It wasn’t an Obama bash or a jab at liberals that got me thinking about Rush Limbaugh’s influence on the media. In an interview with Jamie Gangel on “Today,” Limbaugh claimed he knows how to “send [the media] into insanity.”
I believe him.
His commentary shamelessly defames liberals. His satire crosses into racist and sexist territory. His critics love to hate him. But he continues to draw fans — and a hefty paycheck — along with the media’s attention.
In his interview it is apparent that Limbaugh has revolutionized the very media he “loves to tweak.” People like White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel think he’s the face of the Republican party. But his word choice leaves me wondering if the media are too drawn to fire-starters like Limbaugh.
While political commentary is imperative to our government, I think Limbaugh’s opinions are best kept to his listeners. When his antics do reach mainstream media, he says they are taken out of context. This might be true, but even when it’s not, who cares? I think he can be rude and obnoxious, but I bet a lot of people would be the same if they had their own radio shows.
Are we really impressionable enough to let one person “tweak” us? Do celebrities like him really divert the media to a single person’s opinion that easily?