Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bitter Sarcasm Alert: Flap Over Rush Limbaugh Proves That the Media Continues to Cover Extremely Compelling News Items!

In this era of dramatic change, I am happy to see that the media has not stopped covering the most important issues facing the nation. While shoddy mortgage lending and outlandish activity among homebuyers were setting the stage for the current economic crisis, the media correctly decided not to obsess over such irrelevant matters. Instead, it provided extensive and exciting coverage of Janet Jackson's partially uncovered breast, Britney Spears' implosion, Paris Hilton's shenanigans, Ashlee Simpson's lipsyncing, and Ben and Jen, Jen and Brad, and Brad and Angelina.

Today, while the economy sits in the toilet, media outlets are again refusing to allow mundane stories to distract them. Instead, they are extensively covering the relationship between radio and television personality Rush Limbaugh and the Republican Party. Earlier this week, the media's intense investigative reporting revealed that RNC Chair Michael Steele "dissed" Rush Limbaugh but then later apologized. Continuing coverage of the situation now proves that Steele's apology indicates that Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP. This same argument led Steele to diss Limbaugh in the first place.

Today, the Washington Post published a lengthy (2 pages) campaign essay -- also known as an op-ed -- written by President Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe. Plouffe refers to Rush as the "Minority Leader." As of 11:00am (3/4, Eastern Time) Plouffe's essay is listed as the most popular item on the newspaper's website. The second most popular article is yet another opinion piece on Limbaugh. Surprisingly, readers are flocking to the day's most complicated and compelling news items.

A Non-Sarcastic Ending
Before Republicans readers begin condemning the "liberal" media, consider the following issues. A truly liberal media would focus attention on issues like soaring unemployment, which is twice the national average among blacks. The Detroit school system is so cash-strapped that one elementary school has asked parents to donate toilet paper and light bulbs, but Plouffe and other Democrats find Limbaugh a more pressing national concern.

The stock market is utterly unstimulated by the stimulus, and the future looks pretty bearish. 17,000 additional troops are moving into Afghanistan, with perhaps 13,000 more joining them before the end of the year -- a move that will undoubtedly escalate the financial and human costs of the war.

Analyzing these issues could actually demonstrate a legitimate concern for liberal values. Beating up Rush Limbaugh, by contrast, is simply an opportunistic display of partisan buffoonery, which has the same social value as stories related to Britney, Paris and Ashlee. Please do not embarrass liberalism by associating it with bankrupt sensationalism.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would disagree that it's just sensationalism.

This habit amongst the media is partly at fault, but the fact of the matter is that the White House is actively pushing this story.

They are looking to label the Republicans as extremists by linking them to Rush. Personally I doubt this will work as they've been trying to do this since the mid 90's (this is probably the 3rd or 4th time they've actually named him as their target). To accomplish this goal they would need to keep this in the news and the public's mind for roughly two years til the 2010 elections.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

partisan buffoonery with an eye to stigmatizing republicans -- yes, I agree with that. It's sensationalism in the sense that ultimately it lacks any real significance as a story. sensationalism is often a tool for other purposes -- usually to "smear" the object of coverage.

dualdiagnosis said...

The buffoonery is coming directly from the White House, Obama's immaturity is manifesting itself again. Why should the WH be attacking the likes of Jim Cramer, Santelli, or Rush Limbaugh when they should be spending their time on issues that the American people care about?

Gibbs himself admitted that this is counter productive, but I don't think he has much sway with Rahm. Video here

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Honestly, the Democrats are acting like the House Republicans during the Clinton impeachment. I guess that's why I have an uneasy feeling about it. It's absolutely immature. They are actually giving Rush more attention than he otherwise would have. He's got to be enjoying this. There are so many compelling issues that we could discuss. This situation demonstrates that American politics is simply about "parties" rather than ideology. Winning one for the team means more than doing something for people.

dualdiagnosis said...

Oh, Detroit gets $10,576 per pupil based on these numbers, the rest of the state receives $8,561. It is not a shortfall of funds, it is a misallocation of funds (as usual).

Brad said...

I think both parties in this non-controversy are self serving to a degree. The publicity can only help Rush and he seems to be playing along with his debate challenge to President Obama. Like you stated, the stimulus is not stimulating much and there is a growing backlash against bailout mania so it makes sense for the White House to create a distraction in Rush. It keeps the media busy doing what they love and it puts the Republicans on defense.

dualdiagnosis said...

Obama is willing to talk to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but won't meet the leader of the Republicans to discuss policy?

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Why should he meet with Rush???

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

If "Rush" is a party then YES, he is utterly self-serving. He is like the guys (yes, guys) who run for president over and over again so that their names can remain in the media. He craves attention. That's distinct from the media and politicians. The media's social role is to report news that is of value to our society, rather than facilitate partisan buffoonery. And certainly, politicians have a lot on their plates besides debating whether Rush is the head of the GOP. It's a stupid claim designed only to smear the GOP. Why not discuss policies? At the end of the day, the role of government is not to boost a political party but to foster progress in society. They are all failing miserably at this.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

The last msg was for Brad.

dualdiagnosis said...

LOL! Rush has asked Obama to come on his show to discuss ideas, and if he's too busy, to send Biden or Geithner. The administration has elevated Rush, Rush is running with it.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

DD: Rush is trying to get ratings. Going on his show will only heighten the buffoonery!

Also, whether the budget shortfall results from mismanagement or something else, it's more important than debating the value of Rush Limbaugh to the Republican Party. The financial crisis resulted from shoddy lending and exhuberant home buying, but we should still pay attention to it.

Also, it is more expensive to educate the average pupil in an urban area than in rural areas (typically). Furthermore, a lot of urban districts are actually playing "catch up," meaning they have only received more money in recent history, after years of neglect.

Finally, you only provided one stat. Here are others: Bloomfield Hills gets 15.4k/student, almost twice the state average. http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/mi/district_profile/257#finance

dualdiagnosis said...

"I am offering President Obama to come on this program -- without staffers, without a TelePrompTer, without note cards -- to debate me on the issues. Let's talk about free markets versus government control. Let's talk about nationalizing health care and raising taxes on small business...

"Let's talk about the New Deal versus Reaganomics,'' Limbaugh said today. "Let's talk about closing Guantanamo Bay, and let's talk about sending $900 million to Hamas. Let's talk about illegal immigration and the lawlessness on the borders. Let's talk about massive deficits and the destroying of opportunities of future generations...

" The president yesterday suggested "we're getting to the point where profits and earnings ratios are approaching that point where you want to invest." Uh, Mr. President? There is no "profits and earnings" ratio. It's "price and earnings" ratio. He's the president of the United States. He doesn't know anything about the stock market. He's admitted it before. Let's talk about it anyway.

"Just come on this program,'' Limbaugh says to Obama.

"Let's have a little debate...


Genius.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Send Rush to Dissenting Justice. Obama has more responsibilities than I. I think I'd do a great job.

Brad said...

‘They are all failing miserably at this.’

I agree with that! Each party is self serving in this exercise especially with so many more important issues to deal with. President Obama should be above this and not elevate Rush but I think this is a purposeful exercise meant to put the focus on Rush and the Republicans rather than the misgivings of the various bailouts and budgets getting crammed through now. The issue with Russia and Medvedev doesn’t help so the more distractions the better.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Brad - apparently, the White House has now said that this was a bad move....Thank goodness.

Infidel753 said...

Hey, when your opponents are making themselves look like fools, stand aside and let them get on with it -- but there's no harm in shining a spotlight on them at the same time.

Limbaugh is a clown who will say outrageous things to get attention -- and conservative hard-liners are currently eviscerating those smarter conservatives among them who dare to point this out. The more public attention is focused on these phenomena, the more absurd conservatism looks -- to the benefit of liberalism.

"A truly liberal media would focus attention on" many things, but the buffoonery and unappealing character of liberalism's opponents is certainly one of them.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

But Infidel, even the WH has now backed down.

Also, if you jump into mud, your "real" opponents can look good by taking the high ground: See this.

FLRN said...

Darren you do make your points - but I would like to highlight them in case someone overlooked them. I find it a national embarrassment that within the United States of America school children have to carry toilet paper donations to their school to stock their own restrooms while congress earmarks funds for Jazz concerts and bullying programs and the media hosts the party with headlines aimed at scoring points between self-important noise bags. Why isin't anyone else screaming about the loss of focus? Perhaps the banking industry or the auto industry could also make a PAPER donation to the clean up cause? For God sake quit playing with media distractions and get to work here, as there are three years and ten months left to effect "Change" ~

Anonymous said...

As long as there is people like you criticizing and bashing the political parties, specially Obama... The media will keep on doing this... For they know that Americans love gossiping... normal for uneducated people with extensive amounts ot free time.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Anonymous -- Ok: It's all my fault that the Democrats decided to go after Limbaugh provoking criticism and praise. I'm guilty.

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