How Radio Wrecks the Right

Limbaugh and company certainly entertain. But a steady diet of ideological comfort food is no substitute for hearty intellectual fare.

By John Derbyshire

The American Conservative – February 23, 2009 Issue

You can’t help but admire Rush Limbaugh’s talent for publicity. His radio talk show is probably-reliable figures only go back to 1991-in its third decade as the number-one rated radio show in the country. And here he is in the news again, trading verbal punches with the president of the United States.

Limbaugh remarked on Jan. 16 that to the degree that Obama’s program is one of state socialism, he hopes it will fail. (If only he had said the same about George W. Bush.) The president riposted at a session with congressional leaders a week later, telling them, “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.” Outsiders weighed in: Limbaugh should not have wished failure on a president trying to cope with a national crisis; Obama should not have stooped to insult a mere media artiste, the kind of task traditionally delegated to presidential subordinates while the chief stands loftily mute. Citizens picked sides and sat back to enjoy the circus.


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