In a recent CNN Online column, David Frum takes down the false equivalence of conservative vs. liberal pundits/entertainers/personalities. Over the weekend conservative columnist George Will said on ABC's This Week that Republican leaders are terrified of defacto party leader Rush Limbaugh and won't speak out against him other than some very tepid criticism. But in observing so, he couldn't resist getting in a dig against liberals.
"It is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right and its excesses, (just like liberals unfailingly fail to do) and it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh.
And of all people, we have David Frum explaining why liberals 'unfailingly fail' to police themselves. Not wishing to wade into Redstate et.al. , I'll take David Frum's word for what Limbaugh's 'fans' may be saying about the flap, fiasco, brouhaha that has dominated the airwaves and internet for the last few days.
the broadcaster's fans are complaining about double standards.The answer is, liberal examples of cases that are somehow equivalent to Rush Limbaugh's 'degrading, brutally sexualized accusation', actually did have consequences. He points out a few examples that aren't remotely equivalent (but isn't that the norm?)
Yes, they'll concede, maybe Limbaugh went too far in denouncing a female law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" and then demanding that she post a sex tape online for him to view.
But look (they continue) at all the liberal/lefty broadcasters who have also said obnoxious things! No one calls Democratic politicians to account for them. Why us?
After David Letterman for example made an ugly joke about Sarah Palin's daughter, he delivered an abject seven-minute apology on air. (To which Palin responded by refusing the apology and insinuating that David Letterman was a child molester.)He proceeds to point out what everyone knows, that these people (and even Bill Maher) don't hold any place equivalent to Limbaugh's in liberal politics. Letterman is not even political.
When liberal talker Ed Schultz nastily called my dear friend Laura Ingraham a "slut" on his radio show, MSNBC responded by suspending Schultz for a week without pay from his TV show. Schultz likewise apologized in person on air. (Ingraham accepted the apology with grace and humor.)
Among TV and radio talkers and entertainers, there is none who commands anything like the deference that Limbaugh commands from Republicans: not Rachel Maddow, not Jon Stewart, not Michael Moore, not Keith Olbermann at his zenith. Democratic politicians may wish for favorable comment from their talkers, but they are not terrified of negative comment from them in the way that Republican politicians live in fear of a negative word from Limbaugh.And yes, Limbaugh is the powerbroker in the Republican party despite their wishes to dismiss this belief as a 'myth'.