With talent on loan from GodCome to think of it, you know who else says things like that? Rappers. Take this sample from self-annointed "Best Rapper Alive" Lil Wayne:
Half my brain tied behind my back just to make it fair
Meeting and surpassing all audience expectations on a daily basis
Documented to be always right 99.7% of the time
Saying more in five seconds than most hosts say in an entire year.
The Best Rapper AliveSee the similarity? Over-the-top braggadocio aimed at either a) masking insecurity or b) generating popularity by claiming popularity.
Swagger right (check) game tight
And they gon R-E-S-P-E-C-T me
(Who?) The Best Rapper Alive
Swagger right (check) game tight
And you should be afraid be very afraid
Let's assume that Limbaugh's superlatives are all smoke and mirrors--a pretty safe assumption. What do the Great and Powerful Oz's "mad skillz" really look like when the curtain is pulled back?
That is a surprisingly difficult question to answer.
Since 1993, Rush Limbaugh has claimed to have 20 million listeners. That massive number has served to give him legitimacy in the eyes of many, including GOP leaders. However, those numbers originated with a member of Limbaugh's staff and have been breathlessly repeated ever since without a shred of evidence.
When asked last year for a legitimate measure of The Rush Limbaugh Show's audience size, Arbitron spokesperson Kim Myers said:
"Unfortunately, we don't have show specific data for network programs. The syndicators, Premiere Radio Networks, are the only ones that have the station clearances. Without that, we can't figure out the show ratings data."And Premiere ain't talking.
Even if Limbaugh's wildly inflated estimate of his own popularity were true, that number represents what is referred to in the radio industry as the "cumulative," which means it represents the number of people who tune into a radio program at any point in the week, even for just a few minutes.
The industry practice for determining the actual audience size at any given moment is to take 10% of the cumulative, which would put Lil Rush's listeners at 2 million--and remember the 20 million starting point was a crock of creamed crap anyway.
Despite the fact that Limbaugh is pretending to be way more popular than he really is (it's a banana in his pocket--he's not glad to see you), he does have plenty of fans. These fans believe the sun rises and sets with Rush. They buy the paranoid views and conspiracy theories that the rest of the world laughs at hook, line, and sinker. And, most dangerously, they sometimes practice Limbaugh's extremism in real life.
For example, Limbaugh's biggest fan on Twitter appears to share Rush's disdain for women. He served 8 months in prison for choking his girlfriend because he thought the music in his house was too loud. Asked about the issue he tweeted "Choking feminazis is encouraged in the lower 48" before quickly deleting the tweet.
Here's a police lineup of Limbaugh's most strident Twitter defenders:
Rush Limbaugh is moving further and further to the fringe. His dwindling audience is looking more and more like the freakshow cast of Mad Max. No, they aren't very nice people, but at least they're a small minority in a nation that moves towards tolerance all the time. And all the while Limbaugh's few remaining advertisers slip away like sands through the hourglass.
Find out how you can help that sand slip a little faster after the mutant carrot.
Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio. StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more. Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable. It is our collective voice that makes us strong.
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Join StopRush! We can use your help in the following ways:
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