The Bum’s Rush (or the Bum that is Rush…)

When WIBC dumps Limbaugh, can the Rapture be far behind?

Okay, enough snark. But think about it: over the past 2-3 years, Limbaugh has steadily hemorrhaged sponsors and audience. Is it possible that sanity is reasserting itself in America?

For years, the Limbaugh product–what has been called “hate radio”–has coarsened American political discourse, mainstreamed racism, sexism and homophobia, elevated labeling and name-calling, and generally made incivility acceptable. After Rush attacked Sandra Fluke, however, calling her a slut for testifying to Congress about the importance of birth control coverage, a widespread public revulsion generated a coordinated response aimed at getting him off the air.

Nice people had had enough, and the “Flush Rush” movement began; it has steadily gained momentum.

Flush Rush has been so successful, in fact, that business publications have been running articles like “What Brands Can Learn from the Flush Rush Movement.” Time Magazine writer Brian Rosenwald (who is doing his PhD dissertation on talk radio) explains that the end came when it was no longer possible to keep hateful rhetoric “in the family,” that is, to limit its range to the “ditto heads” and faithful listeners.

[Radio] Hosts’ words far more easily reach non-listeners than they did 25 years ago. Indeed, a show’s actual audience need not be bothered for comments to cause trouble. Campaigns against a host can build over time, and social media makes it easy to pressure station management and advertisers. In fact, the provocative, unpredictable content that produces the best talk radio fits poorly with an advertiser-based business model in the Internet and social media era. This problem may eventually drive the content provided by Limbaugh and his peers to an internet-based subscription platform, where hosts do not have to worry about losing advertisers when they generate controversy.

I wouldn’t worry too much about Internet subscriptions providing him with a lucrative “out”–most of Rushbo’s listeners are well over 65 years of age, and my guess is, most of them are still trying to figure out how to use email. When the angry old white guys die off, that will be the end of Rush, hate radio, and Faux News.

Evidently, when people–be they celebrities or elected officials–who have occupied an echo chamber of True Believers suddenly have their message broadcast beyond the confines of that insular and diminishing community, they lose altitude rather quickly.

If you don’t believe me, ask Governor Pence.


  1. Before Sandra Fluke, when Bill Clinton was president, I had a “Flush Rush” bumper sticker on my car. Someone took offense, drew a line through it and wrote on the bumper, “Kill Bill”. Twenty plus years later some are fed up with his hate. The damage was done long ago, and recovery will be slow.

  2. “For years, the Limbaugh product–what has been called “hate radio” ”

    For shame.

    That’s no different than saying “For years, the John Stewart product–what has been called “anti-American television”…”

    if you have an argument to make, make it, but to start your argument with ad hominem and slurs ruins any point you might make.

  3. My father never missed Rush; he would sometimes repeat his “newscast information” to me. Oh woe is me, moan and groan, alas and alack; I was almost 60 years old before my father knew “who” his daughter was so I couldn’t jeopardize the relationship by refuting anything “reported” by Rush. I will now admit here on this blog; I was and am grateful for my deafness and only being subjected to Rush’s rants via occasional reports on MSNBC. Not only are his views dispicable, but how has he managed to snag so many wives being totally unattractive? He must have much money; hope he pays large amounts of alimony. Just exercising my freedom of speech, Former Gopper, as Rush does and gets paid for doing – I just get personal satisfaction for mine.

  4. Former Gopper: That’s the standard response and excuse for Rush. Somebody else is doing it too. The difference between Rush and Jon Stewart is that Stewart’s commentary were pointed, but satirical and he didn’t peddle his opinion as fact. Contrast with Rush who frequently used his opinion as fact and was happy to have his audience accept it as such.

  5. Since when is Rush a comedian? Jon (that’s the proper spelling of his name by the way) Stewart is a comedian like Jay Leno, etc and to confuse the two is stupid. Jon has been one of those must-watch shows of ours for about 7 yrs now and I will miss him when he’s gone.

    That said, I have two siblings that listen to Rush daily (as far as I know, we haven’t spoken in a couple of years) and they are hateful and bigoted idiots that blame everything on liberals. You conservatives can blame everyone but yourselves but the fact remains, listen to hate radio and you will hate everyone. Stop blaming liberals for your intolerance of the rest of the world. You feed that hate and you will s*it it out. Gawd. Grow up.

  6. Oh, I forgot to add Rush is a compulsive eater and a drug addict. Facts, not opinion. Ironically, I think those are two of the groups he hates.

  7. He will not be remembered as having been a good person, or a person of value, or a caring person, or a considerate person, or a polite person, or a decent person, or a kind person, or a tolerant person, or a person of faith, -all the money in the world will not save him from the judgment of history.

  8. My family has a mix of political views from Rush fans to Rachel Maddow fans. The one reason I do not listen to nor tolerate the vitriol that the Rush, Beck, O’Reilly crowd spews on a regular basis, is that it is targeted hate and bigotry. Bullying is ugly and contagious behavior. It can infect a group and cause long-lasting injury to those at the receiving end of the abuse. Name calling from any source is not productive and contributes nothing to the conversation. Unfortunately, the group feels licensed and emboldened to public announce their hate for all until the backlash becomes very uncomfortable for them. When confronted, the group seldom changes the beliefs, just becomes more guarded and subtle.

    Sheila never resorts to name calling as far as I can tell. Civility has become a rare commodity and should be encouraged and practiced frequently. She is a good role model, keeps to the facts and is able to articulate her argument without the ugliness. Thank you, Sheila, for allowing us to participate in the discussion and keeping it civil.

  9. But WIBC still has Greg Garrison who is in some ways worse than Rush. Dana who apparently needs a male figure for authentication. And the giggling, anal, Chicks on the Right who are a shameful representatives of “thinking” women.

  10. It’s funny. We worried for generations about the threat of Communism and in the end it was not at all, but the mouth of a citizen who hated us, amplified by our pervasive media cloud, nearly brought about our destruction. Not only threatened our very existence but cost us trillions yet uncounted of our treasure. For without that mouth organizing the least cognitively capable of us so many of the politicians who have dragged us through the mud would have remained benignly in the background.

    What the mouth popularized here is what the Chinese Cultural Revolution popularized there. That power can be concentrated from the support from those not well equipped with facts and reason and from power can come control and wealth.

    Perhaps despite our social instincts the human psyche is attracted towards power. Control. The mouth assumed it before he had it and that created it. One mouth many voters.

    There are so many of the current batch of Presidential aspirants who took notice of the fact that the mouth had demonstrated that nothing has to be done to attract followers. Just say these words and they will come.

    Promise power over others and they will give it to you.

    My sense is that the results of empowering the easily led has run its course and the dysfunction is becomin apparent to more and more. The mouth is being dismissed even though some followers are still milling around. Democracy is reasserting itself.

    Let’s hope we learned a lesson that will be remembered through the ages. In a democracy the power is given to most of us. All other forms of government concentrates power in fewer of us.

    Let’s not fall for anyone’s mouth. Let’s remain thinkers for ourselves not followers of more power. There is no way for some of us to be free. Only when all are free, and share power, can the American Dream be available.

    Now we are free of the mouth we need to also free ourselves from the power of advertising. Manipulation by material needs. Letting those who sell tell us that we cannot be happy without more of their stuff and more and more.

    I think that we can be smart enough to figure out what makes us happy ourselves and vote and consume based on us not them.

    The new world will be different. It will be ours, not theirs.

  11. @ former Gopper: You make it obvious that you are a die-hard member of the Angry Old White Men that are losing power. Those of us that aren’t “haters like you” will continue to push you down from your self-annointed pedestal until you become just a very sad part of the history of our country.

  12. I’m an old white man who truly disliked, put mildly, Rush Limbaugh. Take out the second, third and fourth letters and you have what Rush said really amounted to.

  13. Limbaugh and his message(s) bother me, but what really bothers me is the huge number of people who think what he says is on target. While I understand that the average listener age is over 70, and their time to listen to such stuff may be limited, it’s really sad that these people are so self-centered and so unpatriotic that they don’t have a vision for leaving this place better than what they found it. They appear to believe that the “good old days” were really better than they really were. Life is sometimes such an illusion.

  14. “You make it obvious that you are a die-hard member of the Angry Old White Men”

    Poor Nancy.

    You truly have no idea of the power and force you’re fighting.

    You have no idea of the comparative size of your side.

    You have no idea how many enemies you’re making.

    You have no idea of the harm you’re doing.

    You have no idea how evil and unprincipled you look when you only care about hurting your targets through any means possible.

    You don’t care how many people you’re alienating, including those who could be largely favorable to many of your positions.

    You have no idea of the consequences that would follow a victory of your position.

    You only care that the tiniest sliver of human opinion and experience be fully accepted as normal and mainstream.

    It never will be, and you’re exacting a terrible price to force that opinion on everyone.

  15. Former Gopper; your entire last message was projection. Look in the mirror, if you dare, and speak to the image looking back at you because you will get no argument from them. It is different on this blog and real life – which are one in the same.

  16. Those who feed on Fox News et al believe that it projects the real world. I suppose that those who feed on Victoria’s Secret commercials feel the same way. Funny.

  17. Pete, your posts never fail to impress me. ( as if that mattered!) You appear to be as optimistic as I used to be. Could that ‘mouth’ have been McCarthy? It was some sixty years ago and the mouth is yet with us. In spades. As you say, amplified by mass media, the anti-world demagogues spew their hate and collect their millions.

    But what about the teachings of the Bell Curve? What about the predictions of dumber people having more babies? Has that come to fruition? Are we dumbed down yet?

    I tend to think so.

  18. And why do I write that? Take a look at the great leader of this great state. A state led by a complete idiot whose strings are pulled by Bosma and ALEC. How could such a person ever be elected to head of state?

    Other Idiots!

  19. Earl. Thanks.

    Education is only genetic in that it tends to be cultural. Those families who embrace it or reject it tend to pass their love/hate down.

    That’s why the last thing the world needs is for parents to decide education content. Most have no idea what they don’t know.

  20. @ former gopper…… JoAnn stated………..look in the mirror and every single part of your post refers exactly to you, not to me. Projecting yourself onto someone else just doesn’t work.

  21. Former Gopper; all who read your comments are aware that is a misnomer, for you give yourself away as staunch Republican and supporter of the GOP. We know not if you are male or female; it makes no never-mind to me, and speaking only for myself I welcome your comments. For they strengthen me in my efforts to fight harder to rid this government of your party and your ilk. Was it Dean Martin who ended his program with, “Keep those cards and letters coming.”? Keep your ill conceived messages coming; oftentimes you bring up a subject we might otherwise have overlooked. Isn’t freedom of speech a wonderful thing! It allows you to throw your cow patties and allows me to hurl them back in your direction.

  22. I’m a 66 year old white male. I’ll never forget the first time I heard Rush on the radio. After I turned it off I showered, scrubbing as hard as I could. When finished I threw away the soap, the brush, the washcloth and the towel I had used to dry myself. I still felt slimy. His kind of hatred makes all of us a little less human.

  23. Unfortunately that civility , the essential glue for having credible and effective political discourse in this country, has been woefully damaged by people like Limbaugh and his ilk. One only has to look at what could be loosely referred to as ‘discussion’ that follows any politically-related article that is posted on Facebook or on other social mediaforms to see the incredible damage that we have all suffered because of hate speech. These discussions remind me more of the traditional rifle skirmish line duels between Union and Confederate soldiers than actual conversations. Anyone that happens to disagree or challenge someone’s comments is immediately and personally attacked and then that is piled on by others with similar hackneyed opinions. These are skirmishes not conversations by people who would, hopefully, not act that way if they were face to face – I stress the word “hopefully”.

    Our whole political system was built on the ability to have discourse even when disagreements were hot and heavy. Out of that came compromise and, ultimately, legislation. Now that divide that prohibits that is akin to the Grand Canyon in terms of its depth and breadth, and good old “Rushbo” is public enemy numero uno for starting it and making it so wide spread with all his minor clones spewing forth the same type and level of hate. Blended with all the other things that we have collectively allowed to divide us asunder, along with the deliberate campaign of framing and disinformation being waged largely by the ultra-right in this country that has added greatly to it, we have ended up with the catastrophe in regard to civil discourse that we have today. Now this is so commonplace and all pervasive that it will take years to fix if we can. It’s going to take all of us, regardless of our individual political slants, to do that.

  24. JoAnn and others are right! ‘Gopper’ isn’t ‘Former’ at all. He or she is right in there amongst ’em and it isn’t flattering to any of them. Drop the ‘Former’ stuff, sir or madam, and take a really good look in that mirror if it isn’t too fogged up with denial.

  25. Tom; this message is on a different issue entirely but I will attempt to be civil in my snarky reaction to my annual property tax bill. I have no issue with the amount but with the change on the current bill which is explained on a separate yellow sheet headed, “Why does my bill look DIFFERENT?”. The explanation would befit a Rush Limbaugh definition/comment; the bill is different this year because it does not contain our 2015 storm water fees. These fees “will be calculated from the measurements of the impervious surface area on each parcel. ” What is the “impervious surface level” of your property you ask? “Impervious surface area is any ground surface where rain and storm water cannot easily be absorbed into the earth, such as paved roads, driveways, patios, cement walkways and the area covered by houses and garages.” In other words, it is a f#+king DIRT TAX – or grass tax depending on the landscape condition of your property. The name Gregory A. Ballard, Mayor, is in tiny letters at the bottom of this sheet. Is this his parting gift to Indianapolis residents?

  26. JoAnne, it might be :o) Fortunately for me, at least in this particular instance, I live in Hamilton County instead of being still in Indianapolis. Now that Fishers “city” government wants to build still another ‘sports palace’ up here, likely with public funding, I’ll have to keep my eye out for my own f#=king DIRT TAX documentation. Thanks for the inadvertent heads up!

  27. When ‘Former’ failed to address my question as to why he would ever have voted GOP if not associated with certain positions, he bared his soul. He is either privileged. Or an Idiot.

  28. Rush’s final broadcast should be interesting. I wonder if it will be filled with the usual or if he might use it for another purpose, reaching out to others?? I wonder if that could happen.

  29. I’ve noticed that the latest strategy the right uses to combat truth is to take the complaints the left levels at them and repeat them verbatim at their accusers. That’s the same manipulative, abusive tactic that my ex used to try to dilute legitimate complaints. (Also a typical tactic of abusers in general.) Threw me for awhile, but not anymore. My advice is to ignore the “distraction” and continue to move forward despite the attempt at manipulation.

  30. “That’s why the last thing the world needs is for parents to decide education content.”

    Wow, that’s straight out of the Bolshevik playbook.

    “It is different on this blog and real life – which are one in the same.”


    “Projecting yourself onto someone else just doesn’t work.”

    It’s Math, not projection. There are far more people who are straight than g-y. There are far more people who like cars than don’t. There are far more people who shop at Wal-Mart than want to drive them out of town. There are far more people who think a baker shouldn’t be forced to make a g-y wedding cake. Americans really don’t agree with wacky, way-out ideas.

    There are far more mainstream people than radical extremists.

    Unfortunately, this blog attracts the same half dozen extremists who hold ten bad ideas for every good one.

    The Democrats have some good ideas, but it seems the party is overrun with extremists who park the good ideas behind a polluted minefield.

    When you call Rush Limbaugh “hate speech,” you just sound silly, ridiculous and uninformed. I’ve listened to Rush, on and off, for over 20 years. I can’t recall a single hateful thing he’s ever said.

  31. Let me get this straight.

    Bolshevik’s believe that public education should teach mankind’s body of knowledge but the Great Oligarchy Plot believes that education should be limited to that of everyone’s parents?

    That is clarifying.

    Vote for Bolsheviks before republicans apparently. It will result in a more informed next generation.

  32. Former Gopper, for the record, I think some of the comments about you in this thread have been a bit unfair. I disagree with your characterization of most things, but that’s to be expected, perhaps.

    But, you’ve never heard Rush say anything hateful? Seriously? When he said Sandra Fluke should “let us watch” her having wanton sex if she demanded to have “taxpayer-funded” birth control, you did not consider that to be hateful? (Not to mention being misleading, misogynistic and libelous.)

  33. Rush damaged our liberal democracy by creating a culture. Those lacking in the nuances of governments and civic literacy liked his bombastic belligerent style and said, “he’s someone that I’d like to be like”. So, they imitated him often literally and a non thinking culture was born and spread. An extreme culture. Like all extremists they created other extremists both like and opposite them.

    The creation of that culture rewarded both his ego and wallet unbelievably.

    There are lots of cultures that we experience daily, his is only one. Most of us don’t, in fact can’t, distinguish the cultural role we play from the rational one. But we should always try.

    It’s called thoughtful living.

  34. Gopper, you must have missed the three days straight during which Rush called Sandra Fluke a slut 43 times (others counted him, not I), though perhaps you just don’t consider “slut” a hateful appellation for young women.

  35. Tom, I think you bring up an important idea. Civilization is known by the boundaries it sets for itself. Knowing those rules is part of what it means to live in that society. When we visit other countries, we can see that at work when we discover certain issues we can and cannot discuss and learn how and when to communicate certain topics. When we know those limits, we can more easily participate.

    In this society, Rush has helped to reset some boundaries, and where people were more careful in saying things, they don’t take as much care, especially in the area of electronic communications. Limbaugh, in claiming to be such a loyal conservative, has in fact, engaged in radical activity which, along with the introduction of the Internet, has influenced the society in ways that one could not have predicted. Those influences have not been salutary.

    Interesting research has been done, for example, that shows people are more willing to lie in an email than they are in person or when writing a document with pen and paper. Politicians are less careful in expressing prejudice. When boundaries are reset, that affects other limits, so that people begin to say and do things that were not acceptable at an earlier time. That doesn’t mean they are any more appropriate now. It just means that there will be less pushback when a person engages in outrageous behavior, something that Mr. Limbaugh does on on a regular basis. Many people, sensing the loosening of limits, begin to engage in less civil and less civilized behavior. I think the society is beginning to discover that boundaries serve an important purpose. They maintain the civilization.

  36. Gopper is a pitiful schmuck who will not even spell out the word ‘gay’. At this point, we probably ought to just back away. This situation brings to mind an old country music song that says, “He’s more to be pitied than scolded….” Scolding will be wasted on Gopper (who obviously is not ‘former’). He’s pitiful. Rush needs guys like him to support his own fragile, off-track ego.

  37. Gang, trolls will be trolls, and they like being fed with their own food. You know that. Their biggest characteristic is ad hominem, and even when they aren’t trolls, ad hominem attacks and personal insults never help, and only make people angry. Interesting that the discussion is about flushing Rush when I see comments begging to be flushed.

  38. “Gopper is a pitiful schmuck”

    There you go. Classy.

    “who will not even spell out the word ‘gay’. ”

    Sheila’s filters too often flag the word and quarantine the post for moderation.

  39. Sandra Fluke? You hold her up as a hero or a victim?

    As for Rush calling her a mean name, Fluke said that a Catholic school should have to pay for her birth control to save her $3,000 over three years.

    A Trojan Stimulations Ecstasy Latex Condoms, Ultrasmooth Lubricant – 26 pack cost around $14.50, after tax. $3,000 buys 206 packs of these condoms. 26 packs of condoms yields 5.356 condoms.

    To use 5,356 condoms in three years, (365 x 3= 1095) (5,356 / 1095 = 4.891) one would have to have sex 4.9 times a day for three years.

    4.9 times a day is well………..

    That was Rush’s point, to expose the utter ludicrousness of Fluke’s argument in a blunt, harsh, manner befitting her comments.

    Sandra Fluke is not what I want to see from the Democrats. Sandra Fluke is Rachel Maddow fodder that doesn’t sell to anyone and only interests East Coast activist outfits.

  40. Here’s the dilemma. Rush et al introduced us to a new tone for political discussion. We didn’t like it because it is in fact the complete opposite of statesmanship, the process by which politics actually works.

    How do we restore what works?

    Be statesmen in a rude conversation or be just as rude?

    I’ve tried both.

    Rude vs rude gets everyone’s attention more effectively. However once you have that attention point out the pointlessness of continuing in that vein.

  41. So, apparently what Rush points out to be a small expenditure for Sandra would be overwhelming for the Catholic Church.

    As good as most of his points.

  42. This is perhaps the most uncivil discussion we have ever had on this forum. Clearly Rush and company have achieved their goal of hate, misogyny and general chaos. There are too many people like Former Gopper, Proud Gopper and Enthusiastic Gopper (if they are not all the same person) who deal in fear and intimidation; their own fear, intimidation to cow other people.

  43. The Blaze? You refer to the Blaze, good grief. What a pile…

    Wray – you made me LOL and chuckle even after an hour of reading your comment. Slimy is exactly the best description of what or who Rush is. Thankfully, hate radio is banned in these parts.

    Slimy, racist, bigoted and for four women to actually marry that guy makes me wonder about them, not him. I see that three of them divorced him and hopefully, he had to pay them big money to leave him alone.

    HE is what is wrong with this country and their ilk. Gopper, keep digging in because I’m enjoying the show all of the way over here. You reap what you sow.

  44. Gopper is baiting and some take the bait. Gopper in whatever form is doing nothing more than distracting us from the discussion of Rush Limbaugh. If Gopper needs to defend Rush so be it. However, Gopper does not set the rules for the discussion, we all do. I think when Gopper looks at what is happening to Rush and the GOP in Indiana and the all star list of presidential GOP hopefuls, it must make her very defensive and makes controlling the discussion even more important to her.

  45. Oh glorious day when the clearly hateful rants of a Rush Bimbo no longer poison the air and cater to the worst instincts in man.

  46. I will not miss Rush, but I know that others will still be there to spew hatred. I don’t blame Rush for creating this culture, he just followed the spiral downward. I look back to a man who thought that people should be denied a job for signing a petition to allow the Negro to have rights because the petition was circulated by the Communists. This man promoted the image of the “welfare queen” and began his campaign for President in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in essence saying that killing a couple of Jews and a Black man was just fine with him. Sadly, the country loved the smiling actor and made him President.

    People, as Stuart and daleb have pointed out — trolls are trolls and thrive on throwing “fire bombs” hoping to start a “flame war” of uncivilized behavior. The tactic is older than The Internet and I have seen it destroy discussion groups in the “old days”. The great thing about Sheila’s blog (beyond, of course, Sheila’s thoughtful and thought-provoking posts) is that trolls can post and while they may occasionally distract, they do not destroy the truly civil nature of the comments section.

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