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highest-paid voice
July 16, 2001 8:17 AM   Subscribe

highest-paid voice "The deal represents a stunning triumph over the establishment by an outsider who connected with and captured the spirit of the nation’s heartland." -- Drudge
posted by drunkkeith (59 comments total)

 
I thought he was dead. Oh well... a man can dream, can't he?
posted by aj100 at 8:24 AM on July 16, 2001


Rush Limbaugh: A man more respected and more highly valued than Howard Stern. Now that's an accomplishment.
posted by jpoulos at 8:31 AM on July 16, 2001


its a sigh from the divine, sanity wants back in the building. Put rush into a debate without his mic...shit do i need to say it. He is even a terrible sophist. Jez, propaganda pays well.
posted by clavdivs at 8:31 AM on July 16, 2001


"The ink is still wet on a contract Limbaugh has signed..."

Drool or sweat?
posted by pracowity at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2001


Rush gets $250 million, while the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gives $13 million to NPR and others. I like to think there are probably about as many people who, after a crappy morning waking up late, in the middle of a crappy week, on their drive to their crappy job, get cheered up by Rush's wry bluster (or whatever it is they like about Rush) as by Sylvia Poggioli's pronunciation of her own name.

NPR vs. Rush, what better illustration of the differences between liberal and conservative, and how each gets by in the U.S. Not that I am an NPR nut; I am a college radio junkie.

But just think of all the halfway decent commercial radio that had to die to make way for Rush; he is the Walmart of the dial. Capturing the spirit of the heartland.
posted by mitchel at 8:41 AM on July 16, 2001


Everytime I go to Drudge, I squirm. Is his website supposed to be the stylistic equivalent of a pile of wet doo-doo?

Perhaps that is to match the quality of the content.

As for Rush, well...I suppose he does deserve credit as the highest paid non-entity I know of. But that could just be me.

I can't wait till he gets an endorsement deal with Adidas. Or maybe British Knights. I'm pretty sure Nike won't have him, despite his support of baby labor.
posted by dogmatic at 8:44 AM on July 16, 2001


mitchel: Of course, the heartland doesn't have access to NPR. And no NPR people or hosts or whatnot are from the heartland. That was a big sniff, wasn't it?
posted by raysmj at 8:52 AM on July 16, 2001


But just think of all the halfway decent commercial radio that had to die to make way for Rush; he is the Walmart of the dial.

Like Wal-Mart, Rush offered something more compelling than the local provider; consequently, the "halfway decent commercial radio" you mourn deserved to go. Most people who listen to Rush never listened to talk radio before anyway - the hosts he replaced had no audience. Rush brought these listeners to the table, which is why his contract is so huge.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:53 AM on July 16, 2001


Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, but damn he's worth a lot of money.
posted by almostcool at 9:01 AM on July 16, 2001


hey, rush doin commericals for Wal-Mart. whoah-hoo, im calling the broker.
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 AM on July 16, 2001


my probation officer called, he said we cant do it. Rush is too busy with the Philistines.
posted by clavdivs at 9:04 AM on July 16, 2001


my probation officer called, he said we cant do it. Rush is too busy with the Philistines.
posted by clavdivs at 9:04 AM on July 16, 2001


sorry, my first double-tundra thing. sorry.
posted by clavdivs at 9:05 AM on July 16, 2001


ray- the heartland doesn't have access to npr? I had assumed it was broadcast coast-to-coast?
posted by chaz at 9:05 AM on July 16, 2001


They may have access, but they clearly aren't interested. Whether you like it or not, the man wouldn't be offered deals like this if he didn't have the listeners. People tune in, for whatever reason. That's power.
posted by Dreama at 9:11 AM on July 16, 2001


chaz: That was called semi-biting sarcasm, in response to pure snobbery. Garrison Keillor is from where, exactly? Then how many southern writers/characters have been NPR commentators over the years? And dreama, I remember the effort to get public radio in my home state of Mississippi. It was fairly inspirational. The network gets fairly good ratings for what is not meant to be a high-ratings network, what is not meant to be competition for Limbaugh, or Joe Bob and Billy in the morning or Stern or whoever.
posted by raysmj at 9:16 AM on July 16, 2001


The network gets fairly good ratings for what is not meant to be a high-ratings network

Please, NPR would be thrilled with high ratings if they could get them. Don't pretend that NPR's mediocre audience size is deliberate.
posted by ljromanoff at 9:21 AM on July 16, 2001


ljr: Oh, yeah. That's why you have commentary from Reynolds Price. He just sends ratings through the roof.
posted by raysmj at 9:24 AM on July 16, 2001


I didn't know being a grossly overweight demagogue preaching to an audience of morons could pay off so well!

And yes, the weight crack is completely warranted, considering how many insults he's lobbed at people about their appearance. Should I bring up the Chelsea Clinton "joke"? And never mind that someone who preaches an "ideology" of restraint, "conservatism", and values is a horribly gluttonous Jabba-esque petty tyrant.

Tangent: I used to think Camille Paglia was all right - I liked Sexual Personae at first - until she started praising Rush's "wit" in her column. I had to seriously reevaluate my opinion of her based on that. Now, it's all ashes. Horrible, horrible ashes. My life is over. On the plus side, though, I'll never have to hear the words "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" again.
posted by solistrato at 9:25 AM on July 16, 2001


At least you could bother hating Rush Limbaugh if he believed in the bile he spews. I have heard he isn't as conservative as he makes himself out to be, just hopped on the bandwagon to make some dough. The sad thing is that he is laughing at all the republicans who throw money at him.

I know I don't have proof, just hearsay. Maybe someone else can provide some support.

This is an interesting little essay I stumbled on.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:28 AM on July 16, 2001


Why doesn't the Drudge link work, eh?
posted by Mocata at 9:52 AM on July 16, 2001


ljr: Oh, yeah. That's why you have commentary from Reynolds Price. He just sends ratings through the roof.

Well, perhaps you're right. Maybe NPR is deliberately taking tax money and using it to fund programming that only they and a handful of other people care about. I guess I was giving them too much credit.

I didn't know being a grossly overweight demagogue preaching to an audience of morons could pay off so well!

And yes, the weight crack is completely warranted


Yes, bravo for diving straight into the cheap shots, which incidentally aren't even accurate. Talk about hypocrisy.

I have heard he isn't as conservative as he makes himself out to be, just hopped on the bandwagon to make some dough.

Do you believe everything you hear? Never mind, I probably know the answer to that question.
posted by ljromanoff at 9:54 AM on July 16, 2001


They may have access, but they clearly aren't interested.

NPR is on 620 stations in the U.S. and Canada. Plenty of people are interested.

I didn't know being a grossly overweight demagogue preaching to an audience of morons could pay off so well!

You must've missed the news -- Rush started taking better care of himself and has changed from grossly overweight to merely overweight.
posted by rcade at 9:59 AM on July 16, 2001


Because as we all know, weight has a lot to do with Rush Limbaugh as a person.
posted by hijinx at 10:08 AM on July 16, 2001


and the ties, boy, the fellers at the G.O.P. are going to simply die of envy. TIE-ENVY.
posted by clavdivs at 10:16 AM on July 16, 2001


Do you believe everything you hear? Never mind, I probably know the answer to that question.

Man! Sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way there, pal. I thought I made it clear that I didn't know if it was true or not.

Switch to decaf.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:19 AM on July 16, 2001


NPR is a damn waste of taxpayer money. Limbaugh is a repugnant ass, but at least his programming is halfway interesting.
posted by owillis at 10:20 AM on July 16, 2001


Because as we all know, weight has a lot to do with Rush Limbaugh as a person.

Limbaugh once described a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton as "the family dog." Any abuse he gets as a result of being horizontally disproportionate is well-deserved.
posted by rcade at 10:23 AM on July 16, 2001


is a horribly gluttonous Jabba-esque petty tyrant.

Didn't he lost a lot of weight, or has he put it back on?
posted by jpoulos at 10:51 AM on July 16, 2001


Just for the record, NPR is a "private, non-profit organization" not funded by the government.
posted by jjg at 10:54 AM on July 16, 2001


jpoulos: no, you're thinking of tommy lasorda. and monica lewinsky.
posted by moz at 10:54 AM on July 16, 2001


Didn't he lost a lot of weight

err...may I mambo dogface to the banana patch?
posted by jpoulos at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2001


jjg: that's sort of a dodge. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, funded at least $250 million by the federal government - funds NPR.
posted by owillis at 11:10 AM on July 16, 2001


owillis: Your note was not completely accurate either. Please see a line item accounting of who pays for public broadcasting.
posted by raysmj at 11:20 AM on July 16, 2001


"The ink is still wet on a contract Limbaugh has signed..."

Drool or sweat?


Why, blood, of course.....doesn't the devil sign all of his contracts in blood?
posted by briank at 11:23 AM on July 16, 2001


Does anyone still believe that publicly funded broadcasting is some sort of communist scam?

As far as Rush goes, I really couldn't give a rat's arse.
posted by fullerine at 11:30 AM on July 16, 2001


The CPB does not fund NPR. The CPB funds individual public radio stations, who can then buy programming from any source they choose (or simply produce their own). NPR's primary competitor in providing programming to public radio stations is Public Radio International.
posted by jjg at 11:45 AM on July 16, 2001


the heartland doesn't have access to npr... NPR is a damn waste of taxpayer money. etc etc.

Gee, my family back home in Indiana listens to pretty much nothing but NPR. But then, my dad's an old-fashioned union-card-carrying liberal... probably not your typical heartlander. He listens to Rush Limbaugh too, but only to keep tabs on what the other side is up to.

I like NPR. This American Life is wonderful, and Car Talk is a lot of fun. Since all the commercial radio stations seem to be playing the same mix CDs of bland tuneage over and over, it's pretty much NPR or KFJC for me.
posted by Zettai at 11:50 AM on July 16, 2001


Perhaps my beef is more with the CPB then. I stand corrected.
posted by owillis at 12:23 PM on July 16, 2001


We live in a country where about half the people voted a mongoloid idiot into the presidency. Dr. Laura is insanely popular. Legally Blond was the #1 movie this past weekend. Is it any surprise that Rush Limbaugh is making so much money?
And I'm sorry, but any conservative with half a brain has to admit that Rush's show is just moronic. I'm sure there are intelligent, well spoken conservative voices out there, but Rush ain't one of them.
posted by Doug at 2:46 PM on July 16, 2001


Hey, I like Reese Witherspoon. I won't turn the movie off on HBO or Showtime, whenever it shows up.
posted by raysmj at 6:08 PM on July 16, 2001


All Points Bulletin: would all progressive people kindly stop with the ad hominem attacks on Rush, and for that matter, "W." Rush is superb at what he does, even if I/you don't like it. Don't blame him for bland, robotic America: he didn't create it. Learn from him and try to neutralize him. The alternative is to spend eternity in a GOP America.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:42 PM on July 16, 2001


I thought the whole point of funding governmentally supported media (including radio and TV) is that they can't compete in the open market. Otherwise, why fund them? Same goes for art subsidized via the NEA.

These sorts of organizations are, let's face it, elitist. The majority of Americans won't support them — and I think that was always known. They are/were intended to "raise" the culture by providing communication platforms that would normally fail to support themselves.

I guess the question is this: Is this sort of state-sponsored elitism in itself bad? Does it serve a purpose? Or, put it another way — is the notion of elitism always a terrible thing?

Many would say yes. Many would say no. Many would claim that there was no such thing as elitism in America. Others would admit there is but that tax-payer money shouldn't support it.

I don't get a lot out of either public television or public radio. Too many cooking shows. But I can understand why they were created. And it wasn't so they could make a ton of money.
posted by bilco at 7:08 PM on July 16, 2001


Rush may have a huge following, but don't confuse popularity with quality - think New Kids On The Block.

I'm not making this stuff up folks.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:30 PM on July 16, 2001


think New Kids On The Block.

The NKOTB was a pre-packaged band designed to draw in the teenage girl crowd. Rush on the other hand worked his way up from being a PR guy for the KC Royals through several radio gigs until he had built up an audience and finally got his big break. See the difference?
posted by gyc at 8:06 PM on July 16, 2001


Rush on the other hand worked his way up from being a PR guy for the KC Royals through several radio gigs until he had built up an audience and finally got his big break...

Didn't Rush's dad own the radio station where he got his first "break"? Maybe the W. comparisons aren't so far off...
posted by Zettai at 8:56 PM on July 16, 2001


A rich scat muncher is still a scat muncher.
posted by Optamystic at 8:56 PM on July 16, 2001


Is this sort of state-sponsored elitism in itself bad? Does it serve a purpose? Or, put it another way — is the notion of elitism always a terrible thing?

Yes. No. Sometimes.

I can't stand elitism and the smugness that comes along with it, even when I do it (but I'm a pompous ass). It tends to totally invalidate other perspectives as it masquerades as an exchange of ideas.

Example: summer movies vs. fall movies. Fall movies get Oscar nominations and critical praise, but actual human beings go to summer movies (seen as the "lesser" of the two). For me, both are entertainment - neither inherently "better" than the other.
posted by owillis at 8:56 PM on July 16, 2001


Found it: "Rush Limbaugh got his very first job in radio because his father was one of five owners of radio station KGMO- AM in Cape Girardeau Missouri... He even admitted, in a 1987 article which appeared in The Missourian, that, 'If my father hadn't owned a real small portion of KGMO, things might have turned out differently ... My father enabled me to learn the radio business and get my own radio show back then.'"
posted by Zettai at 9:06 PM on July 16, 2001


It still takes some talent to move from being on a radio station in Cape Girardeau to being the highest paid radio personality in the nation.
posted by gyc at 10:28 PM on July 16, 2001


I disagree with Rush nearly as often as I agree with him, and quite frankly, he can be quite sophomoric and downright repulsive at times. Nevertheless...he IS talented, he has stayed "on message" for a loooong time, and he knows how to put on a show. He is an entertainer first, a political activitist second. And he's good at it.
posted by davidmsc at 10:45 PM on July 16, 2001


Hell, I even wanted Limbaugh to do Monday Night Football. I could tolerate his pomposity much more than I can Dennis Miller. Limbaugh at least seems to know the game.
posted by owillis at 10:56 PM on July 16, 2001


>he CPB does not fund NPR. The CPB funds individual public radio stations, who can then buy
>programming from any source they choose (or simply produce their own).

Exactly: and where do they buy programming from? NPR, which makes $45 million a year in programming fee revenue from its member stations, whose funding comes in large part from the government.

CPB does not fund NPR directly, but that's what the money is used for; just like a college loan which is given to a student but funds the college.

Ray: yes, I'm a snob. I like foreign films and weird music and so on. I like NPR for what appear to me to be sound reasons, not because I come from the middle class or the suburbs something... but who am I to say.

Now, I would rather have the kinds of films I like shown more often, especially in the kinds of little towns I like to live in (cities... make me lonely). I realize they can't be shown there, though; I accept it.

Now, radio: there used to be a larger variety of radio on the dial, AOR and r&b, and all kinds of little stations on the AM side playing their quirky selections of pop and oldies.

I'm not saying Rush sucks - my opinion isn't the issue. I'm saying, it's too bad those stations couldn't coexist with Rush and Clear Charnel; it's exactly like Wal-mart and the little town stores; and thus my implied point, capitalism's effects propogate in unexpected ways.

Do you think, ray, that it's better that those stores and stations don't exist? It's just better to thin out the system, and put those people to work at other things or into retirement? If so, from an economic standpoint I can see your point, BUT that's surely snobbery of a rather vicious kind, isn't it?

Look, I know all the old arguments for why it's so great that Wal-mart has done what it's done, and I don't want to rehash them; but there's a reason why those arguments don't wash with people who don't like monopolies, who do like diversity.

Ours is the most successful nation ever!
Rush is our most successful political speaker!
The human race is the most powerful species, and therefore the most important, most blessed!
etc.

owillis: summer movies vs. fall movies - good analogy. With Rush, I believe many, many people who listen to him for a little bit, think: his arguments are not that good. he distorts other people's statements, takes them out of context, attacks them ad homenim, belittles them. he is very repetitive, doesn't cite his sources very often, etc.

You mention the critics, and I think that's very apropos. With movies, what the critics like and what the ticket buyers like are both valid (yes, critics are valid, they do good work usually, they get paid to write well, to inform a certain segment of the public, etc.). With Rush, we must ask: is he simply an entertainment, like a movie? If so, fine, let him bask in his fame and wealth. If he is something more - primarily a propagandist - eventually, the other media have a responsibility to assess his what he says in itself, and what effect it has on others.

i.e. is news just a form of entertainment? can we envision a check on irresponsible news? The People vs. Rush Limbaugh, wouldn't that be a funny court case.
posted by mitchel at 11:25 PM on July 16, 2001


Technically, Limbaugh is an entertainer and not a newsman. Nevertheless, I'm sure quite a few people do get their news from him. But unless he states something that wildly doesn't jibe with fact, I don't think its the responsibility of the news media to keep a "Limbaugh Watch" going. I have wished time and time again that there was someone liberal on the radio who was at least as antagonistic as Limbaugh, so far no dice. (I've been trying with my own teeny tiny radio show on the web).
posted by owillis at 12:31 AM on July 17, 2001


A bit OT – I notice the popularity of the phrase ad hominem, which I hadn't come across before stumbling into MeFi. Not being big on latin, I conclude that this is just a way of referring to personal attacks. Is this right?

Anyway, the problem with the arguments of people like Limbaugh (and British equivalents like, I suppose, Richard Littlejohn) is not so much that they are ad hominem but that they are derived ex nihil.

Latin shaky, but you get the gist, I hope.
posted by Grangousier at 3:56 AM on July 17, 2001


To Grangousier:

ad hom·i·nem
adj.


Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason: Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents' motives.


[Latin  : ad, to + hominem, accusative of hom, man.]
posted by sigsegv at 4:41 AM on July 17, 2001


Thank you very much.
posted by Grangousier at 4:50 AM on July 17, 2001


"don't confuse popularity with quality"
Spot on.

Clear Channel and Rush, together forever reducing quality while increasing popularity, aka "lowest common denominator."

The Perfect Match, Rush and Clear Channel
posted by nofundy at 7:10 AM on July 17, 2001


mitchel: It was your reference to the heartland that had me miffed. But I see your from Iowa. Go figure. Also, weird music? I like good music, frankly, as opposed to weird. People can choose to call it that if they will, but f 'em. Plenty of what people have chosen to call weird, however, has come from the heart of America. Kansas City jazz, Chicago blues, Bix there in Iowa, etc. Also, if you'll check, rock 'n' roll was not a product of either of the coasts. Where is Rush's show based? New York. He's paid by people from New York too, I imagine.

Rush Limbaugh has nothing to do with any of that in any case. And he's on AM, mostly. Also, I love NPR, but as far as the lack of variety, both commercial radio and NPR have to be taken to task in one major way - for their trying to and to some degree succeeding in killing off low-watt "community" radio.
posted by raysmj at 8:13 AM on July 17, 2001


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