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How to shut up Rush Limbaugh
March 13, 2006 10:29 PM   Subscribe

Why Rush Limbaugh prefers radio. Back in 1990 Rush Limbaugh guest-hosted a talk show in front of a live audience. The audience did not agree with him and tore him to pieces. His facial expressions are priceless. Watch the video at The Panopticist.
posted by Termite (55 comments total)

 
Ha! I remember when that show was on. The audience shots were downright creepy--everyone was middle-aged, white, with a suit or dress. They clapped obediently at every cue Limbaugh gave, smiles frozen on their faces the entire show. And he never even had any guests, not even conservatives. Guess he wanted the spotlight all to himself. Terrible television.
posted by zardoz at 10:34 PM on March 13, 2006


panoptican?
Sigh, once again I apologize.
posted by edgeways at 10:36 PM on March 13, 2006


Oops, this was when he filled in on the Pat Sajak show. Later he got his own tv show.
posted by zardoz at 10:38 PM on March 13, 2006


At the end they had to remove the audience. So by the end it was just another radio show.
posted by Suparnova at 10:48 PM on March 13, 2006


his own show was pretty bad too, if memory serves. didn't last long, either.
posted by ab3 at 10:48 PM on March 13, 2006


Damn, he was fat back then. Props to him for losing the weight, I don't think he had the surgery did he?
posted by b_thinky at 10:59 PM on March 13, 2006


Speaking of the audience: where are those people today? Did they get bulldozed into a hole? Some of their arguments and tactics were possibly a little over the top, but where are the angry crowds today trying to shut down other shows, other mediated events? Yeah there was Seattle and anti-war protests, but that crowd felt like they walked straight out of the '68 Democratic Convention. We could use more rabid crowds like that right now. Angry, motivated, and most of all effective. Anyone feel like marching into a television studio somewhere? Then again, 1990 was before the internet added to our distractors. And Southpark. And the new season of American Idol, I hear, is gonna be killer! I'm drooling for my ipod and a Frappacino.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 11:00 PM on March 13, 2006


MURDERER!!!

(hey, that feels good!)
posted by Operation Afterglow at 11:04 PM on March 13, 2006


I remember this when it happened and wish they had torn him to pieces, live on tv. That would have been a nice end to another useless waste of space.
posted by fenriq at 11:08 PM on March 13, 2006


Damn, he was fat back then. Props to him for losing the weight, I don't think he had the surgery did he?

No -- it was the drugs!
posted by ericb at 11:16 PM on March 13, 2006


What ericb said. Prescription heroin is a helluva drug.
posted by bardic at 11:18 PM on March 13, 2006


As with many things, Bill Hicks said it best.
posted by squirrel at 11:26 PM on March 13, 2006


I think what squirrel is referring to is this bit:

Bill Hicks: "Speaking of Satan, I was watching Rush Limbaugh recently -- Doesn't Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those gay guys who likes to lay around in a tub while other men pee on him? Can't you just picture his fat, corpulent body lying in a tub while Reagan, Quayle, and Bush stand all around peeing on him. 'Ooh, I can't get hard. Ronnie, pee in my mouth'. He still can't get hard, so Barbara Bush comes in. She takes off her pearls, stuffs them up his ass, and undoes her girdle. Her wrinkled, flaccid labia unfurl half way to her knees, like some ball-less scrotum. Barbara walks over, squats over his face, and squeezes out a lincoln into his mouth. Finally, his tiny dick gets half-way hard. 'Oooh!' A little bubble forms on the end of his dick, with a little maggot inside. The maggot pops the bubble, and goes off to join a pro-life group somewhere. Rush Limbaugh is a scat muncher, don't ya'll see that?"
posted by ori at 11:34 PM on March 13, 2006


Speaking of the audience: where are those people today?

They're still around, they're just not in the audience anymore. On Talk Radio, the minute they start scoring salient points on the host, he disconnects them and declares victory. Conservative television shows are packed with carefully pre-screened dittoheads and their like. And even the president carefully screens his audience before having a town hall type forum. Anybody threatening this sort of disruption is instantly whisked away, even if it is for something as subtle as wearing a t-shirt listing the number of American soldiers killed in the war.

When your ideas stink, are rooted in lies, or simply function -- as Limbaugh's do -- as propaganda for a political party, it is against your better interests to actually participate in the free market of ideas.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:55 PM on March 13, 2006


After the Limbaugh clip, be sure to watch the other clip on that page.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:56 PM on March 13, 2006


That one is a classic. I hear it was a publicity stunt, and the guy can make himself puke on cue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:09 AM on March 14, 2006


ori (or Bill Hicks): What was a fin doing up Barbara Bush's ass?
posted by rob511 at 12:16 AM on March 14, 2006


rob511: Oh, you kids. Never had one of these, didja.
posted by dhartung at 12:35 AM on March 14, 2006


dhartung: Who you callin' a kid, mistah? My slang's at least as old your puny Earthling playthings!
posted by rob511 at 12:47 AM on March 14, 2006


I remember watching that when it was first on the air. When I heard her utter "the blood of women in the streets" I instantly lost all respect for that woman, and decided that I would never take seriously any arguments made in that vein.

It's incredible how profoundly these little instances can affect someone for years. Since then, I've consistently blown off people that take the ambulence-chaser line like that - I just didn't realize the point at which I made the distinction.

The pained look on his face clarifies another thing: it's inherently easier to disrupt order than it is to maintain it.
posted by stewiethegreat at 1:00 AM on March 14, 2006


Fucking Christ.

"WHY DO YOU WANT TO MURDER WOMEN?!"

How are we supposed to take that seriously? Rush may be a big, fat idiot, but this stuff is straight out of the PETA handbook.

To those who might think I'm anti-activisim or pro-Rush (not even close) by saying that:

No information was communicated here. There was no discourse exchanged. Is Rush an antagonistic, self-serving cock? Yes. Are the people in the back of the crowd helping to create and sort of debate or discussion? Nope. They're just making Rush appear to be the smart one, sadly. As usual, your best PR is the opposition's worst.

Perhaps this post should've been titled "How to Make Rush Limbaugh Look Sane in Comparison" instead.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:40 AM on March 14, 2006


Helping to create any. D'oh.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:43 AM on March 14, 2006


it's inherently easier to disrupt order than it is to maintain it

That is true. They don't shut him up with the strength of their arguments. As the owner of the blog said, this is about a bully getting bullied. And since that's a rare thing, at least for a famous media bully like Limbaugh, I thought it was worth watching.
posted by Termite at 1:45 AM on March 14, 2006


"I remember watching that when it was first on the air. When I heard her utter "the blood of women in the streets" I instantly lost all respect for that woman, and decided that I would never take seriously any arguments made in that vein."

or

"WHY DO YOU WANT TO MURDER WOMEN?!"

How are we supposed to take that seriously?"


Well, that is just silly. Of course they don't want to murder women. At least, as I understand it, In South Dakota raped Christian virgins might get a free pass if their lives are in danger from unwanted pregnancy. Everyone else, of course, is a slut and is on their own. So what's the big deal?

I agree with some posters that lack of decorum in talk show audiences is a far more pressing problem.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 4:34 AM on March 14, 2006


Mickey-San is spot on in his comments. I thought the exact same thing while watching this on another website a few months ago where the blogger proudly exclaimed how Rush looked like a complete moron.

On the contrary - I think that the belligerent audience members looked like and acted like morons and by way of that, made Rush look positively gentlemanly. Say what you want about Rush, he kept his cool, asked the audience members to calm down and state their cases. Instead, the audience blew up like emotional timebombs.

I almost *almost* felt bad for him.

The left doesn't do itself any favors with 'spokespeople' like those in that audience. In fact, they act to bolster the positions of people like Rush who come out against the "Looney Left". I would almost argue that it is experiences like this that help push people like Rush to group *everyone* on the Left as loonies. It's worked to his benefit over the years.
posted by tgrundke at 5:14 AM on March 14, 2006


Hear hear, Reverend Mykeru.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:35 AM on March 14, 2006


Well no, it wasn't intelligent discourse by any means. However, it hadn't dawned on me before now that the right wing shows generally aren't in a free for all talk show format like this. Made me realize exactly how controlled they must be, so it was useful for that.
posted by Zinger at 6:49 AM on March 14, 2006


Imagine Al Gore won the election back in 2000. Now imagine the events of the last 6 years had unfolded exactly the same. Every lie, every scandal, every screw-up. Now imagine Rush defending it all.
posted by davebush at 7:24 AM on March 14, 2006


Are the people in the back of the crowd helping to create and sort of debate or discussion? Nope.

Yes, if only those Hitlary-loving feminazis would just calm down and engage Rush in his ongoing, give-and-take quest for answers, I'm sure everything would have been settled by now.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:25 AM on March 14, 2006


Thank you. Why engage in discourse with propaganda mills? It was just nice to see him get a taste of his own medicine.

Equally satisfying: When he was on David Letterman and started going into his usual routine, at one point calling Chelsea Clinton "The White House Dog." You can say that, Letterman replied (I'm paraphrasing), because you are such an outstanding example of human beauty.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:46 AM on March 14, 2006


Luckily, Rush found the answer to people vocally disagreeing with him. But after he got clean, he just relied on having monologues and swatting the cut-off button.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 7:49 AM on March 14, 2006


Well, that's the beauty of radio, isn't it? You get to be the proverbial master of your own domain and control who challenges you and who doesn't. It becomes like a giant echo chamber where discourse goes out the window and rants prevail.

I've never understood the appeal of listening to Rush all the time. I've heard him several times and everytime I get bored because it's the same rant everytime: democrats suck and liberals are destroying society. I find it so much more interesting when there is banter and discussion on a topic. Hearing the same side of a story bores the crap out of me.
posted by tgrundke at 8:09 AM on March 14, 2006


Metafilter: A giant echo chamber where discourse goes out the window and rants prevail.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:10 AM on March 14, 2006


Hitlary-loving feminazis

You have proven my point. Sensationalist, incindiary language that is pulled from thin air. You put words in my mouth and throw insults at me. Good job. You win the Internet argument.

I didn't call anyone "Hitlary-loving feminazis" at all, and I surely didn't imply it. Instead of asking a question, refuting a point, doing ANYTHING productive, the first lady he talks to just SCREAMS AT HIM LIKE A TODDLER.

Rush is a cock. Didn't I say that? Did you miss that part? He's a dick, and the solution is not screaming at him psychotically like that lady did.

Your message is sometimes only as receivable as your messenger.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:12 AM on March 14, 2006


Amen, Mikey-San. A-bjorkin'-men.
posted by cribcage at 8:29 AM on March 14, 2006


Mikey-San, calm down, you missed my point.

I wasn't trying to put those words in your mouth. I'm sure you don't talk that way.

But Rush Limbaugh DOES. Every day. That's his "schtick." That's how he makes his money.

Trying to "engage" him is pointless and self-defeating. He's not trying to conduct a discourse. He's not Socrates, or even John McLaughlin. He sells propaganda and hate. He's a bully, and needs to be treated as such.

Astro Zombie said it better, in fewer words: "Why engage in discourse with propaganda mills?"
posted by PlusDistance at 8:34 AM on March 14, 2006


Perhaps I didn't miss your point so much as it was badly aimed. Reread the pairing of what you quoted and what you said in response, and see if it doesn't look snotty toward me, not Rush, upon review.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:00 AM on March 14, 2006


I got it, but only because Rush's verbiage is so specific to Rush. After all, he was the great popularizer of feminazi.

And, honestly, how can you have a reasoned discussion with someone whose language is so essentially Godwinned.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:06 AM on March 14, 2006


Mikey-San:

If you had spent any length of time actually listening to Rush Limbaugh's show, you would have caught his meaning immediately. I know that I did.
posted by empath at 9:11 AM on March 14, 2006


"You have proven my point. Sensationalist, incindiary language that is pulled from thin air."

It's a fairly common tactic for extremists. Try having a discussion about the issue of, say, parental notification for underage mothers who want an abortion and you will be called a supporter of incest and rape.

Talk about, say, the possability that the police might be entraping "online predators" and you will be called a lurking pedophile.

There is a lot of paranoia these days... thoughtcrime is in.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:14 AM on March 14, 2006


If you had spent any length of time actually listening to Rush Limbaugh's show

Did you consider that it wasn't so much that I didn't get the reference, but that it appeared to be more of a shot on me that mimicked the language? Think "ironic trucker hat".

Things to think about. Sarcasm tag, next time?
posted by Mikey-San at 9:24 AM on March 14, 2006


I expected to see this story posted: A Baltimore radio station is the first to cancel Limbaugh's show.
"Rush was really the Elvis of right-wing talk radio. But you just don't need him anymore with so many other places to get what Rush brought before anyone had it," said Loviglio
"Elvis" I guess is shorthand for "fat, middle-aged white man who abuses perscription drugs."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:34 AM on March 14, 2006


"Murderer!"

Comparisons to early PETA tactics are apt. The Right learned from this. These strident, emotional, and shamelessly extremist bully tactics are what gave people like Coulter the balls and justification to do what they do even if it is by mimicry.
posted by tkchrist at 11:05 AM on March 14, 2006


The new learned-from-PETA connection has forced me to totally rethink my position on noted right-wing bullies like Joe McCarthy and George Wallace. If only his lawyers were able to use the "blame-PETA" defense, they could have saved that nice McVeigh boy, who was obviously a dupe of the Animal Liberation Front.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 11:11 AM on March 14, 2006


Joe McCarthy and George Wallace

And look what their lack of understanding of the media did to them, right? They cooked their own gooses. Geese. Whatever.

The point is the strident folks who use the media WELL as a bully pulpit were those that came of age with the TV media - and many of those were left causes. Certainly not all. But many.

The right appeared totally outdated for years - for Christ sake think Nixon and Buchanan - until they understood what was going on by observing their lefty counter-parts. From grass roots organizing to the intensity of message and how to target it.

If you actually, you know, read about Limbaugh and Coutler you would see who they modeled their style after. The current trend of apologia aside, it wasn't McCarthy.
posted by tkchrist at 12:48 PM on March 14, 2006


Why engage in discourse with propaganda mills?

Is tilting at them any more effective?
posted by Sparx at 1:13 PM on March 14, 2006


I feel like I should post in here, due to my name, but I don't really have the energy to say much of worth.

Isn't this a bit like watching hobos fight?
posted by rush at 2:13 PM on March 14, 2006


Less fun.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:20 PM on March 14, 2006


More like cock fighting, just not the kind that get's PETA all indignant.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 6:31 PM on March 14, 2006


What is effective against Rush? I agree those angry with Rush in the audience lost their credibility after about 15 seconds. I had no idea why they were screaming about Rush wanting to kill gays and blacks, but you certainly can't debate the guy. He's not rational. He has a position and he's not going to be swayed from it.

The problem is that he's too goddamned entertaining, and nuanced debate is not. Entertaining stories are always lies, how does the truth win?
posted by betaray at 7:54 PM on March 14, 2006


Rush is entertaining in the same way Joseph Mengele had interesting stories to tell.

/Godwin.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 8:11 PM on March 14, 2006


The audience did not agree with him and tore him to pieces. His facial expressions are priceless.

This is why editorializing in the post usually sucks. If you can't see beyond your own bias you poison the discussion. The audience? It looked like most of the audience was supportive of rush. 15 people yelling like idiots is the audience tearing him to pieces?

His facial expressions are priceless. They show a smug showman trying to contain his glee at watching the other side make fools of themselves.

Conservative television shows are packed with carefully pre-screened dittoheads and their like.

One, if you think this is only a republican trick you're mistaken. Two, if your speech/show is going to be over run by people yelling at the top of their lungs with no desire for debate they'd be stupid not to pre-screen.

but you certainly can't debate the guy. He's not rational. He has a position and he's not going to be swayed from it.

And you could debate those in the back of the audience? They're rational? They don't have a position? They CAN be swayed?

It really is about the views of the sides involved, and the views of the majority of metafilter members, because without that context rush comes off as rational while the others as complete lunatics (pushing people away instead of pulling them in, par for the course).
posted by justgary at 9:47 PM on March 14, 2006


I am not a huge Rush fan, however this is a classic example of the arrogance and incivility of many on the left. What they lack in reason they more than make up for with attitude.

When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff. ~ Cicero
posted by bevets at 4:52 AM on March 15, 2006


.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:06 AM on March 15, 2006


Wow. Just wow.
posted by mystyk at 10:36 AM on March 15, 2006


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