Limbaugh gets hearing back.
January 21, 2002 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Limbaugh gets hearing back. Love him or hate him, it is great to know that technology has enabled someone to get some hearing back. However, to implant the device requires doctors to "destory the inner ear". But it seems to have worked.
posted by ericdano (44 comments total)

 
Its always nice to see a medical advance, and when it happens to a celebrity, the public hears more about it.

Just wanted to say that before the standard MeFi Rush-bashing takes palce.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:18 PM on January 21, 2002


Just another nail in the coffin of Deaf Culture, so I'm hearing. There was this idea among some deaf people that Rush could have embraced them, I guess, but now he's decided being deaf was a .....handicap..... and got fixed. Which brings the whole implant thing back onto the table of "good" versus "culturally insensitive". Joy.
posted by dwivian at 2:24 PM on January 21, 2002


Just wanted to say that before the standard MeFi Rush-bashing takes palce.

Oh man, give me a break.
posted by Doug at 2:24 PM on January 21, 2002


Love him or hate him,
hate him.
posted by quonsar at 2:24 PM on January 21, 2002


OK, I'll bite.

Last year, Limbaugh signed a nine-year contract with Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates his show to nearly 600 stations, for a total salary package reported to exceed $200 million.

You think Premiere would have given a $200 million (RADIO) contract to a soon-to-be deaf man?

Of course not, Limbaugh kept his condition a secret until after he signed it.After all of the years of Clinton bashing it was OK for Limbaugh to lie to fill up his already deep pockets.Typical of him, a set of rules for everyone else and a set of rules for him.

Sure I could keep going, but it's reruns.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:30 PM on January 21, 2002


It must be good to be really, really rich. I was hoping Rush might learn compassion from living without his hearing, but I guess the episode only reinforced that money can buy just about anything, especially good health.
posted by joemaller at 2:36 PM on January 21, 2002


Limbaugh might be able to physically hear better again, but he probably still won't bother to listen to anyone else (or to the facts) over his own frenzied yapping. As Mathew Henry pointed out hundreds of years ago in his commentary on Psalm 58, there are "None so deaf as those that will not hear."

Henry, talking about Jeremiah 20, rounded things off by noting also that there are "None so blind as those that will not see." Which, in 18 brief words, sums up a lot of modern life (and/or MeFi discussions).
posted by LeLiLo at 2:42 PM on January 21, 2002


Of course not, Limbaugh kept his condition a secret until after he signed it.After all of the years of Clinton bashing it was OK for Limbaugh to lie to fill up his already deep pockets.Typical of him, a set of rules for everyone else and a set of rules for him

There is a difference between not telling and lying. Reporters and jurists were not asking him "are you deaf?" to which he would have replied "no." That would have been lying.

It must be good to be really, really rich. I was hoping Rush might learn compassion from living without his hearing, but I guess the episode only reinforced that money can buy just about anything, especially good health.

Would you say this about someone who spent a lot of money to cure a terminal illness? Maybe you should frame your argument more carefully, along the lines of: "Some people with disabilities accept their burden and enjoy life anyway, but some might take the opportunity to get the hell out from under it." My brother(who we adopted) was born with a cleft lip and palate. If my family didn't have the money to perform surgery, he would be living in pain. How dare you say that it is a bad thing to use money to fix health problems. Your blind jealousy towards people with money reveals your idiocy.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:43 PM on January 21, 2002


There is a difference between not telling and lying.

HA! Exactly the same semantics that Rush & Co buried Clinton for!
posted by jpoulos at 2:56 PM on January 21, 2002


There is a difference between not telling and lying.

Are you serious?So as long as he doesn't say anything, he isn't being dishonest?

After all of the instant convicting of Clinton and his daily "scandals" via El Rushbo and his clones?

Anytime Clinton wouldn't tell the lynch mob what hey wanted to hear he was "lying".Anytime Clinton wouldn't answer to a conspiracy theory, no matter how dopey it was, he was "lying" or "covering up".Etc, etc..

Typical of him, a set of rules for everyone else and a set of rules for him

Yep, I would think that if you were going to offer me a fat radio contract, I have the responsibility to inform you that I'm going deaf.

My point is that Limbaugh did the exact same thing he always accused Clinton of doing.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 2:57 PM on January 21, 2002


There is a difference between not telling and lying.

You'd make a great car salesman: You didn't ask if it had an engine!

He's in radio, fer pete's sake. Of course his progressive deafness should have been disclosed.
posted by nikzhowz at 2:57 PM on January 21, 2002


Good for him, technology is amazing. I've seen these 'fixes' on little kids. btw dwivian, this might just be another part of the story in which Rush does embrace the deaf. You never know. In fact, I promise you that Rush will not "hear and run". He will continue to be involved in the hearing impared community.
posted by tomplus2 at 2:58 PM on January 21, 2002


I'm with lelilo.

He can listen to Jimi, but he can't hear Jimi.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:13 PM on January 21, 2002


He's in radio, fer pete's sake. Of course his progressive deafness should have been disclosed.

Being in radio means that he needs to be able to talk, not listen. When you make 10 million dollars a year, having a personal interpreter listen to the callers and either sign what they're saying to you, or type it out so you can read, isn't a big deal.

If this were some poor soul who was getting fired from his DJ job because he gradually lost his hearing even though he had shown that he could still effectively see what callers were saying via computerized speech to text, people would be up in arms about it, citing the ADA and complaining about heartless corporations. It's only fair to extend the same courtesy to Rush (right-wing blowhard that he is).

Not to mention that there is no evidence of PRN complaining that Rush concealed this condition from them, second-hand or otherwise.
posted by jaek at 3:20 PM on January 21, 2002


His onset of hearing loss was quick and progressed rapidly, from what I've read...it's quite likely he didn't realize the significance and/or possible end-result until way after his contract was signed on the bottom line. After all, going deaf isn't something that people normally think of happening to them.
posted by davidmsc at 3:28 PM on January 21, 2002


Why is there no room in deaf culture for those who accept CIs? Just wondering.
posted by nance at 3:49 PM on January 21, 2002


Being in radio means that he needs to be able to talk, not listen.

Did you ever hear how he talked over the last few months? He sounded like a cartoon character. Jesus Christ, the apologists are out in force today.
posted by jpoulos at 3:55 PM on January 21, 2002


Being in radio means that he needs to be able to talk, not listen.

I don't think so. He's an entertainer and his craft is his personality and delivery. He wasn't being paid to merely speak his opinions, but to serve up Rush-style bombast. Deafness was wrecking his timing and eroding his voice control.

It's true, we don't know that he didn't come clean with his employers before signing the deal. If they did cough up $200 million for a man they knew had just lost his hearing, then they're some seriously steely-eyed gamblers.
posted by nikzhowz at 3:56 PM on January 21, 2002


Thanks, mr_crash_d. The fact that Jimi is gone and Rush is still with us makes one wonder indeed, as the sleepless dyslexic pondered, "Is there a dog?" How sad that Jimi couldn't have lived long enough to grow deaf like Pete Townsend and other great rockers of that era.

Speaking of which, for you modern rock-stars-to-be, here's a site about injury prevention for performing musicians. Keep making that glorious noise . . . .
posted by LeLiLo at 4:28 PM on January 21, 2002


Did you ever hear how he talked over the last few months? He sounded like a cartoon character. Jesus Christ, the apologists are out in force today.

No, I didn't. I don't listen to Rush - he irritates the hell out of me. The blanket statement that being deaf disqualified him from his job rubbed me the wrong way, and I reacted without the full details.

Sorry.
posted by jaek at 4:30 PM on January 21, 2002


Rush went singlehandedly from being just another radio DJ to a person in many ways more evil and duplicitous than just about everyone esle in Washington.

You have to respect anyone who's a self-made man and larger than life in every way.
posted by BentPenguin at 4:46 PM on January 21, 2002


Great, he's got his hearing back. Now could someone please take this guy out!?*

* FYI, this is part of my "new look" liberalism: no more of this high-minded let's- be- crucified- on- principles- only- the- left- believes- in crap, while the vicious right-wing smears and character assassinates- and much worse- on all fronts, letting consistency or fairness or any democratic principles fall by the wayside. It's about playing dirty now, about playing to win.
posted by hincandenza at 5:38 PM on January 21, 2002


It's about playing dirty now, about playing to win.

Cool. Where do I sign up for the revolution?
posted by Optamystic at 5:45 PM on January 21, 2002


How dare you say that it is a bad thing to use money to fix health problems. Your blind jealousy towards people with money reveals your idiocy.

Personal attack aside...

In 2000, there were 44 million Americans without health insurance, that number was expected to increase if the economy worsened. It did.

According to The US Census Poverty Thresholds from 2000, a family of two is officially poor is their annual income is below $11,500. My wife and I spend almost 80% of that figure on health insurance annually.

I would gladly eat my words and change my opinion of Rush if he would contribute something to medical research. I could not find anything indicating that he's ever given a dime to medical research or charity, even though he mentions charities in his arguments against Social Security. Based on his sizeable income, I'm sure his accountants have him giving to something as a tax break, but which organizations are those, and why such cowardice in allowing a life-changing condition to enter his public dialog? Rush has an opportunity to do something to really help people, instead he paid to have it fixed and will likely promptly forget about it. Compassion doesn't fit into his self-made worldview.
posted by joemaller at 6:21 PM on January 21, 2002


hincandenza, this "new look" liberalism is great. Playing dirty, huh? I guess that's what you'd call this...

Maybe you might want to give being high-minded a try.
posted by Doug at 6:30 PM on January 21, 2002


Doug, that was utterly pointless.
posted by Optamystic at 6:43 PM on January 21, 2002


I would gladly eat my words and change my opinion of Rush if he would contribute something to medical research. I could not find anything indicating that he's ever given a dime to medical research or charity, even though he mentions charities in his arguments against Social Security. Based on his sizeable income, I'm sure his accountants have him giving to something as a tax break, but which organizations are those,

And why is it your business as to how much money any private individual gives to charity, or which charities s/he supports? Regardless of Rush's comments regarding charities and Social Security, what he -- or anyone -- does with his own money isn't your concern, joemaller.

and why such cowardice in allowing a life-changing condition to enter his public dialog?

He's been talking about it since last spring. He's explained every step of his treatment to his audience. What more was he supposed to do, exactly? What about this is an indication of cowardice?

To me, the cowardly thing would've been to retire, pull back from the public eye completely and seek treatment and recovery without making any public statement whatsoever. He certainly has the means, nothing was stopping him from doing so.

Rush has an opportunity to do something to really help people, instead he paid to have it fixed and will likely promptly forget about it.

Do you really think he's subhuman? Every experience a person has imprints them in one way or another. Have you heard a word he's had to say about his experience in seeking treatment, about how thankful he is for accessibility to cutting edge technologies and specialists, how thankful he is to have the money to provide this care, and to have millions of people concerned about his condition? If you had, you wouldn't be so quick to toss out such a blanket condemnation.

It's really easy to sit in judgment of someone based solely on your prejudice against them. Arming yourself with a few facts shakes up the picture considerably.
posted by Dreama at 7:15 PM on January 21, 2002


And why is it your business as to how much money any private individual gives to charity, or which charities s/he supports? Regardless of Rush's comments regarding charities and Social Security, what he -- or anyone -- does with his own money isn't your concern, joemaller.

Considering we're talking about someone who's whole career is based on spouting private opinions publicly, I think I and everyone else here is more than entitled to their opinions.

What more was he supposed to do, exactly?

How about drifting outside of his audience, and discussing his condition and treatment in a forum where he has nothing to gain (except broader appeal and credibility). Host a fund-raiser, give an appearance at a school for the deaf, raise awareness that deafness affects more than just him and not everyone can (or wants to) have their hearing restored. Do a publicity tour with nothing to promote and just talk about deaf awareness and treatment.

Do you really think he's subhuman?

No. I do disagree with him, but my first reaction to news of his hearing loss was compassion and the hope that he might do something positive with it. I was disappointed. Occasionally a public figure will seize adversity and rise above it. Giuliani did it. I didn't like him much for the first several years, but after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer he faced it with courage and humanity (thought I was gonna say Sept. 11, didn't you?). Clinton had something of an opportunity with the Monica thing but disappointed. GW Bush had an opportunity when the election finally ended but also disappointed. Public figures are not obligated to become role models, but it's nice when they do.

And I'll continue to be disappointed when they don't.
posted by joemaller at 8:32 PM on January 21, 2002


Optamystic: Uncalled for, yes. But not pointless. I should have done it in email. I apologize to everyone else in this thread.
posted by Doug at 9:28 PM on January 21, 2002


They fixed some hearing. That rules. Hooray for science!

I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape by people who say things they don't agree with. It seems like there must be some better atrocities to get your panties in a bunch about. I mean, really, he's a radio personality.

I don't care for Rush's opinions, but I think it's great that they were able to fix his hearing. I find it really ironic and silly that anyone could think otherwise or have some sort of bitter sentiment towards him while still maintaining that Rush is the bad person. That kind of undermines your argument that your way is the more compassionate and intelligent path.
posted by frenetic at 9:53 PM on January 21, 2002


Some people like to give to charities and not toot their own horn....shoot, it is actually Biblical....how do we know Rush DOESN'T give?

I for one am thrilled he will again hear his beloved Mannheim Steamroller......
posted by bunnyfire at 3:38 AM on January 22, 2002


Some people like to give to charities and not toot their own horn....shoot, it is actually Biblical....how do we know Rush DOESN'T give?

I for one am thrilled he will again hear his beloved Mannheim Steamroller......
posted by bunnyfire at 3:38 AM on January 22, 2002


Good Lord, haven't you people got anything better to do than to criticize the man for his wealth (My God, he actually USED some of it! To fix a health problem! Disgusting, isn't it?) and for some insanely torturous construction of social obligation (the horror -- people might actually think being deaf is a PROBLEM!). The man heard fine all his life, and he wants that back.

I'm starting to lose my 20/20 vision, and I'm not subscribing to some stupid, fucked-up "well, now I'll have sympathy for fuzzy-viewing people, no matter how many streetlights I smash my nose against" ideology. Yes, I'm talking about you, dwivian. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? No, I guess not. Figures.
posted by dhartung at 5:25 AM on January 22, 2002


you're a poopy head! no, you're the poopy head!

jeez, people. let's grow up.
posted by tolkhan at 5:53 AM on January 22, 2002


I hope this doesn't constitute thread hijack, but I wonder how his deafness would've affected his interaction with Dan Fouts and Al Michaels if he'd won the analyst job on Monday Night Football vice Dennis Miller. I could just see him talking right over Dan and Al, thereby reinforcing his blowhard image, because he couldn't hear when they were speaking.
posted by alumshubby at 6:09 AM on January 22, 2002


but now he's decided being deaf was a .....handicap..... and got fixed.

geez, what a loon.
posted by rushmc at 6:43 AM on January 22, 2002


Whatever you're opinion of him personally, I find it funny you criticize him for fixing his problem of deafness. To say he should have done otherwise is nothing but the short-sighted cliched ideas of people who take two-day seminars and think they understand the plight of the disabled, or deaf, or blind, or homeless, or psychologically unhealthy.

I don't know a single person with a disability who would not fix it if he or she had the ability. Hell, if we all thought that way, my father and I are a traitor to the blind by wearing glasses.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:23 AM on January 22, 2002


rushmc: what a loon.

Well, I agree, but I'm not about to start a deaf-culture bash today. Seemed a rather odd take on things, that a person that was suddenly impaired would somehow NOTICE the impairment and want to remedy it is somehow ...bad.... but, I never said I understood.

As to people claiming that Rush, if he negiotiated a contract without mentioning his deafness, is guilty of doing what he bashed Clinton for doing.....er...no.

Clinton lied, actively. "I did not..." and "No" and so forth. Omission, while deplorable, is not the same as active lying. I'd have a lot more respect for Clinton if he would have merely told the Court to "stuff it - I don't talk about such things", or had been forthright and then sealed the records until his tenure ended. Lying was the thing that got him slammed.
posted by dwivian at 7:28 AM on January 22, 2002


dagnyhscott: traitor to the blind

er, no. The deaf-from-birth-or-really-young crowd see that their missing hearing has opened a new world for them that the audio world misses. They embrace it, and many of them WOULDN'T change, if they could, which they can.

A rather controversial implant documentary aired on one of the science channels, and the girl that got the implant was amazed, and happy, to hear, but was given grief by her deaf friends for being, as you say, a traitor.

I guess it is an example of not missing what you never really had.
posted by dwivian at 7:31 AM on January 22, 2002


Getting to an earlier question, I think one of the reasons why the deaf community is so skeptical if not hostile to the idea of surgical correction has to do with the history of promoting lip reading and speech therapy for pre-lingual profoundly deaf people at the expense of more productive training in the basic curriculum. So much time and energy was spent in educational programs in an attempt to get deaf people to talk just like hearing people, that under traditional programs they never got beyond an elementary education.

The surgical implants are not a perfect solution. And perhaps more importantly, if you don't get exposed to large quantities of spoken language before age 3, your ability to understand and become fluent in spoken language will be greatly retarded. Your brain becomes hardwired to some degree for the language that you were exposed to from birth. The implants may restore functional hearing to someone who has lost their hearing as an adult and has English hardwired into the brain. They may not help many of the profoundly deaf people who learn ASL as their native language.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:41 AM on January 22, 2002


Cochlear implants are also very successful in young children born profoundly deaf -- they're being done on infants in the 6-12-month range now. But the cultural deaf community objects to that, too. No one should "impose" a "choice" on a child that young, etc. But if that window of birth-to-3 is missed, then, as you said, Kirk, your ability to understand and become fluent will be greatly retarded. Talk about a Catch-22.

Again, I ask, why can't the deaf-culture community make room for CIs?
posted by nance at 8:57 AM on January 22, 2002


A rather controversial implant documentary aired on one of the science channels, and the girl that got the implant was amazed, and happy, to hear, but was given grief by her deaf friends for being, as you say, a traitor.

See, I can't imagine why any group would feel the need to do this. Of course, the idea of being a "traitor" or even excluding anyone from a group never made sense to me.
posted by dagnyscott at 4:05 PM on January 22, 2002


The deaf-from-birth-or-really-young crowd see that their missing hearing has opened a new world for them that the audio world misses.

Yes: a world without the sound of Gilbert Gottfried. I can see why some people would be tempted.
posted by kindall at 6:09 PM on January 22, 2002


Er... probably a boring question, and coming in very late to this thread... so not expecting miracles, but I'd really like to know... does anyone know whose cochlear implant was used in the Limbaugh operation?
posted by blue at 1:15 AM on January 24, 2002


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