Rush Limbaugh makes a rare broadcast television appearance on NBC’s Today Show, via RCP. It’s always interesting to watch how many so-called mainstream media figures treat Rush…I think often times they really don’t understand him. And, in some respects Rush doesn’t seem to go out of his way to ensure that they do, either.
Growing up in Kansas City and listening to Royals games on AM radio, I was exposed to Rush at an early age because he was carried on the same station (980 KMBZ). Since then I’ve continued to listen, with varying levels of consistency, for the last twenty years. I don’t know if that qualifies me as a “Rush baby” – the name fans and their host lovingly apply to people who grew up listening to Rush- but I do consider myself a Ph.D. candidate at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.
People who don’t understand Rush usually don’t for the simple reason that they don’t listen to him. I think if they did, particularly for a week or so (Rush actually says you need to listen for six weeks to really “get” his show), they would come away more impressed and more sympathetic than they had been previously.
As to Rush’s effects on the political discourse, while some may criticize his tone or his stridency of his opinions, it’s undeniable that he plays a major role in informing the American public. He is an insightful and entertaining commentator in a nation that has always produced and admired colorful public figures and maintained a love-hate relationship with politics. The Pew Research Center has documented that Rush Limbaugh listeners are much better informed about civic ongoings than the average citizen.
I’m just offering some spontaneous thoughts here…..this is not a direct criticism of Jamie Gangel and Matt Lauer.