Friday, October 16, 2009

Rush Limbaugh

I've said before, I don't haven't listen(ed) to Rush. I remember reading at least the first half of his 1992 book just to get behind the curtian and see what makes him tick ... and frankly, I really didn't have any problem with him. Just wasn't my cup of tea, though I've been in general political alignment with him.

A few years ago when the left spin in both what they report on and how they report on what they report on ... got so obvious that I began looking for something else. I stopped listening to NPR when I found myself yelling at the radio in the car asking questions they didn't ask and suggesting alternate answers to the ones they did.

I had, years ago, tuned in to Dennis Miller's breif stint on ... what was it, CNBC? MSNBC? But I found I had other things to do in the evening like spend quality time with my family, play guitar, read ... so I didn't watch it much.

I have a friend who is a history professor here ... he'd been a hard core liberal Democrat all of his life ... until Election 2000 when he got disgusted with the party. He asked if I ever listened to our local talk radio station, and the answer was "no". But I got curious and turned it on in the car one morning. A guy named Glenn Beck was on. I'd heard of him from his HNN (CNN) TV show and had watched one on Radical Islam. And I left it on in the car, so that for my 8 minute commute I'd hear Beck.

He was engaging. Entertaining. And I agreed with a lot of what he was saying.... except for his talking about the pending collapse of our financial system ... I couldn't go there with him. But his commercial parodies and other comedy pieces were so good, I found myself wanting to hear them again and play them for family and friends .... so I paid the money to listen to him on the web at my leisure (and without commercials ... the only way to fly, baby).

And he turned out to be right about the economy.

What impressed me about Beck was the fact that he's passionate but measured, seems to research things before he'll speak definitively, and if it turns out he's wrong, he'll lead with it and say, "yup. I was wrong."

The guy grew on me. I went to see his Common Sense Comedy tour, and I was impressed by its tone and content.

He moved to Fox on TV, got huge ratings, and the leftist machine noticed him. He's a danger to them. And he's a danger to them for precisely the reasons I listen to him. He does his research. He is sincere. And he will say he's wrong if he finds out he's wrong. Isn't that what we want from the News Media? (I realize ... he's a gigantic Op Ed... )

The things I started hearing about him from the MSM did not jive at all with what I was hearing on his radio show. When there were quotes I recongized them right away as wildly out of context -- but more often, I just heard general charges (as if they were matter of fact) that he is "hateful" and "racist".

No. Freaking. Way.

Which brings me to Rush Limbaugh. I haven't really listened to him. But every time I heard something horrible he supposedly said and I went and checked it out in full context on the web ... You Tube, sound recordings, transcripts ... I didn't have a problem with what he was saying (except for the Chelsea Clinton bit ... I thought he was out of line there. Small potatoes, but still wrong).

Now ... it's ironic that this NFL thing is what finally pushed me over the edge, because frankly I really don't care about it. But it's all the "hate" and "racist" charges that I've heard ... and had doubted before -- and the fact that it's the same stuff I'd been hearing about Glenn Beck which I knew not to be true.

So here's what I've done. I've subscribed to Rush 24/7 for a month. Why? Because that's the only way to get a good overview of what the man is like, what his show is like -- so that when I do defend him (if I continue to do so after this month) it will be from a position of knowledge ... first-hand knowledge. Not hearsay like 99.9% of his critics. I waded through my first show yesterday, which sadly spent far more time than I cared for talking about the NFL bit. But I did learn a few things.

He's good friends with Ken Hutcherson, former Dallas Cowboy and Seattle Seahawks linebacker. Met him on a fishing trip. Bunked with the dude. That's how they became friends. Oh, and he's black.

Two of his guest hosts (when he takes time off) are ... George Mason University Economist Walter E. Williams ... and my personal favorite columnist Thomas Sowell, from Amherst, Stanford, and UCLA. Thomas. Freaking. Sowell. One of my intellectual heroes. (if he were the full time host, I'd be a full-time subscriber). Oh, and both of them are black. (I know, Walter E. Williams is probably a more widely recognized name than Thomas Sowell).

And (via my research) his call screener, "Mr. Snerdley?" James Golden. Also black.

Can we shut up with the "racist" charges now, at least?

(one more thing I learned is that his 3 hours on the air is actually only 1:45 without commercials. Which is fine by me)

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