With the country roiling over Eric Garner and Ferguson, Fox News looked to hate monger and race baiter Rush Limbaugh for analysis on Fox News Sunday today. Limbaugh repeatedly dodged personal responsibility for his own divisiveness as he voiced concern about other people “tearing the country apart.” Host Chris Wallace offered no challenge.
In August, Limbaugh’s special brand of rhetoric included these words about the original Ferguson protests over the police shooting death of the unarmed black teen, Michael Brown:
The Democrat Party, with their willing accomplices in the Drive-By Media, are doing their best to take this singular event and make it appear to be part of a normal, common series of occurrences that happen in this country. They have always, always intended to play the race card in one way, shape, manner, or form for turnout in the November midterm election. Here comes this event, and it is made to order.
Well, what about those African Americans who feel that way? Limbaugh was suggesting that they’re either fools duped by the Democrats or rascally co-conspirators in the race hustle.
Limbaugh reiterated the sentiment on Fox News Sunday today, only this time with concern trolling about divisiveness:
I think that there is a grievance politics in this country that’s tearing the country apart, Chris.
…It is literally ripping our fabric apart.
…This is not good for the country what’s happening here, because it isn’t, I don’t think, full-fledged legitimate. It’s not based on real-world grievance. It’s grievance that’s being amplified and made up.
Wallace offered only the mildest of challenges. At the same time, he presented Limbaugh as some kind of expert on driving-while-black issues.
WALLACE: One of the things that critics and some of the demonstrators cite is, for instance, that black drivers who are stopped at—for a traffic stop are three times likely to be searched as white drivers. So what do you think of them as this perception of unfairness in the criminal justice system?
And on civil rights:
WALLACE: Do you think there is a legitimate basis for federal civil rights investigation?
Predictably, Limbaugh treated those as little more than openings to suggest that black people are just not grateful enough:
LIMBAUGH: I don’t think that things are rosy and perfect in America, but to say that they’re no better, as the mayor of New York said, that’s absurd. We’ve made all kinds of efforts to improve race relations in this country. The 1964 Civil Rights Act, affirmative action, we have bent over backwards.
Is it all perfect? No, it’s not. But there’s no acknowledgment of any progress, Chris. If you listen to these people, the president, the mayor of New York, you would think it’s 200 years ago. You would think we haven’t even started working on these problems...
And I think for the president to promote this division as he just did in that clip that you said, and mischaracterize what happened here… that’s tearing this country apart.
…This—the idea that we need civil rights violations from the federal government, this is promoting the division. We need—I hear all these civil rights leaders say, Chris, that we need to start the healing.
Nobody’s doing that. There are too many people profiting off of this strife. There are too many people promoting it, too many people making a living, making money off this racial divide, not doing a thing to—we had the first black president-elected. You know how many people voted for this guy hoping and thinking this kind of thing was over?
It’s hard to think of anyone “profiting off of this strife” more than Limbaugh. But instead of challenging him here - or mention that there's an advertiser boycott of Limbaugh's radio show due to his divisiveness, Wallace changed the subject, saying, “I hate to move you along because I love listening to you, but I do want to move on to another subject.
That other subject was an exploration of why Limbaugh thinks the Republicans should shut down the government.
Watch it below, from today’s Fox News Sunday.
BTW, it’s “geniuses,” not “geneses”
On nearly all occasions, Rush has been challenged by fact-checkers. According to Politifact, based on just the statements they’ve metered by Limbaugh, he has 0% True statements, 7% Mostly True statements, 11% Half True statements, 25% Mostly False statements, 32% False statements and 25% Pants on Fire statements. That gives him a total percentage of 82% falsehoods, which goes up to 93% if we include statements that are only Half True.
In most of these cases, it seems to be due to Limbaugh just fanning the flames of the outrage of the day, as a way to rile up his listeners and try to gin up ratings. I don’t know another way to explain his despicable comments about Sandra Fluke, about Michael J. Fox, about Iraq War vets with whom he disagrees, etc, etc. In some cases, it seems to be borne from a genuine hatred of the politician or celebrity he is attacking – most notably Bill Clinton and his entire family.
But it has to be said that some percentage of Limbaugh’s errors is the result of a simple lack of education on his part. We must remember that his pursuit of education ended at the time he flunked out of Southeast Missouri State over 40 years ago. Since that time, he has professed to expertise he does not have, and convinced millions of gullible listeners that he knows a lot about subjects and areas of which he really knows nothing. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting published two devastating analyses of his mistakes back in the 1990s, the second of which was enough to already fill a book at that point. If an update were to be done today (something I think is sorely needed), it would fill a book three or four times longer than the earlier edition.
Frankly, most listeners don’t tune in to Rush Limbaugh to learn about pressing issues. They tune in to have their pre-existing biases and prejudices massaged. Some people, who haven’t bought into Rush’s game, simply tune in here and there to find out what his latest rant is about – either to understand why someone else in the media is covering it or to find out why the loud guy in the pub is yelling about this faux outrage or that one. That’s not a matter of a serious issue of the day – it’s a matter of Limbaugh trying to gin up a phony scandal about things like what bust of Winston Churchill is in the White House. It’s a common sense rule that if Rush is suddenly fixating on some supposed uncovered story that reveals liberal heresy, a short amount of research will reveal that Limbaugh and his friends are misleading their listeners. The best example of this is the silly Ramos & Compean myth that flew around right wing radio and Fox News, championed by Limbaugh and Los Angeles right wing station KFI in the mid-late 2000s. If you listened to Rush, you thought these guys were heroes who got railroaded for defending our borders. If you researched the case, you found they had opened fire on an unarmed man who was running away from them, and then tried to cover up the crime. The key to Rush Limbaugh is that he figures that most of his listeners will never take the time to actually read up on such stories. The sad part of that is that this is something he actually is correct about, nearly all of the time.
Don’t just take the word of the hate mongers as to what Rush said. Think for yourself.
I’ve never been able to find out if that whole scene was staged or not. No matter. It’s a great visualisation of the fact that most people will eventually realise how batshitcrazy the likes of Rush Limbaugh are.
Before his show went national in 1988 we (Democratic Party) were getting slaughtered in the Presidential elections from 1968 to 92. The only victory was Jimmy Carter’s squeaker win over President Ford and the mainly only accomplished after the biggest political scandal in our history. Since 1992 the D’s have only lost one popular vote in ’04. I’m not saying that Rush is entirely responsible for this reversal but along with his many radio clones and Fox they have turned off the moderates.
To those of you who worship Rush you need to ask yourself why he ever allow himself to be interviewed by those with an opposing point of view. He’s not only never challenged but has become easily predictable with the same ole, same ole. It’s no wonder he’s successfully created this illusion of being the all knowing.
In many ways, Limbaugh and Fox News have an uneasy alliance. They cite each other when convenient for each, but both sides have taken potshots at the other. When the chips are down, they do tend to stick together, as could be seen in this particular interview. Ailes is thinking in terms of scaring the GOP congress into acting as aggressively as possible – if he gets away with it, he’ll generate more interesting television for himself. Sadly, it won’t be a good thing for the country or even for the GOP – it will simply look like the temper tantrum that it is.
Because for Limbaugh and his audience, those riots are a confirmation of the racist views they already hold toward poorer black neighborhoods. When they see a situation like this blow up, they don’t see it as a culmination of years of profiling and racist practices. For Limbaugh, the riots were a wonderful moment for him to do a “See? I TOLD YOU SO!” He didn’t get his riot last year in Florida, but he did get it this year, so he’s delighted.
The idea that Fox News would turn to him for a play-by-play this weekend was simply jaw-dropping. Although the real reason seems to have been to push the idea of trying to shut the government down again and blame President Obama for it. This ties in with the false narrative he’s been purveying for the past month – that somehow the LAST shutdown wasn’t really a shutdown at all but was instead a situation of President Obama deliberately shutting some non-essential things down. Limbaugh seems bent on the idea that he wants the GOP to immediately go to the mattresses – shut everything down, block every Obama action, etc. As I’ve said, I’m still waiting for him to jump on the “Ban Obama from Congress for the State of the Union!” bandwagon that Breitbart’s guys have been pushing. And I’m waiting for the incoming GOP congresspeople to pull out the old impeachment trope to go with it. Limbaugh will be behind that all the way.
It’s unbelievable that anybody would think of this man as appropriate to discuss tolerance and race relations – given his history of nasty comments about nearly every minority, about women, about pretty much anyone he felt like taking a mean shot at. From his comments about black athletes, about women, about Sandra Fluke, about Michael J. Fox, about Iraq War veterans who came home and protested (and who he lumped in as “phony soldiers” with the one bogus guy he could find), etc etc. The list goes on for pages and it goes back decades. If anything, this is a confirmation of what Fox News really thinks about black neighborhoods, and what Roger Ailes thinks his audience wants to hear. Sadly, Ailes may well be right. We can only hope that as this audience gets older and recedes, the younger conservatives will see through this nonsense and get control of their party before it’s too late.
That is all.
In 2008 Limbaugh signed a contract extension through 2016 that is worth over $400 million. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets renewed or goes to satellite radio.
And I suspect he privately uses a different word for “negro.”
“We’ve” come a long way, you, not so much!
Limbaugh was gleefully cheerleading the idea of riots before they happened, and then jumping up and down about them afterwards. He made comment after comment, joke after joke, and was clearly having the time of his life. At the point that the Garner Grand Jury came in, he doubled down and attacked him too.
And it’s good to note that Limbaugh is completely going with this “let’s shut down the government and blame it on Obama!” idea. I’m sure he’d like the idea of telling President Obama not to deliver the State of the Union Address at Congress too.
There are frankly some days when truth is stranger than fiction.
“I think that there is a grievance politics in this country that’s tearing the country apart, Chris.
…It is literally ripping our fabric apart.
…This is not good for the country what’s happening here, because it isn’t, I don’t think, full-fledged legitimate. It’s not based on real-world grievance. It’s grievance that’s being amplified and made up."
It’s so nice that Rushbo is taking FoxNoise to task over the way the network has to “defend” Christianity and all those poor beleaguered “persecuted” Christians.
Oh, wait. He’s not?
To quote the immortal Emily Litella, “Never mind.”