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Bum Rush

Recently there has been a lot of flak over comments radio and TV personality (is he still on TV?) Rush Limbaugh made regarding law student Sandra Fluke’s testimony in front of Congress regarding contraception being part of President Obama’s health care program.  Typical to form, Limbaugh made outrageous and inflammatory comments, only this time an unprecedented number of sponsors (a reported 15 as of the writing of this article) have pulled out of his show and at least one radio station has cancelled his show.  Is anyone surprised by his behavior?  After all, this is the same man who coined the term “feminazis” and said Michael J. Fox was faking his Parkinson’s tremors.  He has been on the air in one form or another for decades and built a reputation on stirring up trouble.  At one time, he was considered the voice of conservative America and possibly even secretly in charge of the GOP.  Now, major Republicans like John Boener, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum (who’s no stranger to outrageous comments himself) are distancing themselves from the loudmouth broadcaster, and Forbes speculates that Rush is no longer as influential as he once was.

It’s not a matter of whether he is spreading the conservative message or not, but it’s how he goes about doing it.  He has publicly stated that he’s a mere entertainer, yet for years his words have been treated like gospel.  Why?  Essentially because he’s a bully.  He uses his power as a broadcaster to spew vitriol toward anyone who disagrees with his world view.  He’s not interested in a civil discourse; he’s the king of his own hill willing to not only push his opponents down the incline by also throw rocks at them once they hit the bottom–and then make fun of them for their efforts.  His obnoxious, vile, sneering platitudes have soiled the airwaves for far too long.  Instead of trying to tear down a young woman like Ms. Fluke, he should be praising her for having the gumption and courage to go in front of a Congressional panel and state her opinions, even if they go contrary to what Limbaugh believes.  Isn’t the United States based on the freedom to publicly state your views?  Of course, the same could be argued about Limbaugh’s hate-filled rhetoric; the difference is that he went on a personal attack of a private individual exercising her civil rights.  By using the language that he did to publicly humiliate and intimidate her, Limbaugh not only abuses the 1st Amendment but also sets himself up for slander.

Interestingly enough, one term that he used repeatedly that should be considered condescending is “co-ed,” which refers to a young woman who attends college (usually with negative connotations).  Why do we need a special word for a female college student?  “Student” is not good enough?  There’s not a word for male students.  This is 2012–why do we assume that students must be guys and are surprised that women go to school?  The word was originally coined back in the days when higher education was segregated by sex, but some progressive schools started to mingle the genders in class, creating a “co-educational’ environment.  Technically speaking, all students who attend mixed schools (meaning practically all of them) are co-eds.  Given the fact that currently, the majority of students in the United States are women, isn’t it time that this word be retired from the English language?  The fact that people like Rush Limbaugh still freely use this insulting and sexist term illustrate just how much of a dinosaur he is.

Another thing to ponder is why people find this man entertaining.  Does anyone really laugh at his “comedy“?  In reality, his listeners probably agree with his slant on the world and are perfectly fine with his tirades; he’s vocalizing ideas many people wish they could say, but are held back due to a perceived political correctness.  But is he any different than Bill Maher or Dennis Miller or Bill O’Reilly or Keith Olbermann or anyone else who uses the broadcast medium to voice their political opinions in a loud, pedantic manner and favors his own mindset over a fair and objective discussion?  We want our politics to be done in a modern gladiator style where the commentator assaults our senses and forces us to believe in their worldview by simply drowning out any other message.

By the way, someone needs to inform this veteran broadcaster that advertisers don’t buy his services.  It’s the other way around.

copyright © 2012 FilmVerse


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