If it wasn't so sad, it would be humorous. Every person in the radio industry is following the battle of words being waged by Rush Limbaugh. The statements being made in radio trade publications are akin to a family member talking about an outsider trying to disparage a cousin.
Most radio industry insiders are approaching what's occurring as to tread so lightly it gives an impression that all we need do is wait, things will soon settle down. Except now we have stories of conspiracy being pushed by the Rush Limbaugh camp, and being reprinted in mass by radio trades.
I discussed that Politico story the other day
"To the old white men who lead the radio industry, grow some hair on your chest. Quit hiding behind the tails of Limbaugh's imagined revolutionary garb."
Rush now says Media Matters is behind his undoing. One well-read trade quotes a story from Politico - or, let's say, it's chosen part of the story by Politico - with these words: "The statement posted on Politico says Media Matters principal David Brock 'is so outraged at Rush Limbaugh’s words of three weeks ago that he started organizing a protest - almost 3 years ago.'"
I'm going to give you a few seconds to digest that statement, just to see if this makes sense: How is it possible to be so outraged about something that happened three weeks ago that you started to organize a protest over it three years ago?
, with an explanation of what was meant and the context those words were placed in. Nothing's changed.
However, we still have this paranoia being pushed by Limbaugh that "the Left is out to get me." Only, he's not mentioning how he's out to get the Left, which seems to be an OK thing in his mind.
Where I'd like to direct this discussion is in "how" Rush Limbaugh uses words as a weapon, and how the radio industry has sat back for decades allowing him this latitude to incite, provoke, and constantly violate decency (relative to discourse) - and how we now all act surprised when someone organizes, yes, coordinates an offensive attack against Rush.
First, let's dive into some of those words from Limbaugh. While you may not find them under the seven words George Carlin made us all laugh about, many are on the list that our mothers would not allow in the house. "Idiocy," "wackos," and "shut up" are just three, and they are mixed with a few dozen negative references to a number of items that Limbaugh is against.
Of course, anything that the "Master" deems bad has an army of Dittoheads picking up on. Throw truth out the window. It's all in how you twist the message that matters to them.
Let's take a "for instance" here. Look at the cover of the March issue of "The Limbaugh Letter." Speak of humor, or arrogance, this is it. Placing this person who sidestepped the draft on horseback in a revolutionary pose over the huge words "It's War" is about as funny as things get. Limbaugh approaches nearly everything with this "it's us against them" and "we're at war" attitude. It's his modus operandi.
He opens this month's magazine with the word "war" and he nearly ends it with the same, proclaiming in its second-last article "Obama's War on Catholics." God love that word, war. It riles up the spirits in many a person who has trouble understanding logic for themselves.
In the center of "The Limbaugh Newsletter" this month is an interview, with conservative Mark Levine, in which Levine proclaims "Utopians are constantly at war with our notion of individual sovereignty...." Out of 15 pages of text in this issue, 6 are devoted to this fellow (who is a thought-cousin of Rush). As an aside, I'm wondering if Mr. Levine ever served in the military. Or, is he like many of his peers with no backbone - talkers who wrap themselve in the flag. All proclaim "I Love America" as though anyone disagreeing with them can't.
But, let's get back to the central question concerning the radio industry. As I asked when this controversy started to brew, "Why Are Radio Trades Protecting Limbaugh?
Premiere Radio Networks announces a two-week sabbatical on running ads on the Limbaugh show, and it's played up as a conciliatory gesture to let things simmer down. It's real purpose is to place a smokescreen on the fact that so many sponsors have fled. It gives Premiere a reason for running so many PSAs.
John Hogan and Bob Pittman, there are two real leaders for you. Both are staying behind closed doors, away from the action, because commenting would only keep the topic in front of radio industry personnel. As for Clear Channel's radio publication, "Inside Radio," how much have you seen about this topic there? Go ahead, laugh again!
It's easy to contrive a controversy that alleges Media Matters planned for this reaction three years prior to Rush Limbaugh self-destructing. Why bother presenting the truth?
Radio will never be the same because the world is not the same, and the industry has run out of time controlling the message. That is what the Media Matters issue is about:
Where common men and women finally have an ability to respond to what is, jointly, thought of as misogyny being displayed on public airwaves.
Because the masses now have the means and organization to fight for what it considers a "just resolution" frightens the hell out of the Limbaugh camp. And, as he does in all cases like this, Limbaugh comes out with an attack based on conjecture (that is wrapped in misrepresented fact).
Let me use this same style to demonstrate the Rush Limbaugh way. On page 5 of the March "The Limbaugh Letter" are these words closing out the topic about women in science, technology, engineering, and math:
"...even with millions spent to entice girls into the profession, they still can't do the math."
To the old white men who lead the radio industry, grow some hair on your chest. Quit hiding behind the tails of Limbaugh's imagined revolutionary garb.
Condemn what was said in the strongest terms because it is only then that the people behind Media Matters and similar groups will back off.
"Let free enterprise ride" is what we've heard from Rush Limbaugh for years. Yet, that we have exactly that being demonstrated today, and then being waived off (as Radio Business Report suggests
) as "...a coordinated plan from Media Matters and other left-wing groups waiting to be executed the instant Rush said anything remotely controversial" is absurd (another favorite Limbaugh word).
This subject is about as newsworthy as reporting Rush Limbaugh has turned into a conservative hack, who can only gather an audience with words of war and hate.
The trades are not reporting. They are only repeating what Limbaugh wants them to say. And, as I started these comments, "If it wasn't so sad, it would be humorous."