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Rush Limbaugh on Technology

Conservative Talk-show Host


OpEd: Never fired from any radio show due to conservatism

After dropping out of college, Limbaugh got a job in 1972 at WIXZ, a small AM radio station near Pittsburgh. He was fired after 18 months, he claimed because he played "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones too often. But Limbaugh was fired again in 1974 after [his next] station was sold to a new owner.

Rush moved on to JUDL-AM in Kansas City but the AM station shifted to all syndicated news, and the radio host moved to FM. At KFIX, personality conflicts ultimately costs Rush his job.

Despite his cries about liberal bias, Rush was never fired from any radio show for his conservative views. To the contrary, his right-wing attitudes probably saved him. Limbaugh most often lost his shows due to technological changes (the rise of syndicated news and automated music stations) or personality conflicts; in the only case where Limbaugh's views cost him a job, it was because he did something he rarely ever did: criticize a corporation.

Source: The Most Dangerous Man in America, by J.K.Wilson, p. 4-5 , Mar 1, 2011

First to combine entertainment and political opinion

Rush Limbaugh has done much more than make his own show popular; he has also pioneered a new way of doing media, in which expressing his own views matters far more than any traditional reporting. This shift in media has had many benefits for society, but a downside as well: Accurate news reporting has often been replaced with pure opinionizing.

By merging entertainment and opinionated politics, he has also set the stage for a wide range of new voices, from Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Before this, openly liberal or conservative hosts with strongly expressed views were largely unknown in American mass media culture, and political commentary was largely limited to humorless newspaper columns.

The radio host is transforming conservatism and destroying the moderate wing of the Republican Party by imposing rigid adherence to his particular brand of conservatism. Rush Limbaugh is dumbing down America and coarsening our culture.

Source: The Most Dangerous Man in America, by J.K.Wilson, p. 8 , Mar 1, 2011

Responsible for idea that Obama requires a teleprompter

In 2009 "in a few short months, we've gone from hearing 'Barack Obama is one of the great extemporaneous speakers,' to 'Obama can't speak without a teleprompter.'" Limbaugh was almost solely responsible for pushing the bizarre idea that Obama is incapable of speaking without a teleprompter.

Little mention was made about Obama's "teleprompter" during the 2008 campaign, when John McCain was notably bad at reading from them, and President George W. Bush used them in every speech. But when Obama became president, Limbaugh instantly seized upon this common piece of technology as if it were a new device Obama had invented on inauguration day.

"He's lost without the teleprompter," Rush said, and later, "It's clear he doesn't know what he's doing when he's off that teleprompter." In reality, Obama has spoken without a script to a national audience far more than George W. Bush did.

Source: The Most Dangerous Man in America, by J.K.Wilson, p. 72-73 , Mar 1, 2011

FactCheck: No, net neutrality unrelated to search engines

Net neutrality is yet another topic where Limbaugh manages to see the darkest plots hidden: "What's coming is the deceptively named Net neutrality. The easiest way to understand this is to think of a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet. Now, how would this work? Let's say that you want to go Google or Bing, you want to search the mating habits of the Australian rabbit bat. Net neutrality would require that every search engine produce an equal number of results that satisfy every disagreement about the issue. Yep."

Nope. Net neutrality means that Internet service providers must treat all websites equally, and can't ban or slow down certain sites for their customers.

Limbaugh painted a picture of secret government control exerted over the World Wide Web: "So in Net neutrality--and this is where the Google-White House partnership comes into play--the results of any search, let's say you want to search abortion, or you want to search the health care bill, they want to control what you see."

Source: The Most Dangerous Man in America, by J.K.Wilson, p.112 , Mar 1, 2011

"Drive-by media" means the state controls what is broadcast

To express his hatred of the mainstream media, Limbaugh began to call them the "drive-by-media." Here's how Rush explained the term: "The drive-by media. It's like a drive-by shooter except the microphones are the gun, and they drive into groups of people, they report a bunch of totally wrong libelous stuff about people. They create a giant mess. Sometimes people get really harmed. They go out and try to destroy people's careers."

With the election of Barack Obama, Limbaugh shifted his rhetoric about the press. Instead of calling them drive-by media, he decided to name them the state-controlled media. Rush said, "I think the whole concept of reporting has gone out the window. I call them the state-controlled media because it's what they are. They're just repeaters. They take dictation from Rahm Emanuel for the most part, and they simply run with it."

Source: The Most Dangerous Man in America, by J.K.Wilson, p.198-199 , Mar 1, 2011

Founded radio show immediately after "Fairness Doctrine"

Liberals are itching to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" to destroy talk radio. Ronald Reagan's FCC repealed the "Fairness Doctrine" in 1987; the Rush Limbaugh show premiered on August 1, 1988. Illustrating the irony of the name, the "Fairness Doctrine" does not apply to TV stations, newspapers, magazine, or Hollywood movies. Only on the radio is the government required to enforce "fairness."

By mandating that any political views disseminated over the radio be counterbalanced by the opposing view, the "Fairness Doctrine" not only requires radio stations to give boring crackpots airtime, it also creates a conceptual and administrative nightmare.

The problem isn't just the paperwork stations would have to fill out. It's also that radio stations would have to start balancing three hours of Rush Limbaugh (20 million listeners) with three hours of Randi Rhodes ( 6 listeners) every day. Reimplementation of the "Fairness Doctrine" spells the end of talk radio.

Source: Guilty, by Ann Coulter, p. 18-19 , Nov 10, 2009

Broadcast’s “Fairness Doctrine” breaches First Amendment

The American model of democracy was firmly grounded on the imperative of free speech-and an absolute rejection of licensing or regulating the press. But absurd as it may seem, these bedrock rights and freedoms do not necessarily apply to broadcasting. The US has freedom of the press. until we get to the electronic press. The American Revolution has not yet spread to the nation’s airwaves. Radio & television broadcasters must be licensed by the federal government-and there lies a slippery slope.

To beg any government’s permission to speak is to ask for trouble. That kind of government shackling of freedom of speech-in defiance of the First Amendment-is precisely what we will have in store if the Fairness Doctrine is re-enacted. As we go to press, “fairness” legislation is popping up [in several bills].

Would somebody please find “fairness” for me in the Constitution? You can’t. Yet somehow we have gotten this notion that fairness is a guiding principle.

Source: See, I Told You So, p.361-64 , Jul 2, 1993

Talk Radio threatens liberals because they can’t control it

The profound anger and distrust of our political institutions felt by so many Americans now includes The Media as well. The Media is now considered just another part of the arrogant, condescending, elite, and out-of-touch political structure which has ignored the people and their concerns and interests. People are beginning to view the media not as a watchdog against governmental abuses of power but as an institution which is itself engaging in the abuse of power.

Studies in 1992 examined the “threat to an informed public” posed by Talk Radio and its “irresponsible” hosts. The Media skewers the Talk Radio branch of The Media, saying that its audience is composed of ignorant, easily misguided suckers who are constantly worked up into a lather by reactionary, uninformed hosts.

In all other cases, they would champion the involvement of other branches of The Media. Why? Because they control those branches, and the people themselves have far less interactive involvement.

Source: The Way Things Ought To Be, p.268-70 , Jul 2, 1992

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Page last updated: Jul 07, 2014