February 15, 2008


Limbaugh keeps pressure on McCain, spotlight on self (Jacques Steinberg, February 15, 2008, NY Times)

[T]he daily spankings Limbaugh has been administering over the air to McCain are about more than the host's practiced outrage over the senator's olive branch to liberals and moderates.

Limbaugh has also seized on the ascension of McCain to remind the world that his nationally syndicated program still matters and that he has not lost his long-demonstrated penchant for making mischief.

If his show mattered why would John McCain have won? Mr. Limbaugh is a gifted comic, but, as always in comedy, a healthy portion of the act depends on the audiencve laughing at him, not just with.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2008 10:02 AM

You're wrong about Limbaugh.

Maybe his lefty listeners laughed at him, mostly because they had no idea that their world view was skewed and because of his frequent gaffes in mispronouncing words and using words that sound like the word he wanted, but his core listeners laughed with him. He was saying unheard of things in a very funny way.

Even if his influence is ebbing and I’m not sure it is, Rush has had a very long and successful run. He’s prevailed against the full power of the liberal establishment including being named by the president of the free world as an agent of evil.

Rush is totally self-taught and self-made and he personally with Reagan and the internet deflected our descent into Carteresque third-world socialism.

Posted by: erp at February 15, 2008 10:48 AM

Nice to know that Limbaugh can play the same game of going to the New York Times that he accuses McCain and others of doing. And this is just another hint at his fellow right talkers of the changes that are coming to the business.

Posted by: Brad S at February 15, 2008 10:48 AM

When Rush first got started, the Internet was in its infancy and he was more or less the only person anywhere in the broadcast media expressing a center-right viewpoint.

Today you have Fox News, which is at least not hostile to the center-right viewpoint; on the radio, you have Laura Ingram and Hugh Hewitt and Sean Hannity; on the 'Net, there's all these bloggers like that Orrin guy up north, and Mark Steyn, and James Lileks, and . . . well, you get the point. El Rushbo is no longer the only game in town.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 15, 2008 10:59 AM

What erp said is mostly true, but I think Rush is at a crossroads. I did not know (until I read it here) that his 'contract' is up next year. I doubt if he would go to satellite, but perhaps he feels that another Republican President would detract from his 'brand' (especially if that President is John McCain).

I do have to laugh, however. I have seen Rush's name on the editorial page of the WSJ at least 10 or 15 times in the past couple of months. Pretty good for a private citizen. And almost every day Rush demeans the paper because of its "open borders" viewpoint (and still he gets mentioned).

The future of the GOP and the conservative 'movement' are not parallel lines right now, and that's making a lot of people grouchy. Yesterday, the House Republicans gave the open seat on the Appropriations Committee to someone from Alabama whose website discusses getting federal money into his district. They passed over Jeff Flake, who is McCain junior in the House on earmarks. Boehner isn't dumb, so this wouldn't have happened in a vacuum, but it's probably a bad move with all the party turmoil. McCain can now endear himself to the bloggers if he blasts the porkers, however. I imagine Rush and the others are laying it on Boehner pretty thick.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 15, 2008 1:00 PM

?? Now I'm totally confused about comments. Being an old hand at it by now, I know better than to click post more than once.

Posted by: erp at February 15, 2008 1:23 PM


They replicate themselves in the aether. Sometimes immediately, sometimes minutes later. But at least you didn't have a triple gainer. That seems to happen to Lou Gots pretty regularly - it must be a semi-automatic thing.

Posted by: ratbert at February 15, 2008 2:51 PM

The self-taught is one of the reasons we laugh at him--he doesn't actually know anything. When he was discussing the Reagan presidency with Newt his version was so ahistorical Newt almost laughed on mic.

Posted by: oj at February 15, 2008 3:49 PM

If I were Newt, I'd never show myself in public again.

Posted by: erp at February 15, 2008 6:29 PM