Monday, February 2, 2009

Rush Limbaugh
Limbaugh, the talking fathead said, "I hope Obama fails." Judging from the "no-vote" recently in the US House of Representatives, the Republicans feel the saome way.

Political commentator, radio host, college drop-out, alleged closet homosexual, and, as recently revealed, synthetic heroin drug addict, Rush Hudson Limbaugh III is probably the best known neocon personality in American radio.

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (born January 12, 1951) is an American radio host and conservative political commentator. His nationally-syndicated talk show, The Rush Limbaugh Show. airs throughout the United States on Premiere Radio Networks. He has been credited with reviving AM radio in the United States, and is also considered to have been a "national precinct captain" for the Republican Party's Congressional victories in 1994. The National Review magazine, in a 1993 cover story, called him "The Leader of Conservative Principles" during the Clinton administration.

Early life
Limbaugh was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri the son of Mildred Carolyn "Millie" (n?e Armstrong), originally from Searcy, Arkansas, and Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Jr. His father was a lawyer and a World War II fighter pilot who served in the China-Burma-India theater. The name "Rush" was chosen for his grandfather to honor the maiden name of family member Edna Rush. His family is filled with a number of lawyers including his grandfather, father and his brother David. His uncle, Stephen N. Limbaugh, Sr. is a Ronald Reagan appointed federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and his cousin, Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., is Judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri. Rush Limbaugh, Sr., Limbaugh's grandfather, was a Missouri prosecutor, judge, special commissioner and served on Missouri's state House of Representatives from 1930 to 1932. Limbaugh's grandfather was very well respected as one of the "patriarchs" of the Cape Girardeau community. Rush, Sr., died at age 104, and was still a practicing attorney at the time of his death. The Federal Courthouse in Cape Girardeau is named for Limbaugh's grandfather. Limbaugh began his career in radio as a teenager in 1967 in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, using the name Rusty Sharpe.

Limbaugh graduated from Cape Central High School, in 1969. His father and mother wanted him to attend college, so he enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University. He dropped out after two semesters and one summer; according to his mother, "he flunked everything", even a modern ballroom dancing class. As she told a reporter in 1992, "He just didn't seem interested in anything except radio."

Draft status
Limbaugh's birthdate was ranked as 175 in the Vietnam War draft lottery. No one was drafted above 125. However, he was classified as "1-Y" (later reclassified "4-F") due to either a football knee injury or a diagnosis of Pilonidal disease.

Professional career and rise to fame

After dropping out of college, Limbaugh moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania. There he became a Top 40 music radio disc jockey on station WIXZ, a station that covered the Pittsburgh area. In October 1972, he broadcast over Pittsburgh station KQV under the name "Jeff Christie".
For the rest of the decade Limbaugh moved around to several radio stations before settling in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1979, after several years in music radio, he took a break from radio and accepted a position as director of promotions with the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Retired Kansas City Royals star George Brett is one of his best friends.

In 1984, Limbaugh returned to radio as a talk show host at KFBK in Sacramento, California, where he replaced Morton Downey, Jr. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine — which had required that stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions that were broadcast — by the FCC in 1987 meant stations could broadcast editorial commentary without having to present opposing views. Daniel Henninger wrote, in a Wall Street Journal editorial, "Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987...and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination."
On August 1, 1988, after achieving success in Sacramento and drawing the attention of a former president of ABC Radio, Edward F. McLaughlin, Limbaugh moved to New York City and began his national radio show. His show debuted just weeks after the Democratic National Convention, and just weeks before the Republican National Convention. Limbaugh's radio home in New York City was the talk-format station WABC, 770 AM, and continues to this day as his flagship station.

The program gained in popularity and moved to stations with larger audiences eventually growing to over 650 radio stations nationwide. When the Republican Party won control of Congress in 1994, one of the first acts by many freshmen (calling themselves the "Dittohead Caucus") was to award Limbaugh the title of "honorary member of Congress" in recognition of his support of their efforts during this period.
Humor columnist and journalist Lewis Grossberger acknowledged that Limbaugh had "more listeners than any other talk show host" and described Limbaugh's style as "bouncing between earnest lecturer and political vaudevillian".

The Rush Limbaugh Show
Limbaugh's radio show airs weekdays for three hours daily, beginning at 12 noon Eastern time in the U.S. It also is carried worldwide over the Armed

Forces Radio Network, and in some markets is carried on FM stations.
Radio broadcasting shifted from AM to FM in the late '70s because of the opportunity to broadcast music in stereo in FM, with better range and musical fidelity. Limbaugh's show was first nationally syndicated in August 1988, in a later stage of AM's decline. Limbaugh's popularity paved the way for other conservative talk radio programming to become commonplace on the AM radio. As of 2006. Arbitron ratings indicated that The Rush Limbaugh Show had a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States. In 2007, Talkers magazine again named him #1 in its "Heavy Hundred" most important talk show hosts. Limbaugh frequently mentions the EIB (Excellence In Broadcasting) network, but this is a mythic construction, as he told the New York Times in 1990. In reality, his show was co-owned and first syndicated by Edward F. McLaughlin, former president of ABC who founded EFM Media in 1988, with Limbaugh's show as his first product. In 1997, McLaughlin sold EFM to Jacor Communications, which was ultimately bought up by Clear Channel Communications. Today, Limbaugh owns a majority of the show, which is syndicated by the Premiere Radio Networks. According to a 2001 article in U.S. News & World Report Limbaugh had an eight-year contract, at the rate of $31.25 million a year. On July 2, 2008, Matt Drudge reported that Limbaugh signed a contract extension through 2016 that is worth over $400 million, breaking records for any broadcast medium — television or radio.


Michael J. Fox incident
On the October 23, 2006 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh imitated on the "DittoCam" (the webcam for website subscribers to see him on the air) the physical symptoms of actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease and has appeared in political campaign ads for candidates who support a form of embryonic stem-cell research, and has stated that he sometimes doesn't take his medicine explicitly to show the effects of the disease. Limbaugh imitated Fox's Parkinson's symptoms as displayed on the commercial, stating that "(Fox) is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act.... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."
Fox was offended, as were people on both sides of the political spectrum who felt Limbaugh's parody of Fox was unfair or in poor taste. The possibility of a reasoned and civil discussion of stem-cell research was quickly overshadowed by dueling website and blog attacks. Proponents of stem-cell research immediately used this incident to raise funds for several Democratic candidates running for Congress, while detractors accused Fox of being just another partisan of Democratic candidates. Fox himself appeared on numerous news programs to explain his condition and to defend his advocacy for stem-cell research.
Michael J. Fox later appeared on CBS with Katie Couric and stated that he was actually dyskinesic, at the time, a condition that results from overmedication. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders states that dyskinesia results from overmedication and the first step to reduce those effects is to stop or reduce medication

Phony soldiers controversy
Another controversy occurred during the September 26, 2007 broadcast of Limbaugh's radio show, when he used the term "phony soldiers", allegedly referencing a September 21 Associated Press story about individuals falsely claiming to be veterans in order to receive benefits. A caller, after saying he was currently serving in the Army and has been in 14 years, said, "They never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media." Limbaugh interrupted, "The phony soldiers." The caller continued, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country." Several minutes later, after the caller had hung-up, Limbaugh read from the AP story describing the story of Jesse Macbeth. Macbeth joined the Army but did not complete basic training, yet claimed in alternative media interviews that he and his unit routinely committed war crimes in Iraq. On June 7, 2007, Macbeth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation. Media Matters noted Limbaugh's use of the term "phony soldiers" in an article on their website. The article suggested that Limbaugh was saying that all soldiers who disagree with the Iraq War were "phony soldiers", and their article received substantial press coverage after it was discussed in speeches by Presidential candidates John Edwards and Chris Dodd. Limbaugh argued that, when he had made the comment about "phony soldiers", he had been speaking only of Macbeth and others like him who claim to be soldiers and are not, and that "Media Matters takes things out of context all the time". Media Matters disputed the accuracy of Limbaugh's claim and defended its story.
Among Limbaugh's detractors were members of who produced a series of ads that ran on their website and on YouTube taking Limbaugh to task for insulting veterans who opposed the war. Several of these ads can be seen here: and here: The members of VoteVets, a number of whom asserted they were conservative politically, told reporters that protesting the current war policy should not be a partisan issue, but most of the support they received after the Limbaugh controversy came from congressional Democrats.
On October 19, 2007, Limbaugh announced the winning bid in an eBay auction of a letter sent to Clear Channel Communications Chief Executive Officer Mark Mays by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "We call on you to publicly repudiate these [phony soldier] comments," the letter said, ". . . and to ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments." The auction's high bid of $2,100,100 by Betty Casey of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation set a new eBay record for largest charity bid. Shortly before the auction closed, Senator Reid addressed the Senate, saying, "I don't know what we could do more important than helping to ensure that children of our fallen soldiers and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty have the opportunity for their children to have a good education." In his radio broadcast later in the day, Limbaugh was critical of Reid's speech, saying Reid had tried "to horn in and act like he's part of this whole thing, folks." Limbaugh also said, "Senator Reid, you did not mention that I am matching whatever the final total is." Matching funds from Limbaugh would increase the total donation to the charity benefiting children of Marines and law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty to $4,200,200.

Operation Chaos
Limbaugh has stated that there is nothing wrong with Republicans voting in the Democratic primary, as Democrats voted for John McCain in Vermont, New Hampshire, Florida, and other states. "This is getting absurd. If it weren't for independents and Democrats crossing over, Senator McCain would not be our nominee!"
Dubbing the effort "Operation Chaos," Limbaugh says he intends to continue to encourage his listeners to vote for whoever is behind in the Democratic primary, to sow chaos and disunity among Democrats during a divisive primary battle. Limbaugh then began to advocate that his Republican listeners vote for Clinton, something the rules of the Texas primary permitted. According to a county volunteer, one voter declared "Rush Limbaugh sent me", another "I am voting for Hillary Clinton but I want to see the Democrats implode," and a great many others mentioning Limbaugh.
In Ohio, Limbaugh similarly encouraged his listeners to re-register as Democrats and vote for Clinton. Although Ohio does not use an open primary, voters who change their registration must attest that they support the principles of the party to which they switch. About sixteen thousand Ohio Republicans switched parties for the election. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections announced that, at the urging of Democrat Sandy McNair, the cross-overs would be investigated. Later, the Ohio Attorney General's office stated that it would be hard to prosecute anyone for falsifying a change of registration, because of the difficulty of proving a voter's fraudulent intent.
Limbaugh has said that "The dream end of this [of Operation Chaos] is that this keeps up to the Convention, and that we have a recreation of Chicago 1968 with burning cars, protests, fire, and literal riots and all of that, that is the objective here."

"Magic Negro" Comments
On March 19, 2007 Limbaugh referred to Barack Obama as a "magic negro," citing an L.A. Times editorial by David Ehrenstein which claimed that Obama was filling the role of the magic negro, and that this explained his appeal to voters. Limbaugh then later played a song by Paul Shanklin, "Barack the Magic Negro," sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. Limbaugh had previously referred to Obama as "Halfrican American", a term which he also applied to actress Halle Berry. Limbaugh cited the Ehrenstein editorial, and said that the point of the comment was to highlight "race-obsessed Democrats", who had questioned whether Obama was black enough.

"I hope Obama fails"
On January 16, 2009 Limbaugh read a letter on his radio show that he had received a request from a national print outlet:... "If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal." He responded, "I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails." He explained that he didn't want "absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work." He continued, "what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here."
He also remarked that Obama's status as the first black U.S. President was part of the reason why there was pressure to accept his policies.
Limbaugh later stated that it is President Obama's policies that he wants to
see fail, not the man himself. Speaking of Obama, Limbaugh said, "He's my president, he's a human being, and his ideas and policies are what count for me."

On January 27, 2009, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) created an online petition to express outrage at Rush Limbaugh for his comment, "he wanted President Obama to fail".
On January 29, 2009, he followed-up his commentary with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal expressing concern about the Obama Administration's government intervention, proposing the "Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009".

Television show
Limbaugh had a syndicated half-hour show from 1992 through 1996, produced by Roger Ailes. The television show discussed many of the topics on his radio show, and was taped in front of a live audience.

Other media appearances
Limbaugh's first television hosting experience came March 30, 1990, as a guest host on Pat Sajak's CBS late-night talk show, The Pat Sajak Show: ACT UP activists in the audience heckled Limbaugh repeatedly; ultimately the entire studio audience was cleared. In 2001 Sajak said the incident was "legendary around CBS".
On December 17, 1993, Limbaugh appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman Limbaugh also guest-starred (as himself) on a 1994 episode of Hearts Afire. He appeared in the 1995 Billy Crystal film Forget Paris, and in 1998 on an episode of the The Drew Carey Show.
Most recently, in 2007, Limbaugh has made cameo appearances on Fox News Channel's short lived The 1/2 Hour News Hourr in a series of parodies portraying him as the future President of the United States. In the parodies, his vice president is fellow conservative pundit Ann Coulter. He also made a cameo in the Family Guy episode "Blue Harvest". In the episode, a parody of Star Wars, Limbaugh can be heard on the radio claiming that, among other things, the "intergalactic liberal space media" was lying about climate change on the planet Hoth, and that Lando Calrissian's administrative position on Cloud City was a result of affirmative action.
His persona has often been utilized as a template for a stereotypical conservative talk show host on TV shows and in movies, including an episode of The Simpsons (as a conservative talk radio host named Birch Barlow), as "Gus Baker" on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head as "Lash Rambo" (host of "Perfection in Broadcasting") on an episode of The New WKRP in Cincinnati and as "Fielding Chase" in the Columbo Mystery Movie Butterfly in Shades of Grey (played by William Shatner).
As a result of his television program, Limbaugh became known for wearing distinctive neckties. In response to viewer interest, Limbaugh launched a series of tiesdesigned primarily by his then-wife Marta. Sales of the ties reached over five million dollars (U.S.) in their initial sales year, but were later discontinued.

Pro football
Limbaugh has long been a fan of American football, specifically the NFL. During Limbaugh's time in Pittsburgh in the early 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers began to rise to dominance in the NFL in football-hungry Western Pennsylvania, where they would become "Team of the 1970's" and win four Super Bowls by the end of the decade, with Limbaugh becoming a fan of the team during this time. Limbaugh has remained a Steelers fan since and has often mentioned the team's praise on his radio show.
In 2000, ABC considered adding Limbaugh to their Monday Night Football broadcast team before deciding on comedian Dennis Miller instead.
In July 2008, Limbaugh mentioned in an interview with the St. Louis Business Journal that he would like to buy his hometown St. Louis Rams and keep the team in St. Louis as opposed to the team possibly moving back to Los Angeles.

Sunday NFL Countdown controversy
On July 14, 2003, ESPN announced that Limbaugh would be joining ESPNs Sunday NFL Countdown show as a weekly analyst when it premiered on September 7. Limbaugh would provide the "voice of the fan" and was supposed to spark debate on the show. On the September 28 episode of Countdown, Limbaugh commented about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb's role in his team's 0-2 start to the season, as well as the media's coverage of McNabb:

"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

On October 1, 2003, Limbaugh resigned from ESPN with the statement:
"My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret. I love Sunday NFL Countdown and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it. Therefore, I have decided to resign. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show and wish all the best to those who make it happen."

Balance and point of view
In his first bestseller, Limbaugh explicitly describes himself as conservative, and is sharply critical of broadcasters in all media for claiming to be objective. He has loudly criticized political centrists, independents, and even moderate conservatives, claiming they are responsible for Democrat Barack Obama's victory over Republican John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and inviting them to leave the Republican party altogether, while calling for the adoption of hard-line far-right philosophies in order to ensure the survival of the Republican party.
Limbaugh is highly critical of environmentalism and climate science. He has disputed anthropogenic global warming, and the relationship between CFCs and depletion of the ozone layer, claiming the scientific evidence does not support them. Limbaugh has argued against the scientific opinion on climate change by stating that the alleged scientific consensus "is just a bunch of scientists organized around a political proposition. You can't have consensus in science... they think consensus is the way to sell it because, 'Oh, but all these wonderful people agree.'" Limbaugh has used the term "environmentalist wacko" as a reference to left-leaning environmental advocates. As a rhetorical device, he has also used the term to refer to more mainstream climate scientists and other environmental scientists and advocates with whom he disagrees.

Limbaugh is sharply critical of feminism, saying that "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." He also popularized the term "feminazi", referring to radical feminists "to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur."[72] He credited his friend Tom Hazlett, a professor of law and economics at George Mason University, with coining the term.

Limbaugh has always taken a hard-line stance on illegal immigration.

Limbaugh supports capital punishment, having said "the only thing cruel about the death penalty is last-minute stays."
On the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal, Limbaugh said, "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation... And we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day [referring to the U.S. Military service members]. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release?"
Limbaugh has asserted that African-Americans, in contrast with other minority groups, are "left behind" socially because they have been systematically trained from a young age to hate America through a vast conspiratorial movement headed by figures such as Jeremiah Wright William Ayers, and Barack Obama.

Entertainment props
Limbaugh utilizes props to introduce his monologues on various topics. On his radio show, news about the homeless has often been preceded with the Clarence "Frogman" Henry song "Ain't Got No Home." For a time, Dionne Warwick's song "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again" preceded reports about people with AIDS.These later became "condom updates" preceded by Fifth Dimension's song, "Up, Up and Away (in My Beautiful Balloon)." In 1989, on his Sacramento radio show, Limbaugh performed "caller abortions" where he would end a call suddenly to the sounds of a vacuum cleaner and a scream, after which he would deny there was ever a caller, explaining that the call had been "aborted". This gag has never been used on his nationally syndicated show. According to his book The Way Things Ought To Be he used it to illustrate "the tragedy of abortion".

Alleged inaccuracy
Some groups and individuals have criticized Limbaugh's accuracy. The July/August 1994 issue of Extra!, a publication of the progressive group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), alleges 50 different inaccuracies and distortions in Limbaugh's commentary. Others have since joined FAIR in questioning Limbaugh's facts. Al Franken, a liberal comedian-turned-politician, wrote a satirical book (Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations) in which he criticized Limbaugh's accuracy. Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit progressive media watchdog group, has also been critical.
Limbaugh has also been criticized for inaccuracies by the Environmental Defense Fund. A defense fund report authored by Princeton University endowed geosciences professor Michael Oppenheir and Princeton University professor of biology David Wilcove lists 14 significant scientific facts which, the authors allege, Limbaugh misrepresented in his book The Way Things Ought to Be The authors conclude that "Rush Limbaugh ... allows his political bias to distort the truth about a whole range of important scientific issues."
James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times quoted Limbaugh as saying after the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States that the Democrats will "take your 401(k), put it in the Social Security trust fund." MSNBC claimed there is no Democratic plan to do so.

Personal life

Limbaugh was first married on September 24, 1977 to Roxy Maxine McNeely, a sales secretary at radio station WHB in Kansas City, Missouri. They were married at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In March 1980, McNeely filed for divorce, citing "incompatibility." They were formally divorced on July 10, 1980.
In 1983, Limbaugh married Michelle Sixta, a college student and usherette at the Kansas City Royals Stadium Club. They were divorced in 1990, and she remarried the following year.
On May 27, 1994, Limbaugh married Marta Fitzgerald, a 35-year-old aerobics instructor. They were married at the house of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who officiated. They were separated on June 11, 2004. Limbaugh announced on the air, "Marta has consented to my request for a divorce, and we have mutually agreed to seek an amicable separation." The divorce was finalized in December 2004.