Sunday, March 4

That's Entertaintment!

I'VE no idea how many lifetimes it's going to take Rick Santorum to figure stuff out, but here's a leg up (since I'm assuming legs are something which he'll find in short supply for the next Kali Yuga or two): if Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, then everyone in the news business is an entertainer (I'm willing to stipulate that, Rick). So either no one is responsible for the things he says, or everyone is. You don't get to insist that "The Media" is after you for "being a conservative" if Rush is free to say whatever fucked-up-thing is echoing in his skull at the moment. Sure, sure, you said that because neither you nor Mitt dare criticize him outright; yes, that must be a heavy Cross to bear. But you said it, so that should be the principle you're stuck with.

As for people who supposedly know better, here's Weigel:
But let's be clear about what this is. Limbaugh is a private citizen who has not endorsed any Republican candidate. (The closest he's come is praise for Santorum, which the candidate quotes on his campaign lit.) There is not a pressing public interest here. There's only the advantage that Democrats have carved out, by moving the discussion on birth control from the conscience exemption to the existential reasons why conservatives might want to limit birth control. The complex is winning this one.

Makes you wish that Weigel would acknowledge that he's just an entertainer, too.

Sure, sure, it's Slate, whose corporate mission is to make sure no one could possibly give a fuck, thereby reducing the number of complaints they receive.

But what about Weigel? "Conservatives" like this were pretending that Limbaugh was "just an entertainer" long before Santorum grabbed it like a drowning man grabs anything that floats by. They've gotten to pretend that the racism, misogyny, comet-induced-panics, and drunken high-school-yahoo one-liners weren't really their party, just a set of distasteful rituals in flyover country, full of Sound and Fury and deficient in Dentition. Now, not so much. The supposed uproar over how intractable the party has "suddenly" become is just the recognition by a few well-seated pundits that the louts they excused for decades--because loutishness elected a helluva lot more Republicans than the columns of George Eff Will and David Brooks combined--have wised up to the con.

But what about Weigel? I've given him the partial excuse of galloping Reagantotism in the past; this is the way it has always been, post-Nixon, the duration of Weigel's sentience, and it's not his fault it's never been questioned. But it is his fault that he can't be bothered to look around on his own. Limbaugh said something (yet again) that's outside the bounds of decent rhetoric. I don't care; I do the same myself, for a lot less money. But fucking own up to it. Limbaugh didn't "give the Democrats a chance to turn the 'debate' from a conscience exemption onto contraception". He blurted out what's been behind the argument all along. Not for the news cycle; since Roe. He underlined the fact that there's no pretension to truth at all behind the cries of religious persecution. Limbaugh is the Catholic Church with Tourette's.

The fact that the "Democratic media complex" (read: Kos, Media Matters, and Think Progress) object to it, and seek to disseminate it more fully, has nothing to do with anything. We're all left to understand that Weigel, or Brooks, deplores the abhorrent attack on an innocent woman--whose crime, incidentally, was to be correct, and to wish to make the case that contraceptive drugs have other health uses than preventing pregnancy--so he can proceed to uncover the real story: that Democrats are making something of it.

Th' fuck does someone want to do this? "Rush Limbaugh is a private citizen?" So are the Koch Brothers. So is Dick Armey, and so are the literally dozens of grammar-challenged powdered-wig mummers Weigel's been trying to make into a political movement for three years. Only Limbaugh also has a huge radio-blather empire. And it's not exactly non-partisan.


R. Porrofatto said...

But let's be clear about what this is.

An opening gambit right out of the Limbaugh playbook. And, just like the "entertainer," what comes after is the opposite of either clarity or "what this is," as you so eloquently point out.

One wonders what Wiegel would accept as a proper, justified response to Limbaugh's crap. Nothing? A guffaw and a hearty, "That's just Rush being Rush!"?

Democratic media complex. That's a good one.

Ben said...


DailyKos is a community website that's had success because there's not a lot of other nation-wide places for those people to congregate.

Media Matters is a website documenting actual news outlets.

Think Progress is a way for John Podesta to launder illegal Chinese donations.

This acts as an exact counterweight to a cable news channel, nation-wide distribution of a dozen conservative radio shows, explicitly conservative newspapers with national distribution, at least half of the opinion page real estate of every newspaper, half of the contributors on nominally objective cable channels and ninety percent of the guests on cable news shows.

But sometimes the Democratic media complex gets to powerful, and uses underhanded tactics like quoting back what their adversaries say and write in context. So the Weigels and the Bobos have to take them to task, more in sorrow than anger, most likely, though they seem to enjoy it a fair amount.

hells littlest angel said...

"'s a leg up..."

Foul-mouthed leftist! Mr. Santorum prefers the word "limb."

Iko said...

"Limbaugh is the Catholic Church with Tourette's."


Moe Nawaz said...
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