Skip to main content

Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh

For more than a decade, Rush Limbaugh has manned the loudest megaphone the human race has ever known. His three hour talk radio program is heard on more than six hundred radio stations, five days a week. That is 15-18 hours a week of preaching to a "dittohead" audience numbering in the millions. Every profound, controversial, or profoundly controversial statement Rush makes is subsequently echoed by a plethora of right wing and news concentrator websites, all of which are followed by true believers who disseminate the new truth in letters to the editor, in comments after online articles, and in other ways throughout the right wing echo chamber. After attacking Sandra Fluke, Rush saw a need for a direct presence on Facebook and Twitter, but he quickly gave up these efforts. One might conclude that with such a fanatic following, indirect dissemination via dittohead works fine.

What's wrong with one person having such a Godzilla microphone? Nothing at all, so long as they avoid using it to disturb the public interest. But then, there's the rub. Fomenting violence is an astonishingly obvious way to damage the public interest. And while Rush may not be nearly so guilty in that regard as some others, having the only radio talk show carried on 600 stations makes a weighty issue of what he does say.

There's significant reason to be concerned. A blogger activist who goes by the nick of Spocko has offered the alarming example of three Rwandan radio personalities who were convicted of genocide for inciting the murder of about 800,000 Rwandan citizens. Free speech is fine, but hate speech can have very serious consequences.

Now consider this: the three Rwandans had one radio station with two transmitters. Rush has more than six hundred radio stations.

Does Limbaugh foment violence? Yes, without question — but conditionally, and via dog whistle. Just last week Limbaugh asserted,

RUSH: I have to say, though, folks, terrorism is the greatest threat, because we can still defeat liberals without violence. So terrorism still, of course, represents a greater threat than the Democrat Party. We can handle them without violence. So far. [emphasis added]

 —Rush Limbaugh: Trick Question on Terrorists and Liberals, October 3, 2012

This contemptible language not only dog-whistles the need to be prepared to conduct a civil war against liberals when and if it becomes "necessary", it simultaneously equates liberals with terrorists.

"The radio encouraged people to participate (in mass genocide) because it said 'the enemy is the Tutsi'. If the radio had not declared things, people would not have gone into the attacks."

  —Rwandan Genocide perpetrator, interviewed by Straus (2007)

Propaganda and Confict: Theory and Evidence from the Rwandan Genocide by David Yanagizawa-Drott, Harvard University, August 2012

Lest anyone should conclude that Limbaugh equating liberals with terrorists might be an isolated example of Rush hyperbole, consider that Rush frequently employs the southern preacher's oratorical tradition to persuade followers of unerring truth — tell the congregation what you're about to tell them; then tell them; then tell them what you just told them. Rush rhetoric is repetitive in a way that meanings are rarely missed by his audience. And equating liberals with terrorists is pretty much an every day theme on the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Limbaugh presents this argument in two different ways — according to Rush, liberals and terrorists are alike:

Both liberals and terrorists have a lot in common. The one thing that they hate the most is freedom.

  —Rush Limbaugh: Pearls of Wisdom, October 3, 2012

Rush also routinely claims that liberals consider conservatives to be worse than terrorists:
Conservatives and conservatism pose a much greater threat to liberals than terrorists do. Check their language against the terrorists versus their language against George W. Bush, or me...

  —Rush Limbaugh: Why Don't More Liberal Jews Support Israel?, July 28, 2006

Limbaugh does routinely couch his most contemptible pronouncements as throwaways that he can pass off as nothing more than sick humor. He tells stories that sound far-fetched, yet drive impressions among his followers. A veteran broadcaster of 25 years, he knows very well how closely he can tiptoe to the edge of flagrant racist or misogynistic invective without prompting a monumental backlash. (Rush obviously miscalculated when he attacked Sandra Fluke, but that may have been a rare exception.)

On the anniversary of Hurricante Katrina, he "joked" about tricking the poor in New Orleans — especially poor Democrats — into drowning themselves. Many of the poor at greatest risk of drowning in New Orleans are people of color. Yet Rush was cautious enough to leave that part of the message unstated, even as it was implicitly understood by anyone who had seen video from the Katrina flood.

There are a lot of adjectives that could be applied to Limbaugh. One of them is duplicitous. Consider the wording of his written apology to Sandra Fluke on Saturday, the very day after he had attacked her relentlessly for fifteen hours of straight radio time:

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.  In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke... [emphasis added]

  —Rush Limbaugh: A Statement from Rush, March 3, 2012

"I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke..."

Then why did he attack her in the most personal ways for fifteen hours? Even when Limbaugh ostensibly apologized to Fluke "in person" on the following Monday radio show, his apology was couched in the language of continuous attack.

But let us focus on "absurdity". Rush has explained,

November 12, 2008: You know, ladies and gentlemen, on this program we have a phrase that sometimes describes one of the strategeries we use to communicate here. It's called "illustrating absurdity by being absurd..." —Rush Limbaugh
Take a look at some examples:
February 2, 2012: I was just being facetious with the guy when I said, "Well, they're laying off 13,000 people 'cause they hate people, 'cause they hate unions."  That's just one of these attempts to illustrate absurdity by being absurd. —Rush Limbaugh

March 16, 2012: The poor are still poor. The homeless are still homeless. Despite all these great liberal programs, the numbers, the percentages never change. Liberalism doesn't solve problems. It doesn't fix anything. It just exacerbates them. I am often illustrating absurdity by being absurd. —Rush Limbaugh

August 24, 2012: "We're Illustrating Absurdity by Being Absurd: Did Obama's Anti-Boss Rhetoric Inspire [The] Empire State Building Shooter?" —Rush Limbaugh

Notice the underlying theme of hate and violence? Rush routinely uses this "absurdity" claim so that he always has a ready explanation for the hate and violence that he conjures. By such double talk he sends two different messages: to his detractors and those who might seek to hold him accountable, the message is: don't take me so seriously. I'm telling a joke. (And his many defenders repeat the canard: "That's just Rush joking; you don't understand him...") Yet to his millions of listeners, the message is clear: these targets are worthy of your hate and your disdain. And they're dangerous to your beliefs, so you should prepare for violence, for the coming clash of ideologies.

Tea Party member packing heat at a protest

Rush acknowledges that his audience is able to evaluate different messages that he sends:

The audience is very smart, sir. They know the difference between entertainment, and they know the difference between deadly serious issues that affect their country.

  —Rush Limbaugh: A Few Words for Michael Steele, March 2, 2009

Of course if he suggests that his followers should be prepared to commit violence against you — whether by tricking you into drowning in New Orleans, or just as general preparation for the insurrection should conservatives suddenly prove "unable to handle" you by more traditional means — he's just using absurdity to illustrate the absurd. No reason for you to take him seriously.

Whether you're liberal, a minority, female, foreign, Muslim, poor, whatever — you all know who you are.

Rush Limbaugh's talk radio career is in a slow downward spiral in part because of the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech. One very active group in this cause is Flush Rush on Facebook. Flush Rush and other, similar groups use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing.

Please consider joining. Small donations are also accepted to fund data storage; visit StopRush for more information.

Originally posted to Richard Myers on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Rush is protected by the Constitution (12+ / 0-)

    His words are within the limits set by the Constitution and SCOTUS in regards to Speech. We must not forget that hate speech is allowed in this country for the most part:

    In the United States, hate speech is protected as a civil right (aside from usual exceptions to free speech, such as defamation, incitement to riot, and fighting words).[54] Laws prohibiting hate speech are unconstitutional in the United States; the United States federal government and state governments are forbidden by the First Amendment of the Constitution from restricting speech.[55][56][57][58]

    The "reason why fighting words are categorically excluded from the protection of the First Amendment is not that their content communicates any particular idea, but that their content embodies a particularly intolerable (and socially unnecessary) mode of expressing whatever idea the speaker wishes to convey."[59] Even in cases where speech encourages illegal violence, instances of incitement qualify as criminal only if the threat of violence is imminent.[60] This strict standard prevents prosecution of many cases of incitement, including prosecution of those advocating violent opposition to the government and those exhorting violence against racial, ethnic, or gender minorities

    Notice the words in bold. Exhorting violence against racial, ethnic or gender minorities is not necessary illegal. Otherwise Rush would have lost his program a long time ago.

    The former radio host Michael Savage called for the open genocide of Muslims:

    [Intelligent, Welathy People] are very depressed by the weakness that America is showing to these psychotics in the Muslim world. They say, "Oh, there's a billion of them." I said, "So, kill 100 million of them, then there'll be 900 million of them."
    And he faced no legal consequences as far as I know. Neither will Rush.
    •  As a matter of interest, (13+ / 0-)

      "Free Speech" was the justification of the United States State Department for NOT jamming the Rwandan radio station that was instrumental in genocide in that country:

      Together, these factors jointly caused RTLM broadcasts to increase levels of violence during the Rwandan Genocide. The counterfactual estimates suggest that approximately 10 percent of the participation in the genocidal violence was due to the radio stationís broadcasts, and that almost one-third of the violence by militias, communal police, gendarmerie and other organizations was caused by the same station.

      The results are also relevant for policy regarding restrictions on mass media, especially in cases of state-sponsored mass murders. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide is one such example. Romeo Dallaire, the United Nations Force Commander for the peacekeeping intervention, urged the international community to jam RTLM signals, but his call went unheeded. One argument against such a measure was that it would result in a violation of Rwandaís state sovereignty. Another argument in favor of allowing the media to operate without restrictions is consensus on the fundamental human right to free speech and a free press. This argument was put forward at the time, and lawyers from the U.S. State Department concluded that the U.S. should not interrupt RTLM broadcasts partly for this reason (Des Forges, 2007).

      Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

      by Richard Myers on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:12:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have laws in this country whether you like it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Black Brant, NWTerriD

        or not. I showed you Rush is protected by the law.

        If you do not like the law, then you must do everything in your power to change it or amend the Constitution.

        •  CIVIL right - limbaugh is a subsidized GOP tool (9+ / 0-)

          and corporate spokesman on MONOPOLY of public airwaves, dominating an entire medium. he and his wannabes on those radio stations are essentially a national 24/7/365 political advertisement for the GOP.  if it wasn't a protected monopoly you might have a point, but they're also pretending to be entertainment and news.

          it's as if if fox bought up 90% of news TV outlets in the US.

           from his initial subsidized  start to the continued buy-up of radio stations to his coordination through think tanks with other RW talkers to sell the same exact talking points and memes, to the aggressive protection of that monopoly- he deserves continued free speech protection about as much as a corporation does. as much as money does.

          limbaugh and the rest of the RW GOP -trained blowhards and the soapboxes they bought for them are a nationally coordinated propaganda operation used to shout over the feedback mechanisms democracies depend on.

          if he was on 100 southern radio stations because he was an entertainer or informer who actually outcompeted other talkers in a real talk radio 'marketplace', and much of his daily material wasn't the same as that shoveled from GOP think tanks to the rest of the RW talkers,  then you could argue he deserves the same free speech rights as any other individual.

          there's a reason almost all , if not all of the radio stations he's on aren't allowed to include progressive talkers in their programming. his speech could not survive to the extent it does without that protected monopoly power.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:08:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rush Limbaugh protected by First Amendment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            See what Citizen Media Law Project says:

            No, Sandra Fluke Does NOT Have a Valid Defamation Claim Against Rush Limbaugh

            Rush Limbaugh is disgusting but he is not breaking the law:

            "Under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea. However pernicious an opinion may seem, we depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries, but on the competition of other ideas. But there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact.” Gertz, 418 U.S. at 339-40. An alleged defamatory statement “must be provable as false before there can be liability under state defamation law.” Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 19 (1990).
            If you think he is, sue him or get someone else to sue him and let a court of law decide who is right.
            •  Freedom of speech is not unlimited (6+ / 0-)

              Rush will be in his bunker or with a little boy and a few bottles of pills in the Dominican Republic when his revolution happens. It doesn't mean is calls for violence are legal.

               US CODE: TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2385
              § 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government
               Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity,desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States orthe government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of anypolitical subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of anysuch government; or Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any suchgovernment, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays anywritten or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, orpropriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force orviolence, or attempts to do so; or Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any

            •  it's not about his individual speech (6+ / 0-)

              except in relation to his and the other RW radio chorus paid specifically for the purpose of operating in concert and in the service of one political party.

              the bile they spew should be attributed directly to the sponsors they serve- the republican party and their patrons working through the karl roves, chamber of commerce, and the think tanks.

              An alleged defamatory statement “must be provable as false before there can be liability under state defamation law.” Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 19 (1990).
              i've heard 20 years of coordinated lying by national talkers and then at a local level-  repetition of the exact same phrases and memes that end up as established fact in the mainstream media later as part of the republican alternate reality. that would be clear if there were transcipts of the main talkers (and even the local blowhards) that were searchable by the public. but they aren't. the mistake of the progressive orgs and especially the Dem Party from a political POV is concentrating on individual talkers and hate speech and giving the limbaughs a free speech free ride.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:49:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I would support criminalizing falsehood (0+ / 0-)

              I'd love to see them lock up every single person who works in sales or PR, along with a good chunk of the lawyers, politicians, and financial industry types.  If only we could use that law to throw all the fundies in jail.

              To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

              by Visceral on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:08:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  um (6+ / 0-)

              regardless of modern interpretations, unsubstantiated accusations that a woman is a "slut" or a "prostitute" are the precise reason defamation law was created in the first place.

              I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

              by happymisanthropy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:11:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  all the verbiage we spend protecting them! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Myers

          Know what?

          I think it's time to stop that bullshit.

          Yeah we know it's "legal" for someone to get on the radio and whip up a race war, and urge their audience to assassinate the President in order to get it started.   It's "legal" for someone to get on TV and urge their audience to fuck little children, just as long as they don't actually use the F-word.

          Disgusting, isn't it?  Makes you want to throw up?  Good.  

          Because THAT is what y'all are protecting every time some nutjob goes off the deep end and you respond by making some stupid noise or another about "free speech."

          Be glad I didn't provide examples, because it's not hard to come up with a couple of real doozies based on the current standards for "free speech."  Language that would probably get me HRed to hell even for using it to make the example clear.  

          But let's be clear about this:

          Words have consequences.  Goebbels on the radio had consequences.   The perpetuators of the Rwandan genocide, on the radio, had consequences.  

          You can call that stinking shit free speech if you want.  

          I call it stochastic terrorism: murder by remote control.

          And we should ALL be calling it immoral and evil.

          Stop the bullshit of justifying it.

          Sieze the moral high ground: evil is evil is evil, as much when it's hatred spoken into a microphone and repeated into millions of ears, as when it's written into fraudulent contract language and sold in the form of millions of mortgages.

          We get justifiably outraged when Lord Bankfiend and his buddies at Goldman aren't prosecuted.  You don't hear a peep from anyone around here rationalizing and justifying it, even though it too arguably doesn't violate criminal law.

          So let's apply the same standards to Drug-Rush Limbaugh and Michael Euphemism Savage.  Let's stop justifying and rationalizing what they do as being protected by the Constitution.  

          Fact is that Rush on 600 radio stations for three hours a day five days a week, is 9,000 airtime-hours a week during which everyone else is denied the use of that microphone: every other voice, every other ideology, every other point of view, every other type of programming.  

          What that is, is a virtual propaganda monopoly, no less so because it's not "technically" a monopoly any more than it's "technically" prohibited speech.  

          It's saturation coverage as surely as Goebbels, and it usurps 9,000 other peoples' rights to speak freely over a microphone to a radio audience.  

          It's an evil, malignant tumor that's eating at the body politic, coarsening our national discourse, and fomenting overt, measurable, attributable violence and murder of real people.

          And it's time to stop coddling that shit and the people who spew it, it's time to call it for what it is, and it's time to take it the hell off the air by whatever means we have at our disposal.  If we can't do it with statute law, we can do it with boycotts of advertisers.  That's real power, and it's been working.  

          But we shouldn't stop short of a complete and crushing victory here:  to drain Clear Channel's coffers until their board of directors rue the day they signed a gazillion-dollar contract with that hate-spewing slimeball, and then keep draining those coffers until Clear Channel goes up on the auction block for a pittance.  

          The goal is to stuff a virtual wad of peanut butter in Rush's mouth and take him the hell off the air.  Let him complain about his "free speech."  Let him call the ACLU, the way he did over his drug bust, and let him keep calling the ACLU until he turns into a liberal.  If we're lucky he might have an epiphany, as George Wallace did about segregationism, and recognize the evils of his ways, and repent and ask for forgiveness.  

          At that point we can forgive.

          But not one moment sooner.

          And forgiving does not require forgetting.

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 03:33:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  that example points to an all-time moral low... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Myers

        ... in US foreign policy.  

        But when it comes down to actual mass-casualty attacks in response to that kind of hate-spew over the airwaves, and when the local authorities are complicit and the instruments of international law fail to respond:

        At that point it's justifiable, under the principle of the defense of innocent others, for some kind of irregular citizens' force to go in there and take that station off the air by force of arms, just as surely as it would be for your neighbor to shoot someone who was trying to kidnap your child by wrestling your child into their car.

        Realistically it would have been possible for an organized private group to jam that station from a ship in international waters, and that also should have been tried.

        But alas, it was Africa, whose internal politics are with few exceptions so poorly understood by Americans: a continent seen as a perpetual crisis; a people dismissed as somehow expendable by the world.   Don't doubt for one moment that racism played a role in the world's neglect, as yet another "Never Again" happened again.  

        "Never Again!"  Those words mean something, and those words should never be allowed to lose their meaning.  To let it happen again was to piss on the graves of the victims of the Holocaust.  Shame!  Shame on the world, for its complicity of silence in the face of genocide!

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 03:46:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What absolutely galls me is that his freedom to (12+ / 0-)

      vomit hate speech is done on the American people's airwaves...a national resource owned by ALL the American people.  

      The heinous filth uttered on an almost continuous basis by rabid right-wing propagandists via public airwaves is destroying the body politic.  I used to be against the Fairness Doctrine based on freedom of speech issues...not anymore

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:55:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if the fairness doctrine is a violation of free sp (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, ranton, betson08, certainot, G2geek

        then the very existence of the FCC is equally unconstitutional.

        I just genetically engineer them, I don't nominate them for President.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:02:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranton, betson08, YucatanMan, G2geek, lgcap

        we will not be able to solve this problem unless we can return to the Fairness Doctrine.  It doesn't (or shouldn't) interfere with free speech in that individuals would still be free to express the Limbaugh "philosophy" but the station would be required to provide alternate and balancing opinion.  That would be a vast improvement on the current state of affairs.  Unfortunately, I don't think that is within the realm of possiblity.

        •  And equal time. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Myers, ranton

          For every hour of Rush, there would have to be an equivalent hour of some progressive going on the air to present opposing views.

          I'm there.

          This experiment in deregulation has produced a clear outcome: hate spew from coast to coast, wall to wall, and enough is enough.

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:14:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Treason and FIRE! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, betson08

      But his real undoing is that revolutionaries are universally young. His followers in their scooters aren't suicide bombers, thinkers or up to much of anything except voting and paying Rush to fuel their hate. The hate gives meaning to their life, if it weren't for the fucking liberls, their kids would enjoy the end of the estate tax. On the other hand, most of them think tax breaks like that actually do benefit them.

      •  but lone-wolf shooters are all ages. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Myers

        The guy who shot the guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, was in his 70s.

        And this is the ultimate utility of these hate-spewers: reaching out to the borderline personalities in their audience, who can be poked and prodded until a predictable number of them are ultimately tipped into going off and snuffing out an innocent life.  

        Enough was enough long ago.

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:15:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  there's got to be a way to silence him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers, G2geek

      The Constitution's many glaring defects aside, I'm certain there are plenty of other ways that Rush Limbaugh could be silenced if anyone cared enough to pursue it.  DHS recognizing stochastic terrorism, new hate speech laws, civil suits for slander, illegal drugs, Dominican sex slave scandal; I don't care how it happens.  I want him off the air permanently, and I think a lot of people would agree with me.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, all it would take is our universities to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        withdraw their sports broadcasting from hundreds of RW radio stations- the monopoly couldn't survive.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:31:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and that's what we have to do next. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Myers, certainot

          Start bringing inexorable pressure on university administrations to pull their sports broadcasts off those hateful radio stations.

          Alumni donations would be a logical place to start.

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:17:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  About Rush equating liberals to terrorists... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ms badger, linkage

    You do realize that the founder of this site wrote a book called American Taliban, which refers to Conservatives, right?

  •  'obama's head needs to roll' rush, 9/10/2008 (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, ms badger, Smoh, elwior, wader, betson08, G2geek

    i've used this eg before but maybe some readers haven't heard it, and it's illustrative of his skill and intent.

    he created an absurd pretext just to deliver that line  (or something very close to it) or maybe  it was 'it's obama's head that needs to roll'.

    anyway, he suggested obama needed to fire his staff (their heads need to roll) for some minor screw up and then since according to limbaugh the  whole campaign was a screw up he got to deliver that line.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:18:38 PM PDT

    •  Echo chamber (16+ / 0-)

      A friend told me about his 50-year-old daughter who is a dittohead.  She is well educated and should know better.  She recently got a telephone call from an Obama campaign volunteer asking for her support.  She responded that "he (the President) should be shot."  

      Yes, it earned her a visit from the FBI after the volunteer reported her remark.  The visit lasted for about 4 hours with her being questioned and her husband also being questioned when he got home from work.  

      She calls Rush "entertainment," but then makes a threat to a campaign volunteer.  His idea of absurdity isn't entertaining any more, not when innocent people have to fear for their lives as a result.

      Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

      by arlene on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:31:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "He should be shot" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        isn't a threat. The rest of your post I agree with.

        "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

        by NWTerriD on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:14:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is not for you to decide (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betson08, Calamity Jean, G2geek

          whether a statement poses a threat or reveals an underlying threat to the safety of the President of the US. It is up to the Secret Service or the FBI to make that determination, and entirely appropriate to do so.

        •  Apparently the FBI disagreed with you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and since I don't know your work background I have no reason to believe you at all.

          Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." ><"

          by betson08 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:06:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I got the story secondhand (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I wasn't privy to her exact statement to the volunteer.  The Obama campaign staff thought it merited a call to the authorities and the FBI showed up to ask questions.  I'm not privy to what the FBI decided either, however, no one was taken away.

          Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

          by arlene on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:50:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  probably it goes like this: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arlene, certainot

            They questioned her and her husband, and opened a file on them, containing the transcript of the Q & A session.  The file was tagged with a code such that in the event of a visit by a president to their city, the file will be routinely pulled up, and their names will be on a list of people to be aware of.  

            They won't know it, and nobody will ever confirm it, but they will not be able to get within shooting distance of a president, for the rest of their lives.  If they try, they will be politely stopped on one excuse or another, and delayed or turned around.   All of this with no publicity.  

            Also if they ever try to fly or (technical information redacted), to a city where a president is speaking, that will also be noted and someone will keep an eye on them long enough to ascertain if they are a threat.  

            All of this entails a lot of very routine and very boring work on the part of people who are used to the dullness of it and hope their jobs never get "exciting."  

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:27:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent. Kudos to that volunteer & the FBI. (0+ / 0-)

        And it's a darn good thing that the volunteer reported what she said, and the FBI followed up.  

        Because you never know who's merely shooting off their mouth, and who has the potential to do an actual shooting.

        She and her huzz can forget about ever being able to get within a mile of a president, without having someone keeping an eye on them.  


        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:23:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That was hilarious (8+ / 0-)

      you guys don't know how to take a joke.

      Anytime the right advocates killing, they're just kidding. That is until they kill someone. Then it's just a lone wacko, who mistook the joke.

    •  and that should have been prosecutable. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers

      There was a time when encouraging others to assassinate a president was a criminal offense.  

      Now, thanks to the Scalia Court, the same court that handed the 2000 election to Bush, that's no longer prohibited speech.

      Interestingly, if I'm not mistaken, that ruling came down during the Obama administration.  

      And yes, it really does have the flavor of "Get that n-----!" to it.

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:21:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And raising the cost of that speech is the right (8+ / 0-)

    thing to do.

    Others have noted he's protected by the Constitution.

    Let's expand on that some:


    This entire discussion comes down to Limbaugh being held to account for his ugly speech and whether or not that is OK.

    Fuck yes it's OK!

    The answer to shitty or offensive free speech is more free speech, and that is precisely what is going on right now.

    The national question is:  "Is hammering on a woman for something she didn't even say OK?"

    Really, the answer is "Yes" unless we step up and say "No", and it's all as simple as that.

    Not only do we need to take the ugly words of Limbaugh and hold them up to his sponsors, but we need to defend doing that just as vigorously as he defends his right to say them.

    When we do that, it's self-checking.  If he totally abuses that microphone, he won't have it to the same degree, and that dynamic is playing out right now.

    Radio is making threats, claiming loss of revenue and risks, saying let's just get rid of talk if we can't have Limbaugh, running news instead.

    Fuck that.  We've got so damn many good leftie talkers out there that need air time.  Promote those, and seriously pose the question as to whether or not the format needs Limbaugh to make it.

    It doesn't, and the benefit of answering free speech with more free speech is a much better balance in our discourse overall.

    Yes, he's protected, but so are we, and don't forget that.


    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:25:33 PM PDT

    •  More speech over what microphones? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers, potatohead

      Yes we've got enough lefties who can talk up a storm, to fill up plenty more than the 9,000 airtime-hours per week (over 400,000 airtime-hours per year) that Rush is getting.

      But between here and a microphone, there is a major battle to be fought.

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:30:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Somebody is needed for promotion in a way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Richard Myers

        similar to how AAR got promoted.

        Right now, the default expectation throughout way too much radio to feel good about is that conservative talk works, liberal talk doesn't.

        Interestingly, they are right about that in some ways.

        One of those ways boils down to the types of people being catered too.  You can put hate on a stick anywhere in the country, and that 23 percent of us who are racist, bigot, theocrat, etc... will find it, tune in, and support the product, write the letter, cast the vote, make the phone call, and they will do it regularly.

        They do it because it validates them, and without that they are faced with their issues in a more personal way.

        Liberals won't always tune, and there is bias against radio, particularly AM radio.  Lots of reasons for that bias too, and that promotion effort is needed.

        Right now, the thinking is taking down Limbaugh takes down talk.  It is all that pervasive.

        Here in Portland KPOJ regularly gets a quarter of the share the two larger conservative talkers gets.  One of those moved to FM, which would help KPOJ IMHO, but the other one is AM only, getting a very nice share fairly consistently.

        And, it's an election year too.  And, some of the best programs are gone now, with Rachael Maddow always bringing in better numbers, having moved to MSNBC.  (which is a good thing, mind you)

        Flat out, there is nothing that performs like Limbaugh and his hate monger friends do.  NOTHING.

        So that's the fight.  AAR was actually a great effort, hobbled by a lot of things.  But, it did establish some great new voices, many of which endure today.  

        We need that again.  Maybe not something as expensive and bold as AAR was, but something.

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***

        by potatohead on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:10:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I diaried this issue more than three years ago (8+ / 0-)

    in Echos of Rwanda.  The event that inspired the diary was Limbaugh's broadcast just hours before disruptions and fights broke out at a Tampa town hall on health care.  Remember the summer of 2009?


    LIMBAUGH: Those are paid act -- paid activists are going to be showing up. And that's why -- so the Democrats are going to get brave now. They're going to have protection there. The mob's showing up. The real, genuine mob is showing up to defend these Democrats from the unruly Nazis that are showing up to protest the health care bill.
    However, my diary was met by comments that it was "hyperbole" and "I don't think it is very likely that they are going to start hacking Democrats to death with machetes" and "Don't demean real genocide by comparing with teabaggers."

    But I still believe that this is one case where there is a slippery slope possibility -- this diary and mine are not equating the town halls in '09 or Limbaugh with Rwanda, but pointing out that the violent rhetoric of the right can be a clear step in that direction.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:09:58 PM PDT

    •  that's how it starts: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers

      First with intimidation, then it escalates to fistfights, and when people have become "used to" hearing about the fistfights, it escalates to knives, and then to guns, and eventually to bombs.

      The bombings in the south, by white supremacists during the Civil Rights era, got so bad that Birmingham Alabama became known as Bombingham.

      All of that can happen again.

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:32:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  in your last picture, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, betson08

    it says Tea Partier "packing heat." Maybe a good thing, because he has a serious draft problem there, probably needs to keep his arse warm.

    As for Limbagh, it is a puzzlement. His offensive speech is constitutionally protected, and idjuts like him are going to be able to stay on the nation's airwaves as long as they bring in the advertising bucks for their masters.

    It would be interesting to see how he'd behave in a situation in which he was personally at risk, given that bullies are generally cowards.

    "There are no Americans at the airport!" -- Baghdad Bob
    "I’ve got a very effective campaign." -- Mitt Romney

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:32:49 PM PDT

    •  that Tea Partier's holster seems pretty insecure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Admittedly the only holsters I've seen are on police officers' utility belts, but they appear to be pretty good holsters: with a strap to keep the pistol safely in the holster, that is probably designed in such a manner that the officer can undo it quickly in an emergency, but a criminal suspect would have a hard time getting to it.

      But by contrast with those, the holster that Tea Party guy is wearing, seems pretty insecure.  As in, his pistol could fall out if he was bouncing up and down or jogging.

      Really!, these guys are even half-assed in their exercise of their 2A rights. I don't think you'd find a 2A-supporting progressive wearing an insecure holster like that!

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In the immortal words (8+ / 0-)

    of Colonial American pamphleteer Thomas Paine in the 1790s:

    Calumny is a species of Treachery that ought to be punished as well as any other kind of Treachery. It is a private vice productive of public evils; because it is possible to irritate men into disaffection by continual calumny who never intended to be disaffected.
    "Calumny" is a word for slander. Paine understood "hate speech" very well, and I think Spocko's example of the role of talk radio in the Rwandan genocide was inspired.

    Thanks for the diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 06:40:13 PM PDT

    •  We need more examples of quotes like that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers, karmsy

      Quotes illustrating the point that the founders and their fellow radicals & revolutionaries were not in favor of unlimited freedom to spew whatever kinds of vomitous filth that might cross the synapses of the most primitive regions of the human brain.  

      And I'd bet that Jefferson & Franklin, if they were alive today, would be as disgusted with hate speech as we are.  They might even consider rewording the 1st A in light of that.

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 04:41:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A free press? (0+ / 0-)

    The first amendment is how.  It isn't against the law to be a dick or to listen to one or to believe one.  It's a feature, not a bug.

    •  So what you're saying is that (0+ / 0-)

      if someone hears Limbaugh saying that libruls should be shot, and goes out and shoots liberals (as has happened), that's okay and Limbaugh should be able to continue calling for violence in this way, and that it's no different from "being a dick"?

      •  There are millions of people (0+ / 0-)

        who heard the same comment and didn't go out and shoot a liberal.  Maybe the shooter's the problem.

        •  maybe the ignorance of probability and statistics (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Myers, james richardson

          .... is the problem:  Millions of Americans who haven't the faintest clue about the fact that low-probability events become high-probability events as the denominator increases, asymptotically approaching probability 1.0 which is to say 100%.

          And when you give someone the capacity to spew hatred over a long enough period of time, with a large enough audience, the probability that their words will become a contributory factor, or perhaps an outright cause, of a hate crime up to and including murder and bombing, also asymptotically approaches 1.0.

          This type of "speech" has become a legal entity unto itself, like a corporation, with all the rights and liberties of real biological humans, and with a unique right that biological humans do not have: the ability to act through intermediate agency to cause the deaths of other humans, with no legal responsibility whatsoever.  Meditate on that.  

          What is it, exactly, about hatred, that makes it so attractive that it crowds out other content to the extent of over 400,000 airtime-hours per year for Rush Limbaugh alone?   Does it tickle a very special part of the brain, in a manner analogous to the way pornography tickles the part of the brain that produces sexual arousal?  And what does that say about our culture, that so many people get a special little buzz from the emotion whose defining characteristic is the desire to do physical harm to others?  And what does that say about those who defend it?  Meditate on that too.

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 06:13:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I swear to God (0+ / 0-)

            My keyboard is fucked up I've written this post like three times.  I think about all that stuff non-stop.  I don't see the answer as being stifling free speech though.  I see it as educating people, which is not pointless as so many Democrats like to claim.  That's why we elected a President with great Oratory skills.  The Left has responsibilities beyond fighting over Obama but we look to them for all the other stuff in your comment and what do we get?  Crickets.

          •  btw (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Myers

            When I said "I swear to God" I was bitching about my keyboard, not you.  And when I said I've written this post I meant I've tried writing this comment like three times.  It's not been a good night computerwise.

  •  I get it... (4+ / 0-)

    ..First, you must buy into what Limbaugh considers absurd.

    Is Sandra Fluke authentically absurd?  Not by any measurable metric known to man.  But Limbaugh claims she is, so we're off to the races.

    That's an easy trick, since his audience is a bunch of gullible malcontents.

    Then once Limbaugh has explained to you what must & must not be considered absurd, he then moves on to what he considers absurdity.

    It's a classic case of a loudmouth shit-stirrer raising the ire of the stupid just because he gets off on it.

    "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

    by wyvern on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:21:45 PM PDT

    •  And because his corporate sponsors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      along with his GOP rulers pay him extremely well to stir the shit - that way they're guaranteed of unquestioning followers.

      Helping a food pantry on the Cheyenne River Reservation,Okiciyap." ><"

      by betson08 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:04:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I listen for at least 5 minutes most days (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Richard Myers, G2geek

    Friday was fun because he was all upset over the jobs numbers, just spitting mad he was.  Later Friday I heard him do these long monologues pretending to be in the mind of an Obama voter but mimicking what Rush thinks is an AA accent. It was just patently in your face racist. He goes into these long stream of consciousness things that are pretty illuminating of a hateful mind. As the leader of the Republican party for so long he is a good directional signal. The far right is very far right.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:03:28 PM PDT

  •  I'll bite. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers
    Conservatives and conservatism pose a much greater threat to liberals than terrorists do. Check their language against the terrorists versus their language against George W. Bush, or me...
    Well... yeah. Terrorists aren't that much of a threat, really. Very, very few individuals have the desire to carry out terrorist acts, and of those, a much smaller number have the means and the motivation to actually follow through.

    Sure, it happens, and we must be vigilant against terrorism.

    But people die from lack of insurance every day in America. And that represents only a small fraction of the unnecessary suffering and hardship caused by Republican policies.

    Paul Ryan has risen to prominence because he thinks that poor people should suffer and he doesn't mind saying so.

    by VictorLaszlo on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:35:10 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site