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Thursday, October 23, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Joel S. Hirschhorn
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Monday 25 February 2013
It is time for people, especially decent Republicans, to condemn wacko Limbaugh for all of his many failures, especially his new attempt to mask racism with the cloak of information deficits.

Limbaugh’s New Racism

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For some years, several times a week, while driving to do errands, I  listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio.  Pretty much all the time, I become angered because every few sentences I realize that with his total sincerity and conviction, he was stating absolutely incorrect things.  Adding to the endlessly wrong information are complete lapses in logic, which causes me to be bewildered that Limbaugh has reached such success.  

My only explanation is that he appeals to a very large number of ignorant and unintelligent people who, like religious zealots, remain enraptured by his ultra-ring wing rhetoric.  What a surprise, therefore, that Limbaugh has recently been speaking out relentlessly about “information poor” Americans as his pseudo brilliant explanation on why President Obama has succeeded.

Clearly, he refuses to face the reality that it is his incredibly loyal audience that must be information poor to readily accept all the falsehoods he dishes out daily.

Here are just two simple examples of intentional misinformation and disinformation he has dispensed similiar the proverbial Kool-Aid keeping his listeners doped up.  He recently was admonishing President Obama for doing terrible things or not doing the right things and in his routinely glib, smooth style, spoke about the five years of Obama's presidency.  This happened just 10 percent into Obama’s second term, in other words some weeks and less than the full fifth year of the Obama presidency.  How could an honest, fair person so easily state to his vast audience that there had already been five years of Obama as president?  And yet, that is what Limbaughsaid. I quickly realized that this specific event was just part of the normal design of the ludicrous Limbaugh rhetoric, actually propaganda, designed to maintain the conservative idiocy of his loyal audience.

And then today, I heard Limbaugh refer to the settlement of Minnesota by the Vikings.  As usual, I shook my head in disbelief.  I could not imagine how the Vikings had managed to get so far inland when they had hit North America around the year 1000.  So when I got home I did some easy research on the web and, of course, verified that I was correct to disbelieve what Limbaugh said.  The Vikings discovered Eastern Canada, not what is today, Minnesota.  But like everything else Limbaugh mutters, he conveys a complete sense of honesty, correctness and conviction, despite being totally wrong.  Does Limbaugh connect the Minnesota Vikings to historical fact?  Perhaps he has learned from many years of astounding radio success that he can say just about anything and get away with it.

Now for my major point about information poor people that he talks about endlessly,  Limbaugh has shown semantic creativity in expressing racist thinking.  When he uses the presence of many millions of information poor Americans to explain President Obama and the democratic successes, he has devised yet another way to attack African Americans and Hispanic Americans that, indeed, are demographic realities causing the failure of Romney and other Republicans.  Moreover, it is also apparent that Limbaugh does not appeal to the poorest Americans who he routinely condemns for living off of government handouts.

I suspect that if there were good data about the demographics of the Limbaugh audience they would reveal, like those voting for Romney, that it consists mostly of older, higher income white American men. Well, it turns out there is some decent information.

As to the listeners of Limbaugh's daily radio show, according to a 2008 news media consumption survey conducted by PewResearch, 72 percent are male and 80 percent are conservative.  About three-quarters of his listeners identify themselves as Tea Partiers and Christian Conservatives.  In other words, Limbaugh does not change the thinking of people, he appeals to a mindset and gives those people exactly what they like.   

Another source says his audience is 95 percent white and two-thirds earn more than $60,000 a year with the majority earning over $100,000 a year.  In other words, not only is his audience mostly white men, they are also in the upper parts of the economic spectrum. (I suspect mostly small business types who may have learned how to make money, but nevertheless are quite ignorant and prejudiced.)

As to his websiteaccording to quantcast.com (as of March 3, 2012), the vast majority of visitors to RushLimbaugh.com are aging white males: 54 percent of who are the age of 45 or older, with 28 percent that are 55 and older and 91 percent are Caucasian.

So, here is a radio god whose success depends on having information poor people as addicted listeners and uses the same concept to condemn those minority Americans Limbaugh aggressively blames for the ruin of the nation because of their democratic vote.  And, of course with his male dominated audience, he's proved himself to be rude, worse toward women, another demographic that Republicans have lost.

It is time for people, especially decent Republicans, to condemn wacko Limbaugh for all of his many failures, especially his new attempt to mask racism with the cloak of information deficits.  If Republicans ever want to appeal to a broad cross section of Americans, they should have the courage to disown and openly condemn the appalling strategy of bloviate Limbaugh, who caters to the most stupid and biased Americans.  They may, indeed, be seen as the core constituency of the Republican Party, but they are the heavy anchor pulling it down.  

Interestingly, among Republicans, only 13 percent say they tune into Limbaugh “regularly.”  So it's time to dump Limbaugh.



ABOUT Joel S. Hirschhorn

 

Joel S. Hirschhorn has been widely published; his previous book is Sprawl Kills - How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health and Money.  He has published many articles and oped pieces in major newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune) and on progressive web sites such as CommonDreams, The Progress Report, SmirkingChimp and Opednews; Google Joel S. Hirschhorn to see his writings and achievements and see link below.  Before becoming a writer and consultant, he was a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress (Office of Technology Assessment), Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources at the National Governors Association, a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and head of an environmental consulting company.  He is the Chair of the Independent Party of Maryland and co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention.

It is ironical that liberal

It is ironical that liberal writers such as Joel Hirschhorn assume that Rush Limbaugh is racist when he refers to the "low information" voters (not "information poor" voter as Mr. Hirschhorn said in his article). Why does Mr. Hirschhorn jump to the conclusion that Rush was referring to black voters? It's as if Mr. Hirschhorn believes in the stereotypical view of blacks as intellectually inferior. It seems that Mr. Hirschhorn is the covert racist.
Rush uses the term "low information voter" to refer to the masses of people (white, black, red, and yellow) who know everything about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and nothing about Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They closely follow MTV and BET, but can't find CNN, C-SPAN or Fox on their cable. They know all of the current Hollywood gossip, but haven't a clue when it comes to how the American government works.
It is this generation of American voters who is deciding the fate of our country. They vote for their leaders based on a popularity contest like American Idol, rather than getting to know what the candidates actually stand for.
The majority of the media in this country have tapped into this generation of low information voters, and they are able to influence their viewpoint by using inaccurate labels (i.e. "racist"), misrepresentation (i.e. MSNBC's misleading editing of videos) and catchy one liners, to divert attention away from the substance of what is being discussed or debated.
It is no wonder that Mr. Hirschhorn, who is obviously a left-leaning writer, wants to divert attention away from what Rush is saying by throwing out the race card. Rush has stated the blunt truth, that the liberal media prefers to keep the American public uninformed on important political topics by keeping them distracted on unimportant cultural events, so that we are not, as it is said in the Wizard of Oz, paying attention to the man behind the curtain.

White and wealthy doesn't

White and wealthy doesn't mean intelligent, informed, someone with morals and ethics, or with a broad world view. What I do know is that this codeine-laced, articulate, manipulative, judgmental, charismatic (to a "certain" group) man would have been hired by Adolf Hitler instead of Joseph Goebbels as his Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany. Never have I seen hatred spewed out like this broadcaster, and it's sadder to know that people listen and affirm his views.

The problem is Rush just

The problem is Rush just understands and panders to the hate and bigotism that his adoring audience carries around.

If you hate something or someone then what some talker says that attacks who you hate is someone you will agree with. It is not important that what he says is a lie, a distortion, a bigots prejudice or hate.

Rush knows how to put "acceptable" words to the hate, fear and racist feelings of his followers, while at the same time knowing that they will not criticize him because they like his emotional, untrue, and unfactual criticism.

Hey Joel, I am a black

Hey Joel,

I am a black African. And I say. Forget Limbo.

The "Blacks", Obama and Suzan Rice put a knife into the ass of our hero M. Gadaffi, among other things that he was giving us, Sub Saharan Africans, Viagra to rape Arab women. As if we are beasts that commit mass rape when on Viagra.

I never heard you denounce this. The people in Sirte - Libya were bombed off the face of the earth. Worse than Dresden.

Once the "Obama machine" is finished stealing all from us in third world, he is going to come for you Americans. Trust me. Limbo is just a jerk. It is Obama I really fear. Thanks Bro for "caring".

When asked my race, I reply

When asked my race, I reply "racist question". If more people did that then there would be less stupid statistics out there to be misused.
Do you think there might be good uses? No, even ones that mean well are flawed. If a form wants to know if I have a raised chance of diabetes it should ask if my parents had it. Assuming you know my genes or my needs by the colour label I accept is both inaccurate and insulting. Probably we are all mixed race somewhere down the line and whatever it is, it does not define us. Bad data is worse than no data at all.

My dear friend always checks

My dear friend always checks the "race" box for "other", then writes in "human", but was once denied an opportunity for a grant he was applying for because he "refused to truthfully and fully complete the form". Rush's audience have patriotic fantasies of returning to the days of our founding fathers when only white male landowners could vote. The southern states wanted to have their cake and it it, too: blacks weren't human enough to vote, but were human enough to count towards the total population that established the number of representatives in the Congressional House. Northerners also weren't keen to give blacks voting rights, but would have preferred to deny their humanity altogether, giving them more influence in Congress. Eventually they compromised and created the 3/5ths rule, where blacks were counted as 3/5ths a person in the census that determined the apportionment of seats in the House. All of our patriotic founding fathers would have been up in arms had someone tried to apply such a discriminatory rule upon them. Nice folks, weren't they? I prefer this century with all of its problems; at least all humans are recognized as human and not property by most governments in the world, regardless of race or gender.

Limbo is simply the highest

Limbo is simply the highest profile of a long line of radio blow-hards going back to the beginnings of commercial radio in this country. Most, like limbo are eminently forgettable outside of their few brief moments of outrage they are able to incur by saying something contemptible or inane. To whit;

-limbo's ugly "joke" involving a picture of a teen aged Chelsea Clinton. (This happened on his justifiably short TV program), suggesting she was the new White House dog. He later went on to claim that it was a joke on HIM by one of is staffers which begs the question; "What picture was supposed to appear?". If not Chelsea's, who?". If it wasn't to be a picture of Chelsea, what was the joke?". His backpedaling simply made him look like the insecure, neurotic, hostile jackass that his critics have been suggesting he was all along.

-His lame brained attack on the producers of the the Dark Knight/Batman movie, suggesting that the bad guy Bane was so named as a denigration of mitt romney's former corporate nest. This would have involved someone nearly 30 years prior, (when the character first appeared in the Dark Knight illustrated novel series), anticipating that mitt romney would be running for president three decades hence and wouldn't it be cool to name a bad guy after the company he works for so that we can go on to defame and denigrate him. Weak.

-limbo's castigation of Dead Heads mourning the death of Jerry Garcia as just so much drug addled riff-raff worshiping another drug addled piece of riff-raff. This he did while he was effectively addicted to Oxycontin and was scamming various MDs with the intent of stocking up on HIS drug of choice. If Jerry Garcia has a drug problem, he deserves nothing but contempt. If russ limbo has a drug problem..... he needs our prayers.

-limbo posing as the moral conscience of the nation, and then spending his off time in the Dominican Republic, known for sexual tourism, with a bag full of non prescription Viagra.

The author hits the mark at the top of this article. His following is guided by a religious, (by that you can read IRRATIONAL) impulse. If common sense and rational thought were deal breakers for limbo's patented bullshit, he would be back running PR for the Kansas City Royals or maybe schlepping out grease traps at Burger King. Fortunately for limbo, they're not.

The Vikings didn't discover

The Vikings didn't discover Eastern Canada. The area where they landed had been inhabited by the Beothuk people for many centuries. In fact, Europeans "discovered" very little of the Western Hemisphere, which had long been home to many Native American peoples.

I think the writer could have

I think the writer could have found better examples of Limbaugh's outright lies, especially his assertion regarding North American exploration. Wikipedia is not the final answer on our lost history. And I would wager wiki is wrong on this account.

There is some so-called

There is some so-called evidence that some Vikings were in Minnesota in the 11th century. There is a rock called the Kensington Runestone that said to have 'runes' scratched on. The rock was said to have been discovered entangled into roots of tree that was discovered by a farmer. The stone has been and still is disputed. I believe the runestone is still on display at the Alexandria, MN museum.

As for the Limbaugh gas bag - I hope he keeps on poisoning the conservative well, lest on-the-fence voters forget why they voted for Obama

If it wasn't for stupid,

If it wasn't for stupid, ignorant racists, the republicans wouldn't have a party, and Lintball wouldn't have an audience.

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