James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Dems act like Dittoheads by wasting time on Limbaugh

Posted by James McPherson on January 28, 2009

There can be little doubt for anyone other than a committed “Dittohead” that Rush Limbaugh is a bombastic idiot. Perhaps smarter and generally funnier than Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin, nonetheless Limbaugh is a one-note blowhard who has managed to combine his ability to get under the skin of liberals with the limited intelligence of his primary audience to make himself a multimillionaire and a significant–if declining–conservative voice.

I am continually surprised that much of anyone pays attention to Limbaugh, but now Congressional Democrats have joined the parade of overreactive respondents giving the talk show host the one thing he most craves: attention. As Fox News (Limbaugh’s biggest media ally) prominently reports today, the Dems have started an online petition for people to sign complaining about Limbaugh’s recent “I hope he [Barack Obama] fails” statement. The website promises, “We’ll send Rush your comments.”

I somehow don’t think Limbaugh will be troubled by the petition. In fact, I half expect that he’ll print out the comments and roll around naked on them. In the meantime, he has started his own “reverse petition” with a link to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, urging web readers to “tell the DCCC and all other Democrats it is time to stop lying about and distorting Rush’s comments on Barack Obama’s War on Prosperity.”

Incidentally, I’ll grant that many liberals have distorted Limbaugh’s comments, and that what he really meant was that he hopes Obama fails to create a liberal state. What I don’t get is why anyone still pays enough attention to Rush to think it necessary to hear his comments, let alone distort them. As the Huffington Post’s Joe Peyronnin writes, even Obama made a mistake in elevating Limbaugh’s status with recent remarks.

Peyronnin concludes his piece, “Mr. President, please do what most Republicans can’t do, ignore Rush Limbaugh.” Other Democrats should do the same.

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4 Responses to “Dems act like Dittoheads by wasting time on Limbaugh”

  1. Gabrielle said

    “In fact, I half expect that he’ll print out the comments and roll around naked on them.”

    Ugh. I think I have to go bleach my brain now xD

  2. James McPherson said

    You’re right–it was cruel to put that image in anyone’s head!

  3. Jim,
    Thank you for actually interpreting what Limbaugh said correctly. That’s something far too many commentators — including Leonard Pitts sadly — weren’t able to do. (A simple Googling reveled what he meant — It was the same as a Democrat saying they hope “George Bush fails” in creating a Police State.)

    And you’re right, that Obama and others are falling into Limbaugh’s trap. The man feeds off attention — like the “WASL Monster” of legend (look it up) he only gets stronger from your fear.

    I think Limbaugh (and much of his primary audience) is smarter than you give him credit for, but you’re right that he is, first and foremost, a demagogue.

  4. […] apparently did what he does best, combining bluster and a disregard for reality (and really, who could blame Republicans for wanting […]

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