The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Keith Olbermann - Limbaugh runs away from Limbaugh

Limbaugh runs away from Limbaugh

by Keith Olbermann

NEW YORK - There is nothing wrong with an unpopular opinion.

Nor is there anything wrong with a subversive one, nor a crazy one. This country was founded on opinions that were deemed by the powers-that-were to be unpopular, subversive, and crazy. Dissent - even when that dissent strays from logic or humanity - is our life’s blood. But if you have one of those opinions, and you express it in public, honesty and self-respect require you to own up to it.

Unless you’re Rush Limbaugh.

On his daily radio soap opera, on August 15, Limbaugh said “Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real…” The complete transcript of the 860 words that surround those quotes can be found at the bottom of this entry.

Yet, apparently there was something so unpopular, so subversive, and so crazy about those remarks that he has found it necessary to deny he said them - even when there are recordings and transcripts of them - and to brand those who’ve claimed he said them as crackpots and distorters. More over, that amazing temple to himself, his website, has been scrubbed clean of all evidence of these particular remarks, and to ‘prove’ his claim that he never made the remarks in question on August 15, he has misdirected visitors to that site to transcripts and recordings of remarks he made on August 12.

Limbaugh is terrified. And he has reason to be.

Understand this about Limbaugh. He doesn’t believe half the junk he spouts. I’ve met him, and had pleasant enough conversations with him, twice - at the 1980 World Series when he was still a mid-level baseball flunky with a funny name, and once in the mid ‘90s at ESPN when he was just beginning his campaign to get a toehold there. He is a quiet, almost colorless man who, if he could be guaranteed similar success in sportscasting, would sell out the sheep who follow his every word - and would do it before close of business today.

But with that ESPN bid having gone up in flames just under two years ago, and sports forever closed off to him, he’s gotten into what the novelist Robert Graves called a “Golden Predicament” - overwhelming success in a field he really had no intention of pursuing - and he has to keep churning this stuff out every day. And when you’re just free associating to kill time and keep the ditto-heads happy, you sometimes drive right off the end of the pier.

Like on August 15th.

Since we declared Limbaugh “The Worst Person In The World” two nights later for the remarks about Sheehan, he has had the transcript of his pier-drive expunged (even though he initially thought so much of it, that it was posted as a “featured quote” for paying subscribers to his website). Simultaneously, the hapless Brent Bozell, who runs that scam called The Media Research Center, declared that I was guilty of “distortion” in quoting the Sheehan remarks.

Well, as you’ll see below, the only distortion here, is that which lingers in Limbaugh’s ears. His remarks about Sheehan were so embraced by at least one of his fans that they were preserved on another website, and we can present them in full here. You will notice that nothing has been taken out of context, nothing in the minutes before nor the minutes afterwards mitigates against the utter callousness and infamy of his comments about Sheehan.

A reminder that that’s Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Mother, who when I asked her bluntly if President Bush wasn’t serving her purposes more by not seeing her, was honest enough to answer “yes” without hesitation. And it’s Rush Limbaugh, who so believes in his case against her that he’s too afraid to admit he said this (and who, by the way, has since said of her that, "I'm weary of even having to express sympathy... we all lose things” - as if her son had been a misplaced, er, prescription).

The long preface concluded, here is what Rush Limbaugh said, crazily weaving in and out of the topic of Cindy Sheehan, in his broadcast of August 15. He even wanders back into football, and the very topic that proved his end at ESPN, Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles (honestly, if he ever wanted to be analyzed, he would be such a juicy case that psychiatrists would bid for Limbaugh’s rights). So, as you get deeper into the thicket, you can find the relevant portions about Sheehan, I’ve italicized them. Limbaugh had wandered into this via the news of the withdrawal of the anti-John Roberts advertisement from NARAL:

“They pulled this ad because it wasn't working. They didn't pull this ad because of a bite of conscience or, ooh, this is wrong. And their mistake was they're telling themselves they came out of the barn too soon with it. If they'd have come out of this say a week before September 6th. Well, stop and think about it. If they would have run this ad, if this would have started a week before September 6th, CNN carrying it, and none of the Democrats denouncing it, and without a whole lot of time to gin up, it would have probably had more effect. So I think they're going to learn from this that they didn't keep their powder dry, they just were too eager.

“But the fact that they are too eager -- I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it, it's not real. It's nothing more than an attempt, it's the latest effort made by the coordinated left. And all of these efforts are bombing; they're all failing miserably, in and of themselves.

“Now, this is not to say that all is rosy. I don't want you to misunderstand. But I don't get that worked up about it. I have an attitude about it. I've been sharing this with you for the longest time. So I think we're in a new era. The left doesn't get away with this stuff anymore. They're not getting away with it now. I know it's irritating, I know it's frustrating, I know it makes you mad, does me, too, but it's not helpful to the people who are doing this, it is not assisting them.

“They are going to try to claim that Cindy Sheehan is responsible for the Bush poll numbers on Iraq being down, but those numbers were falling before Cindy Sheehan did this. I'm not saying the mainstream press isn't effective in certain areas anymore, I'm not saying the mainstream press doesn't have the ability to shape opinion. Just saying on this, this is not the thing everybody should be worried about. I don't have one in my mind that is, something everybody ought to be worried about, but if you're going to be angry at this, and I understand the anger, and I share some of it, too, the anger here, to me, is how the left and the media are trying to make this bigger than it is.

“But that still takes me back to the fact that they know they're losing, they know they're losing big time. These people are throwing it up against the wall. It's the fourth quarter and all they're doing is throwing long bombs and their quarterback's gotten too tired to finish the game and their wide receiver is out there making all kinds of disparaging comments about the quarterback and getting kicked out of camp.

“The situation with the Philadelphia Eagles pretty much dovetails what's going on with the Democratic Party right now if you ask me. It does. I don't think that we're looking at people who have a posture of confidence. This is not the kind of thing that winners do. It's all done in total desperation, as is the mainstream press's ability to prop it up.

“What's she got? A hundred stragglers have showed up down there, a hundred peaceniks, a hundred long-haired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking FM types, essentially, are down there joining her. And if this were genuine, if this were like it was back in Vietnam -- remember, that's what they're trying to turn this into. They're just reliving the old halcyon days of the anti-war movement in the sixties. They would have had hundreds of thousands of people down there. They would have had mass marches. There would have been the need for riot cops outside Bush's ranch down there. This is so obviously a desperation move.

“Now, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for the woman. I think she's taken the grieving process here to lengths that most people don't, and she's being fueled by all of this attention. But this is just a long way of saying I'm not -- you can call about it and you can talk about it but I just am not that worked up about it because, to me, it's sort of like -- I got an e-mail today from a guy said, "Rush, why aren't you talking about that radio scandal going on?" Why should I talk about it? Why should I talk about that, folks? There's a cardinal rule, when your enemy is destroying themselves, you shut up and you get out of the way and let them do it. And it's happening in countless areas and times on the left. Certain things you do need to give a little nudge, other things you just get out of the way.

“But the longer the Sheehan thing goes on and the longer she's treated as some sort of super-celebrity by the press and the more outrageous things she says, trust me on this, the more people are going to get fed up with it. She's going to become the next Natalee Holloway before it's all said and done.”


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