants to do? He wants another stimulus check of a thousand dollars to every American paid for by the oil companies.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Well, what we ought to be doing is encouraging oil companies to find oil, and that’s the best way to take the pressure off the gasoline prices. We’re on a very strong push to get the Congress to allow for there to be offshore drilling, and most Americans understand now that an increase in oil, particularly here in America, will help take pressure off of price. And I tell people I’d rather, you know, be buying American oil instead of sending our money overseas.
RUSH: You know, Mr. President, it’s amazing. In 2004 during your campaign, Senator Kerry was constantly criticizing you for not “jawboning” with the Saudis enough to bring the price of oil down. Now, four years later, they’re doing everything they can to keep the price from coming down. They apparently want it to remain high.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, they may want to, but the American people want to see some relief. It would be like a massive tax cut when the gasoline prices decline. So we’re in times of economic uncertainty and the more money people have in their pockets the quicker we’ll be able to recover, in my judgment. You asked how I’m doing. My spirits are high; I’m going to finish strong. I love my family and I’m spending two days here with mother and dad before I head overseas.
Then it was Poppy’s turn:
BUSH 41: Do you see our man Ailes at all?
RUSH: Oh, yeah. I saw Roger at Tony Snow’s funeral.
BUSH 41: Oh, did you?
RUSH: And a couple of times earlier this summer.
BUSH 41: Are we on the radio, are we?
BUSH 41: I didn’t know that. I’ll clean up my act here. I’m glad they told me.
RUSH: Yeah, we’re on the radio.