A Modern-Day Edward R. Murrow is Needed To Take on Teflon Rush

Where is Edward R. Murrow when you really need him? Oh right, He died a few decades back of lung cancer after smoking about five packs a day during his illustrious radio and TV news career.

One of the things Murrow is most remembered for is taking on Joe McCarthy, the right wing, paranoid Senator from Wisconsin who believed there was a communist behind every misdeed in America and certainly at least one on every backlot in Hollywood.

We need a Murrow now, to take on the Joe McCarthy of our time—Rush Limbaugh. No doubt Limbaugh would take that as a compliment.

The man brings new meaning to the definition of uncivil. And he’s leading the charge of the uncivil political dialog now going on in the country.

I’m as much a believer in free speech as the next person. The problem with Limbaugh is he makes stuff up. Kind of like people who deny there was a Holocaust despite the preponderance of evidence.

Did you know that President Obama was responsible for the financial crisis? Yep, he intentionally caused it too, as “payback” to a nation that suppressed African Americans for more than two centuries. Just ask Rush. He’ll tell you. Obama doesn’t like America. He thinks it is an immoral country. He ran for office just so he could bring it down. Just ask Rush.



I believe Limbaugh is racist and hateful—attributes that don’t necessarily proscribe someone from standing on a broadcast soapbox and spewing venom.

That’s why we need someone like Murrow to thoroughly examine Limbaugh’s record. To show the extent to which his positions and viewpoints lack any evidence and then to do an engaging and scathing expose stating the case. Maybe then some of his loyal legions will wake up and at least find someone with a brain to worship.

And just maybe calling a college kid a whore for having a viewpoint on the funding of contraception in testimony before congress will be the tipping point. The point at which influential advertisers, a growing number of disgusted listeners and his bosses say enough already. The whore card unreasonably played brought down Don Imus, at least temporarily. And he was only kidding, or so he said. Rush, who has no sense of humor, sick, twisted or otherwise, was serious.

My guess is he’ll get away with it. This is the man who got away with calling Michelle Obama, the first African American First Lady, “uppity.” And who advertised his show in Arizona with a billboard made to look like it was riddled with bullet holes with the Tagline “Rush Limbaugh, Straight Shooter,” days after the attempted assassination of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Limbaugh is the most uncivil of all the uncivil commentators on the air today. But also the most Teflon-coated.

8 comments about "A Modern-Day Edward R. Murrow is Needed To Take on Teflon Rush".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 6, 2012 at 3:22 p.m.

    For the record, Rush did not blame the financial crisis on Obama. He blamed it on Chris Dodd and Barney Frank for forcing banks to make bad loans. As a theory, it's a plausible as knee-jerk blaming Bush for everything.

    Yes, Rush is a creep. So don't listen to him. You've got Bill Maher to enjoy and he never needs to apologize to anyone, right?

  2. Michael Kaplan from Blue Sky Creative, March 6, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.

    There already are people who are ready to take on Rush Limbaugh, and others who have already done so. Off the top of my head, there's Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert, Bill Maher and a dozen others on MSNBC and progressive talk radio,

    But in our fractured media world, people seem to only care about ideas that are already the same as their own. Back in Murrow's day, there were only three major channels to watch (DuMont didn't broadcast during See It Now's time slot); a hit show could galvanize the entire nation.

    Now? A hit show is lucky to get 15 percent of the TV audience. Even if Murrow were alive, he would be hard pressed to do to Limbaugh what he did to Sen. McCarthy.

  3. Dave O'Mara from Logan Marketing Communications, March 6, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.

    This blog post is so moronic that it would take hours to dissect the idiocy.

  4. T Y from Freelance Producer / DP, March 6, 2012 at 4:33 p.m.

    Moronic blog? Hardly. Rush is the standard bearer of the right wing. He yells into the microphone during his entire broadcast and on his best days his diatribes are merely hateful. Yes, Rush is one of the most fact-challenged broadcasters ever. Rush and the rest of right-wing talk radio has consistently lied about what Ms. Fluke’s testimony covered. Just made stuff up. And that is a recurring theme among those talkers. George Will doesn’t make stuff up. Neither do many other thoughtful conservatives. If anybody wants to dissect economic theory or appropriate tax levels that’s fair. I’m game. But name calling is inappropriate. Is Obama a “Socialist” because he suggests raising marginal tax rates from 35% to 39%? Puhlease. It’s wrong when Bill Maher or David Letterman do and it’s wrong when Rush or all of Faux News does. (Yes, intentional irony there. But it’s not a news organization it’s a propaganda machine by a committed ultra-conservative.) Letterman did apologize mightily on camera after his stupidity of name calling Ms. Palin’s family. Rush, however, continued to blame the target of his name calling and then shifted to blaming liberals in general for his own mouth problem. But Ms. Fluke was not in the public eye like Ms. Palin so don’t dream of implying a similarity. Ms. Fluke attacked no one in her testimony and merely was discussing the appropriateness of insurance covering contraceptives including when needed for medical conditions. Ms. Palin started taking verbal hits after her Republican Convention speech where she was snide, sneering and nasty. If conservatives want to say that any woman who takes birth control paid by insurance is a slut and prostitute and should videotape their sex and post it online, well go for it. That is what Rush said in so many words. It is disgusting and nearly every conservative in the public eye has tried to pretend it never happened. Rush is the Republican kingmaker and the right wing has shown that they will back his hateful speech no matter how vile. Do liberals enjoy watching the conservatives, the self-appointed “family values” and “morals” police, show their true nature as the hateful hypocrites that they are? You bet.

  5. Don Mitchell from Freelance Media Professional, March 6, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

    This is definitely the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard today. Edward R. Murrow was a serious journalist who exposed an over reaching, out of control politician; a politician who was duly elected, rightly or wrongly, by the voters in his state. Mr. Limbaugh is a radio entertainer who was duly chosen by the executives of a for profit media company. That said company happens to have a very right wing slant, is immaterial. Mr. Limbaugh is not an elected official, he is an entertainer. Just because I don’t find his narcissistic rants entertaining does not mean others do not. They don’t think much of what I find entertaining either.

    Progressives freak out when the right wants to close down NPR and PBS, has a conniption when they suggest Big Bird, Sesame Street, SpongeBob and Dr. Seuss are indoctrinating their children, but boy howdy we need to get this loudmouth Limbaugh off the air right now. Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy?

    For the record, I’m a political moderate who disagrees with both the far left and the far right have about government control. The only difference is in what they want the government to control.

    You claim Mr. Limbaugh is “Teflon-coated”. Did it never occur that incessant frothing only increases his audience? Everyone wants to tune in to see what the fuss is all about. At the end of the day, Premier Networks, division of Clear Channel doesn’t really care about content, they care about their real product which is the audience they sell to advertisers. Most of the stations that carry Mr. Limbaugh are owned by Clear Channel, particularly in the major markets. A Clear Channel market manager will have fun explaining to their former boss why they took Mr. Limbaugh off the air.

    If you want Mr. Limbaugh off the air, stop listening to him. Low ratings will get a program cancelled long before the content raises an eyebrow.

  6. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 6, 2012 at 8:28 p.m.

    What company owns half of Clear Channel folks ? Yes-siree-bob, kiddie kiddies said the fox in Bertie the Bunyip, Bain Capital. It's all about the money, not morality.

  7. T Y from Freelance Producer / DP, March 7, 2012 at 8:50 a.m.

    Mr. Mitchell makes valid points about the power of the free market except for 1 thing: Fox News lost money for how long, perhaps 10 years, before it broke even. Rupert Murdoch's extreme wealth combined with his political agenda meant that no market forces would ever come into play. Clear Channel is in a similar situation. Mega corporations driven by ideology can use their media platforms for propoganda purposes for years and decades to promote favorable pollution or tax legislation. None of what I say should be construed to imply that I think we need government intervention in this but I do support pressure exerted by the general public. Conservatives like to talk about personal responsibility and consequences for actions except for when it's them. I haven't seen any liberals suggest Congress hold hearings on Rush but the conservatives do hold hearings on Big Bird when Sesame Street promotes radical agendas like treating people fairly. Just for some fun viewing this morning check out the Fox "News" montage of their clowns saying emphatically that the president doesn't control gas prices. But that was when they were defending Geo Bush 2 in 2008.

  8. robin eublind from Tribune, March 7, 2012 at 6:43 p.m.

    That's all well and good Steve, but there isn't 'one' in mainstream to take the mantle. The bulk of them are well coiffed mic stands and stenographers, filing someone else's press releases.
    Oh, and T Y, Fox News lost money for the first five years before breaking even, as well as the spine and the spirit of journalism.

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