Talking A Red Streak

Friday, July 04, 2008


On the eve of his 20th anniversary, Rush Limbaugh has re-upped his contract - 400 million dollars over the next eight years. With at least 14 million listeners a week, and a political muscle flexed as recently as this spring’s primary season, Rushbo is at the top of his game. New York Times Magazine contributor Zev Chafets explains Rush’s reach.

Comments [46]

David from Rhode Island

Just another thought for you Karin? How do your 2 comments (the one attacking Chafets, which you misspelled btw, and the one attacking me) differ from what you obviously think Limbaugh does? They are pure invectives with no facts, logic or sustainable argument behind them. I think if you read back through my comments, they at least are reasoned thoughts on an observable phenomenon, even if you disagree with my conclusions. Again, it is the fringe elements on both sides, and like you on the left obviously, that have to resort to smear and scream.

Aug. 06 2008 08:42 AM
David from Rhode Island

Nice comment Karin. Certainly is intellectually meaty, with irrefutable logic. Typical liberal garbage, actually. You may not agree with what I am trying to say, although your comment clearly tells me you don't even understand what I am trying to say. I hardly ever listen to Rush any longer, actually, exactly because I find his style, off putting. I am simply trying to have an intellectually honest discussion about why he does draw such a large audience, and I don't think it is because of his style. That wears thin quickly. I am simply saying he has a political philosophy that resonates with millions, and so the rest is largely irrelevant. And that seems to me to be where everyone that is bashing him and this piece misses the point. Rush exists, he continues to be successful, and analyzing why that is true seems to me to be very much worth analyzing. Simply throwing out invectives does little to further this.

I actually don't see anywhere in any of the comments that anybody argued he was beyond criticism, whether because he has a large audience or any other reason. Maybe if you stuck to something remotely resembling logic, reason, and turned down the attack machine, you could discover discussion. Then you would have a life.

Aug. 02 2008 10:23 AM
Karin from San Diego

David: I'm just curious -- are you a paid shill for Limbaugh, or just another starry-eyed syncophant?
Get a life.

Jul. 29 2008 08:03 PM
Karin from San Diego

For Chavets, an obvious right-wing apologist, to have been allowed to write what WAS indeed a puff piece on this disengenous, morally bankrupt and highly overrated comedian for pathetic. Shame on the New York Times! That Limbaugh has a large audience doesn't surprise me, but is NOT beyond criticism, contrary to what his "Dittohead" audience seems to think.

Jul. 29 2008 02:26 PM
Amy from Charlotte

One more thing. There a those who feel that the size of a media persons audiance is affirmation of the celebrities, importance, intelligence etc. Oprah Winfry's audience trumps Limbaugh's audience size many times over. And in fact, intelligent woman that she is, she does not have to wait for any powers that be to knight her with a big CONTRACT, as she owns her own show and the syndication rights to it. Guess ole Rushbo wasn't smart enough to do the same.

Jul. 28 2008 02:55 PM
Amy from Charlotte

Zev Chavets own baises come through quite clearly in this interview. When confronted with a classic Rush Limbaugh quote that "that the NAACP should have riot rehearsals, open a liquor store and practice robberies," Chefets response was... " Not my type of humor but its not a lie...." ( What!)

Rush Limbaugh is quite racist, anybody who has listened to his show for any amount of time will admit that. Zev Chafets gave him pass, perhaps because he agrees with those views, but also because Mr. Limbaugh is quite clear in his support for Israel. If Limbaugh were channeling his bigotry towards Israel, I doubt Chavets would hve been so generous.

Jul. 28 2008 02:47 PM
Virginia Gentleman from Richmond, Virginia

Memo to Bob Garfield: "To the rightwingers: there is a vast difference between criticism/commentary/opinion and racist, sexist invective, ad hominem attacks and lies. Comparing Rush Limbaugh to ANYTHING on NPR news programs is patently absurd." You are exactly correct - this is why Mr. Limbaugh's listeners for a three-hour program exceeds all of NPR's listeners for an entire day. I keep waiting for anyone to point out Limbaugh's 'lies.'

Jul. 26 2008 06:04 AM
David from Rhode Island

Brian - You say "David's assertion that Rush's pontification is based in truth because he has a lot of listeners is completely eroneous." (You misspelled erroneous, by the way). Which David are you talking about? I see no statement remotely like that in anything I or anyone else said. I said he is espousing a political philosophy that many people find to be true, obviously meant in the sense of philosophical truths, which is not at all the same as a factual truth. Duh. What an idiot.

Jul. 14 2008 03:38 PM
David from Rhode Island

Bob Garfield- You brought up the point that Rush's show has factual inaccuracies. I and others pointed out that all shows and other outlets, both opinion based and hard news oriented, have numerous factual inaccuracies. While they may not always be directly mean/sexist/racist, and I agree NPR is not on the whole, we (or I at least) was pointing out that the seeming point you were trying to make (Rush is inaccurate/lies and therefore has no point to make) is exactly not the point. The show, in the end, is about a political philosophy. The fact is he goes to extreme lengths to attract a huge audience so his true message is disseminated to the maximal degree. Air America and the others never get that. Olberman is closest to getting it, and guess what? He has a growing audience! Surprise! If his political message has any legs, it will maintain. If not, then it will fade with time.

Jul. 14 2008 03:23 PM
Jack from Chicago

Using OTM as the rule, it would appear that in the provision of criticism/commentary/opinion, the use of racist and sexual invectives and statements without factual support or even lies, is within the range of acceptable behavior. Given that, if we describe Limbaugh's show as opinion-based, as opposed to news programming, then I'm not sure what the problem is.

Obviously his millions of listeners, his advertisers, and his bosses are all happy.

Jul. 11 2008 11:08 AM
Jack from Chicago

The conservatives' contributions in the New York Times all appear on the editorial pages, whereas the liberals appear throughout. This is what Bob is acknowledging.

Jul. 11 2008 10:59 AM
Rose Martin from New Haven, CT

In his piece on Rush Limbaugh, Bob Garfield called the New York Times "the apotheosis of the eastern liberal media elite,” without in any way qualifying this statement to indicate that this is the stated opinion of right wing media, and not in any way a fact. The New York Times has been regularly accused of both a liberal and a conservative bias, because it employs writers and op-ed columnists across the spectrum of political belief and bias, and including William Kristol and Paul Krugman.

On the Media is a valuable a source for media ombudsman-ship. In a story about Rush Limbaugh, whose programs are notoriously riddled with factual inaccuracies (e.g., ranting about how Senator Sherrod Brown was getting preferential racial treatment by the 'liberal, elitist New York Times' because he is black, when in fact Senator Sherrod Brown is white), On the Media hosts should be more accurate in their representation of the story.

Jul. 11 2008 08:41 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Oh, thanks for that link, Julie Baxter! It is nice to find a place to vent about NPR, instead of having to defend them from ditto-heads for their mildly leftist critiques of the vast, right-wing corporate media conspiracy that leads them around by the nose.

It was so rewarding to read the headline in Yahoo! News tonight, that "voters demand more media coverage of poverty", if I recall it correctly. That doesn't sound like ditto-heads.

Jul. 11 2008 12:35 AM
Judith E. Bell from San Rafael, California

I get riled up fairly frequently and have been known to yell at ridiculously stupid stuff people say on radio but after your interview with author of the NYT Limbaugh article, I'm confused: is it OK to shout "fire" in a crowded theater if it's a joke or satire?

Jul. 10 2008 10:35 PM
Julie Baxter from Austin, Texas

"Oh, and if NPR -- which distributes "On the Media" but does not produce it -- has been "in the tank" for George Bush, I've missed that."

Was responding to the trolls re: NPR.

And Bob, you seem intelligent enough...please pay a visit to NPR Check ( And frankly, it's not a "lefty" vs. "righty" thing. It's about creeping corporate totalitarianism, which the "righties" (if they were paying attention, instead being mezmerized by bright, shiny objects) might see a wee danger in as well.

Jul. 10 2008 11:51 AM

ZEV CHAFETS: Well, do you have an example of that?

That line basically says it all about this guy. He's going to so an 'in-depth' interview of a controversial figure and doesn't even bother to look up some of the widely documented drivel that comes from Rush on a daily basis. I doubt Rush would have even let him get close if he wasn't already a confirmed 'dittohead'.

Jul. 10 2008 08:01 AM
Bob Garfield

To the lefties: If you are smart enough to divine holes in an interviewee's arguments, why do you assume other listeners can't? Are they stupider than you? Are you satisfied only by pummelings and screeds?

Oh, and if NPR -- which distributes "On the Media" but does not produce it -- has been "in the tank" for George Bush, I've missed that. And OTM's spent the better part of eight years covering the coverage of the administration

To the rightwingers: there is a vast difference between criticism/commentary/opinion and racist, sexist invective, ad hominem attacks and lies. Comparing Rush Limbaugh to ANYTHING on NPR news programs is patently absurd.

To Mark Richard:

Jul. 10 2008 02:11 AM
Richard from Chicago

The only thing that makes Bob Garfield’s little temper tantrum against Limbaugh funnier and ironic is that for all the reasons he gives for trashing Rush and conservative talk radio in general, these are the same reasons he nearly fell out of his chair drooling over the :once upon a time” prospects for Air America. Go have a read of the transcripts for No Liberal Limbaughs, Talk Radio: Game ON, and Six Months Later and compare/contrast the different tratement he gives to liberal and conservative radio talkers.

I suppose I can understand who poor ol Bob is so mad, after all how does someone like Bob, who has a degree from Vassar, Smith or some “liberal arts” academy, knows all the “right” people and is the self proclaimed watchdog of the mainstream media, not have even 1/100th the impact of a guy like Rush.

Jul. 09 2008 11:13 PM
Brian from NYC

David's assertion that Rush's pontification is based in truth because he has a lot of listeners is completely eroneous. If truth were based on popularity, then Iraq would have WMDs.

Rush is just Howard Stern with a tie. He is a shock jock. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jul. 09 2008 10:04 PM
jim from austin texas

you need to knock back the big cash when the hookers cost 5k an hour. they probably charge him more. then again there's the illegal drugs.

Jul. 09 2008 03:52 PM
Donna Halper from Boston MA

So here's what I don't understand. Limbaugh and his minions regularly assert, and evidently many posters to this blog agree, that the media are "liberal". Even Mr Garfield didn't challenge Zev when he too said the media are liberal. Excuse me, but over 95% of all talk shows on radio are identifiably conservative. And the meme about the "liberal media" was a well-planned strategy on the part of conservatives to hijack public discourse -- read David Brock's "The Republican Noise Machine" or Eric Alterman's "What Liberal Media?"

It seems to me -- and I've been in the media for over 30 years -- that most people who claim the media are liberal have no basis in fact for this assertion. But people keep saying the media are liberal because they've heard it over and over. (NPR is not especially liberal, by the way-- I find them quite centrist on most things. And given that nearly 40% of their audience identifies as Republicans, that tells me a lot of non-lefties are listening.)

But my point is that Limbaugh is part of a group of conservative Republicans who maintain their power by demonizing the rest of us. I agree that Rush is a talented talk show host, and I commend him for that. But he is NOT the word of God, nor should he be immune from serious criticism. Many of you seem to believe that if Rush says it, it must be true. That is a sad commentary.

Jul. 09 2008 02:23 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

Bob Garfield misses the point in rambling on about Limbaugh's supposed faults. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC does the same things as Limbaush is accused of, in the service of the left side of the political spectrum (comparing the Republicans to the Nazi Party, etc.), but is not called out by the Bob Garfields of the media, because of political blinkers that are only outraged by conservative 'excess', as his interviewee gently attempts to point out. Limbaugh's record on 'facts' does not compare unfavorably with that of many establishment press organs - examples furnished upon request. The public does not get outraged by Limbaugh or Ann Coulter because they see this stuff all the time, by all sides of the political debate.

The only difference re the Republicans and the Democrats is that the latter, sure that they are the party of compassion and tolerance and so forth, then feel they have earned the right to smash-mouth tactics, because they are so tolerant, etc. . . . and media enablers like Garfield keep to the illusions that the liberals and Democrats are just too darn nice to be rough on their opponents. Well, the Democrats can seem nice, if you never challenge them, as is the case with so many NPR-type staffers. Challenge them, and you'll find out how nice and tolerant they are (illustrations below). Challenge them successfully, as Limbaugh has in terms of the marketplace, and they just about have their eyes rolling in opposite directions.

Jul. 09 2008 12:46 PM
Snoop-Diggity-DANG-Dawg from Virginia

"NPR has been in the tank for Bush and this never-ending war from the get-go."

Are you stoned, Julie Baxter? NPR in the tank for Bush? I listen to NPR daily and it consists almost entirely of "why America sucks and we should all be ashamed of ourselves" stories. They allow their "journalists" to speculate endlessly that Bush is responsible for every hurricane. That the economy is on the edge of a major depression, when we haven't seen so much as a single quarter of negative growth.

I've seen the stupidity, Julie, and I'm sorry to say its all 'you'.

Jul. 09 2008 12:11 PM
Julie Baxter from Austin, Texas

NPR has been in the tank for Bush and this never-ending war from the get-go. Whiney little fascists who complain about its being too "liberal" are wildly out of touch with reality on this, and on any number of issues. The BURNS!

Jul. 09 2008 11:43 AM

It may have been helpful if Bob Garfield could have given some proof of what Mr. Limbaugh is alleged to have said. Personally, I don't know what he said or if Mr. Garfield was even accurate.

Yes, I know Rush has said some things that leftists don't like, but I also know for a fact that he has been intentionally misquoted and had his quotes butchered to put him in the worst possible light.

I know Media Matters is a master at quote doctoring.

Also, to Juan M. above. You are absolutely correct. Leftists love diversity; skin color diversity. Intellectual diversity is not what they want. They want intellectual conformity and they are prepared to do most anything to get it including shouting down speakers they oppose, filing lawsuits (think Canada), stealing campus newspapers and trying to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine because no one listens to them willingly.

Jul. 09 2008 11:37 AM
Juan M. from Houston

I think it was refreshing that NPR had Mr. Chafets on. NPR is very liberal and only pushes one point of view. I see nothing wrong with a little diversity in it. As a Hispanic-American, I've noticed that "elite" white liberals with their disgusting white guilt do not like to hear different views. They talk and talk about diversity but only want it one way.

Jul. 09 2008 11:00 AM
Good Lt

When has Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, Amy Goodman, Garrison Keiler, Jim Hightower, Al Franken, Jeanine Garofolo, or anyone else on the left been made to "be held accountable" for their opinions and statements on NPR?

Oh, that's right. They espouse the preferred, sanitized 'truth' that Democrats want to hear.

Limbaugh espouses his opinion, and the left screams for congressional censure, censorship with the Orwellian "fairness doctrine," and more or less calls for his utter destruction by government mandate. Hilarious

Lefties talk a good game, but not on the radio. The fact that NPR has to receive ANY funding from the taxpayer is proof positive that leftwing opinions on the radio do not sell, are boring, and are not in demand. It's nothing that cant be heard on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, the NYT, the Washington Post, the LA Times, USA Today, TIME magazine, Newsweek, Media Matters, ThinkProgress, Huffington Post, Democracy NOW!, NPR, etc. The market is already SATURATED with liberal opinions and politics. Rush is filling the void left by the saturation - namely, everyone the left ignores and insults.

If you don't like his show, don't listen. It's that simple. It's no skin off your back, no money out of your pocket, and makes no difference to anyone else. Welcome to the free market of radio.

Jul. 09 2008 10:47 AM
Donald from Ashland, VA

It must gall NPR / OTM to know that Mr. Limbaugh's daily audience for a three-hour program thoroughly exceeds NPR's total listnership for an entire day. He does it without begging for donations or giving away coffee cups. I'm so glad that Bob gave precisely the type of interview Mr. Limbaugh could have predicted would be given by anyone who is unapologetic about their traditional values.

Jul. 09 2008 07:34 AM
Vince from Chicago

Ah the Left. Such intellectually dishonest sanctimonious people.

So Rush is mean-spirited, and therefore Rush is bad?

That must mean mean-spiritedness is bad.

Well, all anyone need to do is read the comments on anythign related to Rush or Ann Coulter , etc..

Compare the alledged mean-spiritedness of the demon Consevative with the comments being made about them.

Leftists claim to uphold principles which go against certain negative actions towards other people.

Yet the Leftist never apply this standard to themselves.. in fact they often engage in the very conduct they claim to oppose.. and they do it so well.

Jul. 09 2008 06:23 AM
Virginia Gentleman from Richmond, Virginia

I read Chafet's article and listened to Garfield's interview. The article is balanced but not a hatchet job; this interview exemplifies why many more people listen to Limbaugh even if they disagree with him than listen to NPR/OTM even if they disagree with NPR. Limbaugh doesn't do guests; Limbaugh is the balance in the media. Denying the 'Indian Holocaust' ? What a reach for critique! "Right wing screamers'? How about 'Left-wing smarmers' ? I'm waiting for OTM to do a self-focused exculpatory interview with Nina Totenberg for wishing Senator Helms would get AIDS. But I won't hold my breath.

Jul. 09 2008 05:08 AM
chin music from Berkley, MI

Kudos to On The Media for doing exactly what it is supposed to do: hold the various media outlets responsible for their actions and/or inaction. Chafets is a long-time dittohead fan of limbaugh; why do you think he was allowed into the inner sanctum?

To call him on that is the JOB of the media, in general. Too bad OTM is carrying the ball for the rest of them. Rush "character matters" limbaugh is a nine-time loser that Americans just can't get enough of. As a draft-dodging, community college flunk-out, who never had a single real job in his life (unless you call sitting on your ass, talking into a radio microphone "work"), he rose to radio stardom in California in 1984, by reading the names of men who had died of AIDS, and hitting the applause button each time. Classy, huh? Now, THAT'S "character". After three divorces, drug abuse, conspiracy, various racial slurs, he topped it off (so far) by returning from the world capital of child prostitution with a bottle of someone else's Viagra in his luggage. Incredibly, he still has millions of listeners. Congratulations, America. You are one "classy" bunch of "characters".

Jul. 08 2008 04:47 PM
dave from MT

I always get a laugh out of liberals. They always portray themselves as SO open-minded. But if anyone disagrees with them in the least, then those people MUST BE DESTROYED! They might make an exception here and there for very non-threatening "conservatives" such as David Brooks, the sort who spend as much time writing columns that criticize conservatives as they do liberals. Poor Chafets made a mistake by not dutifully doing a hatchet job on Limbaugh. He'll never been invited to another Manhattan cocktail party now.

Jul. 08 2008 04:37 PM
Tom Hester from Silver City NM

Some comments make clear that loyal Limbaugh listeners consider this rancid buffoon not a right wing response to Lenny Bruce but a sort of amusing Hendrick Hertzberg and a reliable source of verifiable information. I thought the interview of Zev Chafets a good one, but I suggest that On the Media interview him again. I'd like to hear Chafets' examples of NPR distortions that match Limbaugh's nasty howlers.

Jul. 08 2008 02:52 PM
Cheryl King from

I am looking at the post about Rush Limbaugh, and it's great. I think it's hilarious that the NY Times will give him magazine cover and will not even take a look at a show, fem•i•nä•zi, which has been running in NYC since March. This show is a smart, comedic response to Limbaugh and his hate rhetoric. But alas, smart women are rarely heard.

Jul. 07 2008 08:34 PM
Corbae from Grand Rapids, MI

Garfield's interview was polite but challenging. Zev wrote a puff piece with some interesting insights on Limbaugh, but he didn't hold him responsible for any of his hate-filled rhetoric. Again, it's all a joke you stuffy liberals, can't you take a joke?! Frankly not everything is funny and a lot of Limbaugh schtick is mean and hurtful. Garfield's annoyance was evident, but Zev sold himself out for the article long ago. He deserved any scorn he got. Limbaugh should have been sued for libel long ago.

Jul. 07 2008 04:56 PM

Jeffrey #10 said: I would add that at least the government doesn't force me to subsidize Limbaugh's broadcasts, which is more than I can say for Garfield and public radio.

Jeffery your logic is warped, and in the same way Limbaugh is consistently wrong. NPR only gets 6% of their budget from all gov't sources combined. By far the largest source of budgeting for public radio is contributions from the public. So, estimate each of our income at 50 k per year, and the amount you pay considering public radio's budget is somewhere around 35 cents EVERY FIVE YEARS. Contrast that with what my family has to pay for our Presidents failed war, which Limbaugh supported and still fully supports, causing people like you to line up like sheep.

Sorry, but these right wing radio guys play fast and loose with the facts. Would you invest money on a stock tip from any one of them?

Jul. 07 2008 02:29 PM
David from Rhode Island

It just amazes me how difficult the real point seems to be for most of the people commenting here. If factual correctness was the criterion for the worth or even the meaning of the show, then the comments and Bob's line of pointed questioning would make sense. But it isn't close to the point. Chafet probably felt there was no reason to look into Rush's misstatements (and there are plenty) because it had nothing to do with his piece, if you bothered to read it. As an aside, none of the liberal shows would pass muster using that criterion either.

Like satire, Rush exaggerates, twists, and yes, maybe even intentionally lies to make a point about political philosophy. That is what people are tuning in for, not to get their news. In fact, as was pointed out in the article, surveys have shown that Rush listeners are more aware of current events and news than NPR listeners. Even I have to admit that was unexpected, but there you have it. What they are getting from Rush is consistent, clear, and intelligent (I know you all will hate that description) reasoning of why conservative politics are superior to liberal politics, as defined by today's standards of liberal and conservative. Or as Harvard Magazine apparently put it, conservatives believe in equality of opportunity, liberals demand equality of outcome. In the end, that is the message he is delivering, and his listeners (most of them anyway) agree with it.

Jul. 07 2008 02:18 PM
Jeffrey from New York, NY

"Offensive, obnoxious and mean-spirited" "right wing screamers" who practice "the politics of villification"? Bob Garfield certainly shows his true colors in this Rush Limbaugh hit piece.

That said, I don't fault either man for voicing his opinion, and, like Voltaire, I would defend to the death their right to say it. As Chafets astutely points out, if you don't like Rush's show, don't listen -- and have your friends do the same. In no time at all, Amy Goodman and Ed Shultz will be the ones sitting in his extra-large office recliner.

I would add that at least the government doesn't force me to pay for Limbaugh's broadcasts, which is more than I can say for Garfield and public radio.

Jul. 07 2008 12:51 AM
Brian Schmidt from Mountain View CA

I thought this was a beautiful take down of Chafets that clearly showed Chafets didn't know much about Limbaugh and that Chafets only got his Limbaugh interview because he's totally in the tank for Limbaugh.

Commenters here who think Garfield didn't go after Chafets enough are dead wrong. Garfield made his points quite well; Chafets didn't get away with anything.

Nice job.

Jul. 06 2008 09:37 PM

Well, if you're going to have the idiot (Chafets) on, at least don't throw him softballs and then let him get away with letting them sail by! If you're going to challenge him on his clear bias in favor of Limbaugh, then CHALLENGE him! "did you know Limbaugh lied about the numbers of Native Americans before Columbus compared to now?" "uh, did he lie - I don't know" - "well, there's a lot fewer now than then." "oh." "The end." HELLO! Challenge him on the numerous and freqnuent misrepresentations by Limbaugh - that apparently are "educating" generations of think-alikes now - if you're a media critc, then CRITICIZE Chafets for failing to accurately and objectively reviewing his subject! What a waste of an opportunity.

Jul. 06 2008 04:49 PM
matt bagdanoff from brooklyn, new york

It may have sounded like Garfield was mimicking biased and alarmist op-ed personalities like Limbaugh, but, despite a few choice phrases, the worst Garfield threw at Chafets were direct Limbaugh quotes and paraphrases, such as his absurd claim that there are more Native Americans alive today than there were when Columbus came to America (consider population inflation, and then look at the numbers as a percentage). He was not spinning the facts, like Limbaugh and other op-ed "journalists" are wont to do.

It is true the conversation went a bit off subject when Garfield was forced to defend the facts, but I think the point he was trying to make is that Limbaugh's influence is dangerous considering he can sway an election, and there is something fundamentally wrong when pundits can spin anything into reality in order to push their party's agenda and half a nation will believe it. People like Limbaugh, whose show is no more than a sensationalized spectacle easy for the American public to digest, give the false impression that they are delivering news, and people less often will actually pick up a paper and read the story and form their own opinion.

The Left is obviously butt-hurt because they don't have anyone who is nearly as influential as Limbaugh, so let's let Garfield have his moment on the basis of fairness. Deal?

Jul. 06 2008 11:07 AM
Matthew Faraci from Rockville, MD

I have been an NPR listener for many years and have appreciated NPR's attempts to report on the news with an in-depth perspective and balanced analysis. Given this, I must confess I was taken aback by the line of questioning leveled by interviewer Bob Garfield at the New York Times reporter who interviewed Rush Limbaugh. Garfield's questions were framed in such a way as to remove any doubt of his strong bias on the subject, he even referred to conservative talk show hosts as "right wing screamers". When the New York Times reporter did not agree with the points that clearly Garfield wanted him to agree with, Garfield pressed aggressively with new questions to force the answers he was fishing for. Interestingly, Garfield found himself conducting the very sort of Bill O'Reilly style interview that he cleary eschews. This was poor journalistic practice and in poor taste. Mr. Garfield should have, at the very least, attempted to mask his personal opinions and conducted a proper interview on the subject. Instead, he used the piece as an opportunity to rail against, and alienate, those NPR listeners who may not share his views and welcome a variety of political opinions.

Jul. 06 2008 06:20 AM
Robert Ljungquist from CT

This interview was pathetic. You couldn't point out that for years the anti-intelectual lout has sneered at the global warming evidence ( as if real science had a "liberal" - and, therefore, wrong, agenda ) and has now changed his mantra to state that even if it's happpening, we humans are not the cause. On the few occassions I"ve heard this gas bag's opinions he has been demonstrably wrong; just two: 1) America has the greatest health system in the world ! ( By no measure I'm aware of, and is clearly not if you are talking about longevity, infant mortality, maternal health, or national access. It IS the most expensive.) 2) SUV s are the safest vehicles on the road !! And the nitwit insurance companies are raising their rates anyhow !!! ( Well, you're wrong. SUV s cost the insurance companies more because they get in more, and more severe accidents than similarly sized cars. If he wasn't a dope Rush might have the insight to imagine that morphing a top-heavy, poorly braked, ill-handling pickup truck designed for low speed service into a highway family hauler might be a problem. They do more damage in a collision, but that does not make them "safer". It makes them an unnecessary hazard to everyone else.)

Jul. 05 2008 06:34 PM
Andrew Horton from Hillsborough, NH

Limbaugh denying the Indian Holacaust. I am so sarcasticly shocked. Thanks Bob for bringing it to my attention. I always knew and regarded Mr. Limbaugh as an inflammatory orator with selective memory. Remember how the Republicans made such a stink about Chandra Levy's killer? Then while the Republicans were so focused on dem-bashing, the observant terrorists came a crashing. Moral compass---gads were still dealing with unresolved Indian War issues.

Jul. 05 2008 05:14 PM
David from Rhode Island

Let me know when you are going to do a similar segment on all the factually incorrect statements made by liberal talk radio regarding guns and gun owners, teachers and unions, religious conservatives, economic statistics, numerous businesses and their executives, and so on. Oh wait, there is no reason to do such a segment because no one listens to them. Never mind.

In 20 years of highly partisan broadcasting, has Rush Limbaugh ever made a factually incorrect statement or shaded something out of original context? Of course. Within that same time frame so has NPR, On The Media, network news, and the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. etc. What a shock. It is hardly the point regarding a show that is clearly an op-ed style program. It is a far more important point when it occurs in programming that is supposed to be factual and neutral.

Bob applies the wrong standards to Rush's show. Zev had it exactly right. If Rush were so far off that his opinions had no credibility because they were consistently based on lies, people would stop listening, at least in the numbers they do. There is always a fringe element, but he continues to attract 14-20 million listeners a week because they perceive an inherent political philosophical truth in his message.

Jul. 05 2008 01:30 PM
john from CT

Why in Gods name would you have this idiot (Chafets) on!

Jul. 05 2008 08:17 AM

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