RUSH TO JUDGEMENT? ...don't steal that, I just now coined it!
June 3, 2004 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Rush Limbaugh loudly and repeatedly accuses NYT's Howell Raines of plagiarism over "Kerry / Lurch."
Jim Romenesko quietly wonders if that's possible.
posted by soyjoy (35 comments total)
I'm not the only one that thinks this guy looks like Lurch and all that that stands for and represents...

Just what the hell does Lurch "represent," other than better-than-average sitcoms?

Maybe Rush had a dope-addled vision. Watching TV Land on Oxy can fuck with you, man.
posted by jonmc at 6:58 AM on June 3, 2004

It's not Lurch--it's a Madame Tussaud's figure of Lurch that was left in the sun too long ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:59 AM on June 3, 2004

You know who Lurch represents?

Lurch represents tall guys with real deep, commanding voices and presence, who can and will do whatever it takes to do their job properly. Lurch's constituency may have excellent comic timing, but they also know when to keep their mouth shut.

Lurch is the ultimate speak-softly-and-carry-a-big-stick kind of guy, and Rush just convinced me that he's just what America needs. And I don't even have to listen to his yappy little chihuahua voice for even a second. Awright!
posted by chicobangs at 7:18 AM on June 3, 2004

and Rush looks like Pugsley, so it all works out.
posted by milovoo at 7:18 AM on June 3, 2004

Hey, it's not a bad comparison. Lurch was obviously the smartest dude in that crazy, f'ed up house.
posted by drinkcoffee at 7:18 AM on June 3, 2004

I agree, if we're going to choose by caricatures, I would sure prefer a quiet lurching dignity to the illiterate simian we have now.
posted by milovoo at 7:27 AM on June 3, 2004

Um . . . can someone claim ownership of a comparison between a public figure and a popular sitcom character?

I think Rush is making a bit deal of this because it's clearly the only item that he will ever have "plagiarized" by a respected news organization.

Let him have his fun.
posted by aladfar at 7:29 AM on June 3, 2004

Lurch was obviously the smartest dude in that crazy, f'ed up house.

Blasphemer. What about this guy?

And if Kerry's Lurch then here's my nomination for W.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 AM on June 3, 2004

So Lurch is French? I'm not following...
posted by jalexei at 7:35 AM on June 3, 2004

The political discourse in the United States is unbelievable.
posted by four panels at 7:35 AM on June 3, 2004

Rush is out of the rehab clinic ? Good for him , bravo !

"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we’re not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too.”

- Rush Limbaugh show, Oct. 5, 1995

Luckly for Rush nobody sane takes his advice seriously.
posted by elpapacito at 7:35 AM on June 3, 2004

Actually, the more I think about that comparison, Rush may have given Kerry slightly more credit than he actually deserves.

Maybe the Oxy has gone to his head and he's finally crossed the floor to become part of that gol-danged liberal media I've been hearing so much about.
posted by chicobangs at 7:36 AM on June 3, 2004

Take a moment to ponder to ponder what four panels said, in a big way.

And remember, Gore never did say he invented the Internet, but when Rove's handiwork was done, he might as well have.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:41 AM on June 3, 2004

In other news, some crazy moron on TV thinks ketchup should be purple!
posted by zekinskia at 7:42 AM on June 3, 2004

It's odd, four panels and Fupped Duck, that you didn't make your same comments in this thread.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:46 AM on June 3, 2004

Which is to say, I agree with your sentiments about these events. Both of them.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:46 AM on June 3, 2004

Sorry, I got so excited about formatting the "Romenesko" sentence to parody his style that I forgot to include an actual link:

posted by soyjoy at 7:46 AM on June 3, 2004

Remind me again - how long until November? This is all we have to share with each other and discuss around here?
posted by JollyWanker at 7:46 AM on June 3, 2004

here you go, Jolly--listen to some pretty music : >
posted by amberglow at 7:53 AM on June 3, 2004

I'm surprised at how little press the Kerry/Jackson issue has gotten (warning--self-link to silly morph).
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:10 AM on June 3, 2004

Bush - "Flip Flopper in Chief"

Lurch was cool. Plus, he was on the level. Unlike some.
posted by troutfishing at 8:23 AM on June 3, 2004

Now trout, you're really supposed to package those outbursts so they seem to fit with the thread. Would it really have been so hard to come up with...

Bush - "Flop Flipper in Chief"?
posted by soyjoy at 8:33 AM on June 3, 2004

"I think Rush is making a bit deal of this because..........."

Why even bother finishing this thought? His entire job is to say things which would get most of us fired.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:39 AM on June 3, 2004

His entire job is to say things which would get most of us fired.

Including Howard Stern. At least/not on Clear Channel.
posted by nofundy at 9:27 AM on June 3, 2004

Look, this was a slam dunk for Rush:

He gets to hang the 'Lurch' character solidly on Kerry, thus neatly framing the caricature war of the coming election -- because by picking a fight over who "invented" it, he's neatly bypassed the argument of whether the caricature is appropriate or not.

He is able to attack the New York Times, which has come down on the Democratic side (or is perceived to have, by the Rush Right), by re-enforcing the image of institutional lying.

And with that "and all that represents" he's managed to plant the idea that it does mean something, other than that John Kerry has a long face. Because lots of people who listen to Rush are eager to find layered meaning in people's breakfast cereal choices.

Oh, and when he gets called on this, he'll make it out like the people calling him on it are making a big flaming deal about a stupid TV character.

In all, extremely well done.
posted by hob at 9:52 AM on June 3, 2004

Hob is right. This was a brilliantly staged bit of memetics, which is now getting virulently spread throughout the blogosphere both by the rush-right and the outraged liberal-lefties. But it's spreading fast...and propagating reaction...memetically, it's stunning in it's almost perfection.
posted by dejah420 at 10:24 AM on June 3, 2004

Bush = chimp ---> shrill anti-Americanism

Kerry = lurch ---> brilliant political commentary

I fail to be amused/interested/etc by the chimp vs Lurch debate (a debate instigated by a notorious hypocritical junkie right-winger, by the way). and four panels' right, it's appalling how low the political debate in sinking in the US
I'd paraphrase dejah -- it's not memetics, it's emetic, if you excuse the pun.

"Lurch". heh. one would think that there'd be bigger political fish to fry in a country that's busy burying hundreds of GI's with no end of the slaughter in sight, has a frighteningly large deficit, is universally hated/despised in the Muslim world, and will be very likely attacked soon by Al Qaeda in a 911-style operation (if you listen to Ridge and Ashcroft's warnings, of course, which I'm not very sure you should do, but it's another matter)
posted by matteo at 10:43 AM on June 3, 2004

Raines is about as far from plagiarism as you can get. Everyone of Rush's wackos has been calling Kerry "Lurch" since at least December 2002. It has been a part of the conventional wisdom, national discourse, political debate, etc, for more than two years. It's out. There is no plagiarism here at all, in any way, shape, or mood.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:47 PM on June 3, 2004

Damn it, I've been trying to warn everyone -- Kerry isn't Lurch. He's Dr. Carl Hill from "Reanimator."
posted by inksyndicate at 1:34 PM on June 3, 2004

Yep, Lurch is not the most unflattering character Kerry could be compared to; he was the only member of the Addams household who recognized at least some of the absurdity around him, using a simple low-pitched moan to express his disapproval. Of course, Uncle Fester would be much more fun to hang out with (and I'm not going to mention any resemblence between him and a certain high-profile MeFite), but Lurch would be the only one on that show I would halfway trust making major decisions. Rush and the GOP might have gotten more mileage comparing him with Bill from "Kill Bill" with a haircut (Maybe "Kerry" is short for "Carridine").
posted by wendell at 2:58 PM on June 3, 2004

I am sooooo not missing US radio.

'cept Dr Laura of course.
posted by i_cola at 3:11 PM on June 3, 2004

You know, Lurch was played by Ted Cassidy who is sometimes mistaken as the actor who played Jaws, but that was Richard Kiel. So I can't make any fun James Bondish allusions.
Sadly Cassidy died in 1979 or I'm sure someone would call him up and ask his take on all this.
He was also the voice of Igoo in the Herculoids. Jjust thought I'd throw that in.

I'm sure there's an important pop cultural point in there somewhere that relates to politics, but I'm not seeing it...
posted by batgrlHG at 3:11 PM on June 3, 2004

Cassidy also played Thing (the disembodied hand) and was Gorn in "Star Trek". He also narrated "The Incredible Hulk".

What's Bush ever done?</snark>
posted by John Shaft at 3:44 PM on June 3, 2004

I met a Mr. Gorn who was the son of the namesake of the Trek Gorn. He worked in news.
posted by inksyndicate at 6:11 PM on June 3, 2004

I thought everybody knew that Kerry = Screech?
posted by Hartster at 4:41 AM on June 4, 2004

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