Friday, February 11, 2005
A demagogue in San Jose
With 20 million listeners, he is America's most-listened-to radio host according to this SF Chronicle story on his visit to the Bay Area:
There were two chilling moments for me Tuesday night. Asked about the new Israeli-Palestinian talks, Limbaugh said: "All this talking is just resulting in people dying." Then he developed a thesis that peace never follows negotiation -- it follows victory. "We didn't get peace with Hitler because we sat down and had bratwurst." In fact peace does come through negotiation --
El Salvador and Guatemala are recent examples. But Rush's train of thought had zoomed on, from unsupported assertion to Hitler joke and now to terrorism anecdote ("8-year-olds with Down syndrome strapped to bombs"). And so a hugely complex situation is reduced to a shallow, bogus idea and a few inflammatory sound bites.
But the line that really made me shudder was this: "In the middle of what's happening in Iraq," Limbaugh said, "for most Americans what happened at Abu Ghraib might as well be Romper Room."