Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rush Limbaugh, continuing...

Did you catch the long New York Times profile on Rush Limbaugh?
You can find it here.
It's surprisingly fair and balanced.
Read the whole piece. I found two things in it especially interesting.
First, see the influence, again, of William F. Buckley Jr. and National Review magazine:

"Not everyone in the big city gave Limbaugh the cold shoulder. William F. Buckley Jr., the publisher of The National Review, saw the young broadcaster’s star power and took Limbaugh into his orbit. Limbaugh was honored by the attention. “I grew up on National Review and Mr. Buckley,” Limbaugh told me. “Aside from my father, he’s the most influential man in my life.” In Buckley’s circle he was an incongruous figure — provincial, self-educated and full of déclassé rock-and-roll enthusiasm. But Buckley took Limbaugh seriously, cultivated him, promoted him and saw to it that he connected with the right people."

Buckley and NR did that for a lot of young conservatives.
He and his magazine had such a huge impact on the growth of conservatism in this country; few people grasp, yet, just how much.

And then there's this, concerning Limbaugh's "Dittohead" listeners.
A bunch of ignorant, mind-numbed robots, some liberals still claim.
But, from the article (and this is from the NEW YORK TIMES, don't forget!):

"Limbaugh’s audience is often underestimated by critics who don’t listen to the show (only 3 percent of his audience identify themselves as “liberal,” according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press). Recently, Pew reported that, on a series of “news knowledge questions,” Limbaugh’s “Dittoheads” — the defiantly self-mocking term for his faithful, supposedly brainwashed, audience — scored higher than NPR listeners. The study found that “readers of newsmagazines, political magazines and business magazines, listeners of Rush Limbaugh and NPR and viewers of the Daily Show and C-SPAN are also much more likely than the average person to have a college degree.”

The great El Rushbo marches on.