Rush Limbaugh’s self-proclaimed power over the media

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?

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4 responses to “Rush Limbaugh’s self-proclaimed power over the media

  1. Absolutely. I think the media has a tendency to focus on “one voice” that causes controversy. It’s sad, but when it comes right down to it, controversy sells. Take Fred Phelps, for example. Most people wouldn’t give a man like that the time of day, and yet because the media has given him a platform, he continues to reach a “mainstream audience” through his views.

    On the bright side, at least we have the First Amendment right to say whatever the heck we want. While this is what makes our country a great one, it still irritates me when people like Rush and Fred get the spotlight.

  2. I saw this! Also, I thought it was interesting that Limbaugh said he was not the face of the Republican party, while people in the White House are saying he is. I think this shows the power journalists have over their audiences. Limbaugh talks, and people listen. I think he has followers that would never question a thing he says. I think this is a perfect example of why it is believed journalists should stay objective in their reporting.

  3. I think we should treat Limbaugh like we would a child throwing a tanrum — just ignore him until he shuts up. I admit I’m one of those people who cringes every times he gets mentioned. It’s not that I’m an extreme liberal (though I definitely swing left more than right), but when even my very right-wing friends find him unbearable you know something is not right. I think the media does tend to overly publicize him because he’s a radical, and radical people make for sensational news coverage.

  4. First of all Rush Limbaugh is not a journalist. He is simply the host of a “magazine show”. I call it a magazine show because it has a very specific target audience and it is not really news. It’s pure commentary. Limbaugh’s three hour waste of air space is no different than Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, or Keith Olberman’s shows. All these shows consist of is extremely biased commentary that serve no useful purpose. Why the media seems so infatuated with these shows is beyond me. They are entitled to their opinions, but it should not be news whenever one of them says something inflammatory.

    Limbaugh and his peers are people who make a living by preaching to the choir. Limbaugh, a closet racist and homophobe, knows that he can get away with saying offensive remarks because his audience finds it amusing. The media should ignore magazine show hosts altogether.

    For Limbaugh, any publicity is good publicity. If the media stops using him as an excuse for an easy story, it will hurt him in the only place he really cares about – the pocketbook.

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