Monday, January 18, 2010

652 Rutch

652 Rutch

There's a 1957 movie with Andy Griffith and a number of other people who would later become stars. It's called "A Face in the Crowd." And it's about a guy from the hills of Arkansas who becomes a local radio personality and later a TV sensation with a huge audience. The character, Lonesome Rhodes hides his contempt for the audience behind a kind of country populism until one day he gets caught on the air smearing "his people." A career ender.

The film is at least partly based on the early radio and television personality Arthur Godfrey, though Godfrey never really screwed up in that way. But it might also have been a foreteller of today's media sensation Rush Limbaugh. We have studiously and purposely stayed away from saying anything about this guy for years. But the time has come.

Rutch, right wing whack job and preacher-esque showboater may have at last pulled a Lonesome Rhodes.

His biggest complaint about the people who write or speak about him is that they don't listen regularly to his program and therefore don't get the whole context of what he's saying when he says stuff like "I hope Obama fails," or "Teddy Kennedy, that great swimmer," or plays a so-called comedy bit called "Barack the Magic Negro." And he's right. People who generally write about him are not regular listeners. Unfortunately, I am and have to be. Rush is on in the studio when I come to work and I have listened to the guy I refer to as "my opening act" for years.

We have lots of room for far-out opinions, left, right and otherwise. But sometimes it's even too much for Lush Rimbaugh's sycophants.

Retch does not want us to contribute to the Haiti relief efforts. He says we've already done that by paying US income tax. So, what -- let 'em die? Other right wing whack jobs like Mike (Smelstor) Gallagher are even criticizing his idol on the air.

At some point, combining the anti-black, anti-poor, anti-Muslim, anti Haiti rhetoric has to come back and hit him in the rear. A guy who spends ten seconds a day saying something off the charts and the rest of his three hours defending himself and blaming others for misquoting him has eventually to end up on the scrap heap.

He's a (former?) drug addict and has piloted his plane into a pile of enormous wealth and influence. But he's wrecking the Republican Party by trying (and often succeeding) in dividing it between the country club set and the hard-right conservatives. And if one of the two major parties is in shambles, so is democracy.

He describes himself as a man of principle, believing in small government and self reliance. Translation: NO government and reliance on one's self to the point of forcing every waking minute to be devoted to the farm animal repetitive tasks required just to survive. Wretch wants America to be Haiti, with its anarchy and poverty on one side and the rich elite in mansions on the hill.

While on a recent vacation, Rush was hospitalized with chest pains. At first, doctors feared a heart attack. But it turned out not to be. Which most of the rest of us knew all along. In order to have a heart attack, one must first have a heart.

Note to readers: Today is Martin Luther King Day, and for the first time since the start of this blog, I have nothing new to say on the subject and therefore won't say anything. If interested, two previous items were posted on 1/19/09 and 1/15/08, 1/16/06 and 2/6/06.)

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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