RIP, Rush

Anyone who feels self-confessed drug addict Rush Limbaugh should be extended some special compassion and be given a break should first read today’s Newsday article chronicling what Limbaugh himself has had to say about white-collar types in similar situations:

[T]oo many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we’re not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too.”

I wonder if he is singing this same tune today. The article is quite thorough in digging up similar nuggets.

In fairness, the reporter also notes that Rush was an opponent of America’s idiotic “war on drugs.” I guess if you say enough things, one or two of them will end up being right.

[Updated 11:23pm Singapore time]

The Discussion: 5 Comments

From your link:
“I am not making any excuses…I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem.”

That doesn’t sound like a “call for mercy” to me.

More to the point though, this post encourages us to feel Schadenfreude, which is certainly a normal reaction, but I don’t think it’s a good reaction, for the following reasons:

1. I don’t think I should have to listen to Rush’s opinions on drugs before deciding how this situation should be dealt with.

2. I don’t have all the facts yet and may never have them unless I sit on a jury trying the man (and note he hasn’t actually been charged with anything yet).

3. Allowing myself to feel Schadenfreude in this situation just turns me into a lower level of human being.

October 11, 2003 @ 2:33 pm | Comment

You are right, I probably shouldn’t have referred to it as a call for mercy (although I do believe it serves that purpose for Rush’s fans; it is written in just the style that he knows will rally their support).

As to the Schadenfreude — although not all the facts are in, there is certainly enough known (if only from Rush’s own words) to allow us to conclude that Rush has been hypocritical on the issue of white collar drug use. As one blogger remarked today (forget who), Rush didn’t say he was checking himself into a prison.

No one has been more indulgent in Schadenfreude than Rush himself. I’ve been following him and writing about him for years, and know what he would be saying if Hillary Clinton were in his position. Still, I have tried to be gentle with him; while I feel no delight, I do feel it is fair, based on what we do know, to call him on his hypocrisy.

October 11, 2003 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

I’m sure you’re right about what he’d be doing if it were Hillary in the same position. I listen to the guy occasionally if I’m in the car at the time (maybe 30 minutes a month), purely for the entertainment value, and I think 30 minutes a month is about enough.
He’s primarily an entertainer, and I don’t think he influences people, he just validates what they’re already thinking (scary enough in itself, I guess).
In any case, if we looked at the demographics, I suspect we’d see talk radio as having peaked several years ago. Probably blogging (that’s you, Richard!) is the wave of the future.

So my immediate reaction is to shrug off this drama as being of little significance.

October 11, 2003 @ 5:20 pm | Comment

There’s only one point you make with which I totally disagree:

“He’s primarily an entertainer, and I don’t think he influences people, he just validates what they’re already thinking (scary enough in itself, I guess).”

A lot of people think this. I strongly urge you to go to this Web site and see his writings on Rush Limbaugh. (See the left-hand sidebar.) Rush may be a clown, but he is absolutely nothing to laugh about — to many he is an oracle. That is hard for us to comprehend, but not everyone is familiar enough with political science and history to realize that Rush is spouting nonsense. Dangerous nonsense.

October 12, 2003 @ 3:20 am | Comment

Yes, as frightening as it is, there are those who take Rush’s word like it was God talking. I’m not just stereotyping there, parts of my Right-wing Mormon nutcase family (my mother included) have that view [shudder].

I just hope this get’s Rush to tone down the drug war rhetoric…hell it might even get him to come over to the side of ending it in favor of treatment and legalization. (I know, probably hoping too much there ๐Ÿ™‚

October 12, 2003 @ 11:41 pm | Comment

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