Rush Limbaugh: So Wrong

Some of the best arguments against Rush Limbaugh come straight from his own mouth…

Rush Limbaugh - So Wrong

“I could be proven tonight to be so wrong and so all wet that nobody should be listening to me.”

That’s a remarkably candid observation. And one that turned out to be accurate. Although most clear thinking individuals have known for years that nobody should be listening to Limbaugh, now his own listeners have heard for themselves that he is unworthy of their time and attention. Even Limbaugh doesn’t take himself seriously. Take for example this post-election commentary:

“[P]eople have been asking me how I feel all night long. And I got, ‘Boy, Rush, I wouldn’t want to be you tomorrow. Boy, I wouldn’t want to have to do your show. Boy, I’m so glad I’m not you.’ Well, folks, I love being me. I can’t be anybody else, so I’m stuck with it. But the way I feel is this:

I feel liberated, and I’m just going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don’t think deserve having their water carried. […] Now, I’m liberated from having to constantly come in here every day and try to buck up a bunch of people who don’t deserve it, to try to carry the water and make excuses for people who don’t deserve it. I just – I did not want to sit here and participate, willingly, in the victory of the libs, in the victory of the Democrat Party by sabotaging my own. But now with what has happened yesterday and today, it is an entirely liberating thing.”

What a relief it must be for him to no longer have to pretend to back posers he doesn’t really support, just because he feels he needs to prop up the GOP, despite the fact that he doesn’t think they deserve it. In this statement he makes it clear that he would never allow himself to be that cynical and dishonest with his audience ever again.

Except for one thing. He made that statement following the election in 2006 when the Democrats swept the GOP out of power in the congress. Apparently his commitment to never carrying water for those who don’t deserve it was short lived. His obsession with bashing Democrats, even if he has to lie to his audience about Republicans, takes precedence over what he once called his liberation. That demonstrates the shallowness of Limbaugh’s character, and it is yet another reason that nobody should listen to him.

Fox News Audience Abandons Ship After Obama Wins

As further evidence of the tunnel-vision conservatism of Fox News, the Nielsen ratings for election night show just how intolerant their audience is of any information that is undesirable or contrary to their worldview.

As the broader television audience peaked into the evening, those watching CNN and MSNBC remained attentive to breaking news and analysis throughout the night. However, those watching Fox News switched off their media feeding tube shortly after the network declared that President Obama had been reelected.

Fox News Election Night Ratings

This chart reveals the precipitous relative decline in viewers that occurred only on Fox News. Some folks may speculate that Fox’s audience simply got tired and went to bed because the network skews older than the other channels and the geezers were sleepy. However, the percent decline for the total audience and the younger 25-54 year old demographic were nearly identical. Others may simply conclude that Fox’s conservative viewers just weren’t interested in anything they might have learned after the race was called. But that’s precisely the point.

Rather than be subjected to news that they found discomforting, the Fox audience turned away, even from their own partisan choice for what they think is news. The reelection of the President must have come as a something of a shock to Fox viewers because Fox had been relentlessly positive about Mitt Romney’s inevitable success, while portraying Obama as a failure who was destined to be rejected for a second term by a populace who despised him. Fox disparaged any polling that showed Obama ahead as biased and unreliable – even their own.

By shutting off Fox News early, they missed the spectacle of Fox contributor Karl Rove challenging the election analysis of his colleagues at the network. He insisted that the call on Ohio was premature and that he thought Romney would take the state. This resulted in anchor Megyn Kelly marching down to the newsroom to seek affirmations from the analysis staff of their projections. As it turned out, Rove was wrong, along with most of the partisan pundits that litter the Fox schedule.

The sharp drop-off in viewership that occurred only on Fox reveals the sensitivity that the Fox viewer has to actual, truthful information. That is something that Fox exploits eagerly as they load up their programming with false and prejudicial stories. And that accounts for why Fox viewers have been shown to be so much less informed than consumers of news from other sources. They have such an aversion to anything other than Fox’s pre-seasoned, right-wing brand of pseudo-knowledge that they won’t even stayed tuned to Fox if there is a chance they might be exposed to raw reality.

Update: On Wednesday night Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell handily beat their Fox competition (Hannity and Van Susteren) in the 25-54 demo.