Conservative blowhard, Rush Limbaugh, is blowing harder than ever at the prospect of a politically connected offspring getting hired by a news organization.
NBC announced today that Chelsea Clinton will become a correspondent for their non-political, human interest series, “Making a Difference.” That announcement has Limbaugh’s blood boiling this morning as he rants…
“Chelsea Clinton, starting today will be getting her paychecks from the National Broadcast Company – NBC. I wonder how Luke Russert feels about this? Chelsea Clinton at NBC. She is not a journalist. She is a politician in training. That’s what this means, politician in training. It’s an incestuous business, circuitous route, revolving door, politics in media, on the Democrat side, is one and the same profession.”
Limbaugh is appalled that a news enterprise would hire someone not specifically trained in journalism just because they are related to a Democratic political figure. On that point I’d have to agree with him. Journalists should have professional training and a commitment to codes of ethical conduct. But Limbaugh’s only complaint is that “this is an avenue not open to conservatives.” So he doesn’t really care about the degradation of standards, only that Republicans can’t participate in the degradation. On that score he must have forgotten Michael Reagan, Lynn Cheney, Meghan McCain, and even George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager, who is already working at NBC. But Limbaugh’s obliviousness doesn’t stop there. He continues with a delusional lament that only Democrats waver between media and politics:
“I guess you could say we go to the media after we bomb out in politics, and we go to Fox. But that’s after we bomb out. After we lose our elections, that’s where we get hired by Roger Ailes, and so forth and so on. But seldom do we go from Fox back to politics. I could be wrong about this. I’m trying to think off the top of my head if that happens, but we do know that Chelsea Clinton is going to go from NBC to politics. There’s no question about it whatsoever in my mind.”
Setting aside Limbaugh’s psychic aspirations, he is partially correct in that Republican losers do get swept up by Fox News. Witness Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. But if he needs help remembering Republicans who jumped from positions at Fox into electoral politics, he need not look further than the current GOP presidential primaries where both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum made that leap. He might also recall that current Ohio governor John Kasich left his Fox News program to run for that post.
Going back further in time, I can’t recall a single democratic politician whose career started in the media. However, on the Republican side I can count Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Thompson, Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy, and George Murphy. Going from politics to media there are a few from both sides. Bill Moyers and George Stephanopoulos were both presidential aides before landing at PBS and ABC respectively. Tony Snow went from Fox to the Bush White House to CNN. Diane Sawyer was a Nixon press aide who is currently the anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight.
It should be noted also that Limbaugh has a history of gratuitous attacks on Chelsea Clinton. On his failed TV show in 1993 he asked his audience, “Did you know there’s a White House dog?” Then he put up a picture of 13 year old Chelsea. At least the maturity level of the right is consistent.
I think what might be really bugging Limbaugh is not that Democrats have some imaginary entrée into the mediasphere, it’s that Republicans have such an embarrassing field of candidates by comparison. After all, most people would not view Chelsea Clinton, a graduate of Stanford and Oxford who is currently pursuing her doctorate, as unqualified for such a position. On the other hand, Bristol Palin couldn’t even make it through the season of Dancing With the Stars.
[Update] Limbaugh doubled-down this morning with another heaping pile of stupidity:
“Can you imagine Brian Williams, if one of the Bush twins, one of George W. Bush’s duaghters had been hired? [Responding to someone off mic] One of George W. Bush’s daughters is a correspondent on the Today Show? Really? I didn’t know that. That is interesting. And they haven’t undermined her yet?”
And he continues…
“You’ve got to get experience on television. You have learn how to use TV if you’re going to do anything in politics of a substantial nature. […] Chelsea…what’s her degree in? History or make-up?”
For the record, Limbaugh dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University after two semesters and one summer. According to his mother, “he flunked everything.”