A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Unfairness of Beating Up On Rush

Yes, you read that title correctly. Today, we take the concept of fair and balanced to its extreme. We’ll use it to explain the unfairness of liberals beating up on Rush, when it is claimed by his allies that liberals themselves say things that are just as nasty as what Rush said, but nobody crucifies them. Well, that thinking is not exactly true either, but we’ll get to that in due time. For now, let’s attend to poor Rush!

Poor misunderstood Rush! He called a young woman a very bad name a few weeks ago, and now the world is mad at him. The liberals have always hated him, so they could probably claim time-and-a-half for the time they spent on this recent hate fest. Even conservatives are mad at him, and his advertisers are leaving him in droves. It started with a trickle of a dozen or so companies, but now it’s up to 98 sponsors! Lord only knows how many sponsors will be gone by the time I’m finished writing this blog entry!

His supporters insist that liberals have gotten away with worse offenses while broadcasting over the nation’s airwaves. Actually, it may have nothing to do with being a liberal or a conservative. The severity of Rush’s punishment — whether it just be a loss of sponsors or a banishment to low watt AM station in suburban Miami — could just depend on the type of license he’s packing. No, I’m not talking about a broadcast license or even a gun license. I’m talking about the good old fashioned poetic license.

So, Rush, pull over to the side of the liberal media highway so we can take a look at your poetic license. Ah, just as I thought! You have the wrong type of license to be cracking personal attacks on individuals and claim that you’re just being witty or even satirical. Your license allows you the First Amendment right of free speech, but that’s no biggie! Everyone has that on their license! Beyond that, your license differs from many others who broadcast their opinions for the sake of entertainment.

Now don’t get so excited! I know that it’s not right that you’re losing your sponsors for something you said, but that’s just your sponsors — or should I say ex-sponsors - exercising their First Amendment right. By the way, in case you lost count it’s now up to 1302 sponsors leaving you! Wow! How did you ever fit them all into one little three hour slot every day?

Anyway, your poetic license allows you to be a commentator without being a journalist. If you were a journalist, then you’d actually have to do some research for your stories, and corroborate your facts with multiple sources, before you could even report your stories. Now, do you actually do research for your show, and by research I don’t mean opening the newspaper and just reading out loud the words that someone else already wrote. That’s not everyone’s idea of broadcast journalism.

Your license doesn’t allow for your comments to be interpreted as comical. Oh, you can be witty, and sardonically satirical. Unfortunately, most of your listeners may claim to be entertained by your remarks, but they actually take your opinions seriously. This wouldn’t be so bad if your opinions gave some breathing room for tolerance of other people’s viewpoints, but as far as I can tell your attitude has always been "my way or the highway".

Many of your listeners take what you say on the air as gospel truth. Again, this isn’t necessarily a totally bad thing because it is in keeping with the ideal of a true democracy. However, in your case, Rush, your listeners take what they hear on your show and spread it to everyone who is willing to listen. Then they organize in large groups and take your ideas into the voting booth, and if enough of your listeners vote, then those ideas win elections and everyone has to live with the consequences regardless if they agree with you or not. Yes, it’s democracy, but it’s not necessarily good for democracy in the future.

Despite what your supporters say about you, many people do not consider you an entertainer. You established yourself as a political and perhaps a cultural commentator. You didn’t establish yourself as a comedian, a clown, a jester. You didn’t pay your comic dues with a few hundred nights at the Improv on the LA Strip. Those who did can call someone a slut, or worse, and people let them take a pass because they are recognized as comics, who are not taken seriously by their audience. It’s okay, we believe, because we think (perhaps erroneously) that they’re just kidding.

Yes, you can claim that you were just kidding. Not that that matters now. Everyone’s calling for your head and, oh look, you’ve now lost 3,589,216 sponsors since I started writing this entry. Wow! That low watt gig in suburban Miami is looking better all the time.

Anyway, Rush, it’s not you, or even us. It’s your license that is really to blame for the unfairness of why you can’t get away with comments that someone like Don Imus or even Howard Stern can. Now that I think about it, Stern got chased off the FCC-protected broadcast world of commercial radio and took refuge in subscription only satellite radio. So you see, Rush, not even the iconic shock jocks own the correct license either.

Liberals are not immune; it just seems that way. I wouldn’t accuse Bill Maher of being totally 100% conservative, yet his show Politically Incorrect was yanked from the airwaves after he commented on the “heroism” of the 9/11 terrorists. Even a decidedly non-controversial comic like Gilbert Gottfried saw his AFLAC gig plucked away from him when he made a questionable comment about the survivors of the earthquake in Japan one year ago. In these cases, the poetic licenses were so profoundly violated that society had to take action.

Which reminds me, Rush, about the unfairness of this entire slut episode, is when is society going to take action against you. Oh sure, you’re losing sponsors — by the way, it’s still only 98 sponsors lost; I was just using my poetic license when I used numbers in excess of millions — but I can’t ignore the fact that YOU’RE STILL ON THE AIR! Now that, in my liberal sensibilities, is the most unfair thing of all.

(Thank you for reading! Congratulations, Janey, on your multiple ribbons from the Philadelphia International Flower Show!)


Anonymous Janey said...

THANK YOU for your congratulations!

Does sending an email of my Flower Show experiences make me a "broadcast journalist"? Do I get to call people wicked names with impunity? Or will my billions of sponsors leave me?

Goddess of All Media

March 14, 2012 at 6:34 AM  

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