This Is What they Do
It is clear to me that most people in journalism and (non-right wing) blogging do not listen to right wing talk radio very often and simply cannot believe it when critics report what they are saying. For instance, Andrew Sullivan seems to think this comment by Limbaugh is beyond the pale. It is. But it is so commonplace as to nearly be unworthy of mention by people who listen to his show regularly. Indeed, the idea that it's particularly shocking because it's "self-conscious" is laughable. That's his whole schtick. Just this week he's been winking and chuckling about this "Driving Miss Nancy" theme, sarcastically pretending that he's sticking up for the African American Clyburn, when it's quite obvious he's playing to his bigoted and sexist listeners.
I realize that it's hard to believe that Americans are this obnoxious. It's probably even harder to believe they are paid hundreds of millions of dollars to promote this bigotry on the radio to millions of other Americans, but they are --- they are speaking the language of eliminationism and hate day after day after day. If it soothes you to believe that those who are alarmed by that are the intemperate ones so be it, but it doesn't change what they are doing or the effect it's had on our politics.
Update: Here's another example. Joe Barton, Glenn Beck's black robed regiment pastor and talk show host said this just today:
Barton: If there's a group in America that is hypersensitive, it is homosexuals. I mean, they got a short fuse on everything. You're a homophobe, you're a whatever and anything you say or do, they interpret as coming after them.
And so they really have a short fuse and a great example is, remember back a few weeks ago we had Pastor Hutcherson on and remember that article he did in Townhall and WorldNetDaily - "Transexual, Transgender, and Transfats" - and he's talking about how the government thinks it should regulate that bad for our health. Well it needs to read its own website and look what it says about homosexuality and how bad that is for health and yet they encourage that, they don't regulate it.
Well I now found out that we have a number of people who listen to "Wallbuilders Live" who I didn't know about: Alan Colmes and Keith Olbermann and MSNBC and all these folks. Because when we said that, they came after me in unbelievable ways.
MSNBC called and they had me posted on the front page and they were doing programs on what I said - I'm repeating Hutcherson, you know, I'm just reading an article. But it was so funny. They wanted me to come on NBC and appear on ... but I didn't want to talk to their twelve viewers so I left that.
You just make a comment like that, you just repeat an article that Pastor Hutcherson did and, man, they have come after me and the death threats, you know I got all of these death threats.
These guys are wacky. They are absolutely wacky and it's like they look for ways to get rejected so they can so "you did that because I'm homosexual." No, I did that because you're a jerk. And literally, if you get this kick me mentality, it's like you wear a sign that says "kick me" and you behave in such a way that people want to kick you.