My column is up today, but it remains well-hidden by the high financial barrier they put up around it. The first half is recap about Rush. Here’s how it ends:
On second thoughts, maybe it’s silly to think Limbaugh hatred actually has much to do with what he says. After all, compared with his many copycats, Limbaugh’s rhetoric is fairly tame. No, the reason Limbaugh infuriated so many is that people listened to him. He was an alternative information source to what was until recently a liberal media monopoly. For all the excitement about the internet challenging “Big Media” in America, AM talk radio beat it to the punch by more than a decade.
Indeed, despite studies that show talk radio listeners – some 70 million Americans – are more informed and affluent than non-listeners, elite journalists sniff at talk radio as if it’s no more reliable than the gossip scribbled above the urinal.
NBC’s Bob Faw once pondered whether “talk radio is not democracy in action, but democracy run amok”.
Whether Limbaugh recovers, physically or professionally, is still an unknown. And he’s certainly got bigger problems than the cackling of his enemies. But that cackling seems a bit forced, like that of an outnumbered soldier who’s delighted to learn an enemy general has been wounded even as his own position has been overrun.