Thursday, February 23, 2012

Manipulating The Truth: Rush Limbaugh

Going into this class I need a decent amount about spin, when I was younger I loved Michael J. Fox and his show Spin City taught me about basic spin in politics. Listening to Rush Limbaugh for the past couple weeks has showed me the dark side of spin and how it can be used to manipulate truths to an appalling extent. Not only does Rush use devil terms, he compares Obama to the devil himself. The biblical references match the rhetoric of an insane religious cult and his rants about our country turning to communism match those of a man who built a nuclear safe house during the Cold War.

Joseph McCarthy could listen to Limbaugh’s radio show and consider it unethical. 

February 2- My first day listening to Rush Limbaugh’s show, I discovered his view on Romney, Trump, the media, and Gingrich. If you didn’t know who Limbaugh was, it would take three seconds to realize he is conservative. When discussing Mitt Romney, Rush said “This Romney thing, it’s all about reflexes and it pains me to say this stuff, He just doesn’t have conservative reflexes. It’s like trying to learn golf late in life.” I believe Rush isn’t endorsing Romney, not because he doesn’t agree with his political views, but because he needs Obama to stay in office for rating’s sake. Rush is pulling in over 15 million listeners a week, that number would surely drop if a republican were to be elected president.

Rush says things like he is “Florida’s most important voter”, speaking highly of his endorsement, and “Every time a democrat is elected president, we lose a little bit of this country.” Rush believes the media is too sympathetic towards Obama, Gingrich thinks he can win without money, and at one point returned from a commercial break stating “Are we stupid enough to re-elect Obama,”

February 3, 2012- Today Rush discussed the separation of the Republican party and how they shouldn’t get ragged on for their courage, by courage I believe he meant viewpoints. He discussed job loss from December to January, claiming we lost 2.5 million jobs, over a week after the State of the Union. The method behind Trump endorsing Romney was to get Rush, Palin, and Herman Cain to “sign on to Romney.” Their was also an interesting picture posted on his twitter today, a photo shopped Obama wearing a Robin Hood outfit was posted, symbolizing him stealing from the rich to provide for the poor.

February 7, 2012- Best line of the day, “The Catholic Church is just the latest springboard for the left to advance their agenda. The actual target here is the Constitution of the United States.” Rush was saying today that the Catholic Church’s decision highlights the totalitarian Nature of the Obama Regime.  He made Obama sound like a dictator stating that the government is telling everyone, including churches what they can and can’t do.

February 8, 2012- “Now, what does that mean?  Scarlett Johansson, wizard of smart, you unable to make up your own mind about who to vote for. I'm being asked, "What is Scarlett Johansson's preferred form of dress? I guess from Scarlett Johansson that would be more nude photos, right? Isn't that what she...? Right? Or close to it? And we're gonna start talking about people wear or don't wear? Isn't that what Scarlett Johansson's...? Am I confusing her with somebody? I didn't think so. I didn't think I was.” Rush on Her comments about on Santorum’s sweater vest. Rush talked about how Romney flip flops on standpoints, stating that he is more of an “administrator” and “What we have here is another telling sign of just how similar, if you will, Romneycare is to Obamacare.” Limbaugh’s ability to cherry pick facts in favor of Santorum is astonishing. The only example he offers of Romney’s “flipflopping” is his stand on abortion.

February 9, 2012- When you listen to Limbaugh’s show, you expect a euphemism every other sentence. It’s almost name calling when it comes to being a listener. Today Rush took an interesting angle on attacking the Obama administration. He made it sound as if Obama was succeeding in his plan to morph us into communists. “The problems that we have faced the last three years are primarily due to the fact that Obama did not fail. He has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.” He also made a claim today that Obama’s economic system is robbing us of our “dignity and potential.”

February 10, 2012- Today’s top story revolved around “angry democrats.” Limbaugh used rhetoric today that a 4th grade teacher would use to teach division, Stating that “The Democrats are angry. Now that’s not news; they’re always angry. What’s got them angry now is a proposal being floated by Republicans.” Rush talked about how Santorum offered clear contrast to Obama’s assault on our freedom, and how our freedom is “ under assault each and every day,”

February 13, 2012- “The country can’t afford Obama. The country cannot afford Pelosi. The country can’t afford Reid. The country can’t afford any more Democrats. The country can’t afford any more socialists. We can afford and we can accommodate and we should elaborate the creation of wealth via hard work.” Said Limbaugh. “Obama is seeking votes from the takers, and promised he will take more from the producers.” I learned that Rick Santorum has conservatism in his bodily fluids. Later in the show a caller blew my mind stating  “I want to say regarding the church, before I get to my point about Santorum, the Bible is very specific that conservatism is from God.  Ecclesiastes chapter 10, verse 2, says a wise man's heart directs him toward the right when a foolish man's heart directs him toward the left.  Straight out of the Bible.” The hot topic of today’s show was that Obama would cut the deficit in half in three years and failed to do so.

February 15th – “If there’s a do-nothing guy, it is Obama, he campaigns as if America’s problem is a do-nothing Congress. He can only get away with this with the help of a report-nothing media.” Rush said Wednesday. Rush also complained about Obama’s plan to cut Nukes by 80%. After two weeks of listening to him rant I am seriously turned off by all four candidates simply because this man and 5 million listeners share this delusional view of government.

February 17th- Today, Rush used his unpolished spin techniques and targeted his female listeners, this quote stuck “The media, the American left, they want to try to convince you that the party of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney hates women. The party of Bachmann and Palin hates women, and the party of the Kennedys and Bill Clinton and Chris Dodd loves women. How does that work?” Rush also celebrated the third anniversary of Obama’s Stimulus package by posting a picture of Obama riding a pig on twitter.

Alexis de Tocqueville
February 20th- Rush preached about the return of Newt and how people aren’t expecting it, but it’s inevitable. Rush also talked about how Tocqueville “foresaw the Obama years.” When Tocqueville said America needs to “avoid the perils of equality,” he was referring to the Obama administration. Rush has now made reference to two pieces of classic literature , the second being the bible.

On my last day, after the last CNN debate, Rush now believes Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are in “cahoots” to bring down Santorum. He said Romney’s goal was to make  Gingrich and Santorum look like insiders, that Romney wasn’t corrupt because he has no federal history.  Listening to Rush Limbaugh, I wouldn’t consider his rhetoric to be articulate with its spin, but I didn’t expect it to be chauvinistic propaganda. His euphemisms were more on the lines of an insult. If Rush was my only sort of media I would be driving a pickup truck with a giant confederate flag sticker on my rear window. He should be banned from the radio waves for being a hypocrite, unethically bias, and bending the weak-minded American’s voter manifesto.

Mikel Hartsough
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2012


  1. I love Rush and I will continue to listen to him. What kind of entertainer does the Democratic party have? NPR? Psh... NPR

  2. The Democratic party pretty much has every entertainer that exists right now...and their much more attractive. Sorry Rush

  3. Also there is this weird idealistic part of myself that believes Rush Limbaugh actually knows that what he is saying is ridiculous and wrong but says them for shock value which in turn boosts ratings as well as press clippings, sort of like a bloated conservative Howard Stern. Maybe my view of humanity is more favorable than most, but I envision Rush Limbaugh to be a moderate perhaps even a democrat in real life. However, if this is true, then that means that there are people who take Rush's entertaining words as fact just as Paula Deen watchers take her fatty dishes as everyday meals, which might be an even sadder reality.

    By the way Spin City was a fantastic show.

    1. Shock value sells, just as sex, tobacco and alcohol. It's sad that most people who listen to him consider him a credible source of political information.

      The only person you can trust is yourself.

  4. I am both sorry and amazed that you managed to listen to Rush Limbaugh for an entire week. If he is so concerned about the turn this country is taking, maybe he should try running for office himself instead of hiding behind his microphone and criticizing the decisions and opinions of everyone else. That way we can also see how many of his oh so loyal listeners would actually trust him and his ridiculous ideals.

    Obviously I would not vote for him simply because I am, per his descriptions, both a "socialist" and a "slut".