Rush Limbaugh Was Actually A Victim
Comedians Are Safer
I was never a fan of Rush. In fact, perhaps because of the people I spent time with, I didn't realize that a lot of people took him that seriously. I thought he was more of an entertainer, making politics dramatic, to get ratings...and as a possible by-product, promote conservative ideas. But if he were officially a comedian, he would not have received the recent backlash for his comments against the female law student petitioning for health care coverage of birth control. I thought it was funny! I think birth control should be covered, but I thought Rush's piece was fairly clever comedy, so clever that it was convincing when seen in the hyperbolic light of "pimps (gov.) and hoes (women who want birth control paid for.)"
More importantly, Rush has said much worse, many times over. He's only being heavily censored, or at least downgraded in the marketplace now. How did America get to be so hyper-sensitive, and was this not some political chess game to set up the right? Well, at least one thing is true: with more monitoring of speech, more visibility, less privacy, more need in the media to get ratings, etc - censorship, whether economic or legal, seems to be increasing. Remember when the ACLU defended Rush's privacy? Remember when racists could declare themselves racist? Is simply suppressing controversial and bigoted comments going stop the people from thinking like that. I'll bet it has the opposite effect: the greater the attack against one political spectrum, the greater their hatred will increase for the other. After 9-11, did Americans say, "well, maybe we need to look at ourselves for our imperialistic past, do a soul-searching?" No, we struck back harder. Harder than ever.
Censorship, discrediting people because of words said on the air, is not going to lead to an internal reform of anyone's perspective. Dr. Laura may watch what she says more, as will all who go down in a media frenzy once someone makes a hateful slip, but the attitudes of those people and their followers will not change. In fact, their opposition and anger will be much, much greater. If a counter-attack cannot come in words, it will come with economic strategy, with passive-aggressive ploys that cannot be traced back to person.
For that matter, why should there not be extremists. Not extremists that violently attack people with force or business corruption, but extremists who are free to state their opinion and media producers who don't fear to put them on the air. Opening the debate, clarifies the debate. Speech without limits, clarifies where the real limits should be.
It was funny, Rush. Even though you probably use birth control with all your mistresses, it was funny. And you should keep saying funny stuff.