A very interesting article about Mr. Man........... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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A very interesting article about Mr. Man...........

It was interesting to learn he had lost all of his hearing, no wonder he never heard those trying to oppose what he was saying.........

Rush Limbaugh: The man who's always Right

Global warming? A hoax. Barack Obama? A disaster. John McCain? A winner. So says Rush Limbaugh, America's most listened-to and influential – not to mention richest - radio personality. But will America prove him wrong in the US elections on Tuesday?

Although Rush Limbaugh doesn't actually work from a bunker, he does have a bunker mentality. His studio is on the third floor of a (purposefully) anonymous building 100 yards off the white sands of Palm Beach, Florida, and about a mile from his gated mansion (the one next to Chuck Norris's). Along with the Gulfstream jet (cost: $54 million), fleet of sports cars and eight-year contract, worth $400 million, this mansion is his reward for being the most listened-to talk-radio host in America, a title he has held for 20 years.

But it is also his compensation. Professional Right-wing controversialists do tend to upset people, and Limbaugh has had his share of death threats. He has also had his quota of criticism from the media, or the liberal media, as he tends to call it. He hates interviews and has rarely given any, though he does have a soft spot for this newspaper, because it was once owned by his sometime friend and neighbour Conrad Black (currently serving a 6½-year jail sentence for fraud; Limbaugh wrote a letter to the judge attesting to Lord Black's good character).

The 'drive-by media', as Limbaugh also calls it, came down to Florida looking for him when he insulted Michael J.Fox a couple of years ago – by saying the actor was hamming up his Parkinson's disease for political gain after he appeared in an appeal for embryonic stem-cell research. They came back a few months later when Limbaugh was arrested for 'doctor shopping' painkiller prescriptions; that is, persuading several doctors to give him overlapping ones. He pleaded not guilty and cut a deal; the charges were dismissed after 18 months on condition that he continue rehabilitation and treatment with a therapist. The press staked out his mansion on both occasions, but never found his studio on this palm-fringed boulevard. You wouldn't know it was here.

He calls it his 'Southern Command', having spent most of his career broadcasting from New York, and describes it on air as 'heavily fortified', yet when you travel up in a lift and step into a glass and leather reception area, there isn't even a receptionist, let alone a security guard, just several white locked doors and a CCTV camera that follows you. One of the doors buzzes. I am expected.

On the walls of the corridor there is evidence of Limbaugh's considerable power and influence, and his friends in high places. Here a framed picture of him with George Bush. Here one of him with Donald Rumsfeld. Here he is with Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan.

There is a humidor – Limbaugh is a connoisseur of cigars – and a bust of Churchill. There is also a bust of Beethoven, which has a plaque reading: 'A genius who produced masterpieces without hearing.'

Limbaugh became almost completely deaf at the age of 50, but is able to hear callers now thanks to a cochlear implant – an electronic device which stimulates nerves in the inner ear. It explains his way with a monologue, which actually is a dialogue with himself. But even if he could hear, he probably wouldn't listen. Rush Limbaugh is a talker, not a listener. He keeps it up for three hours at a stretch, five days a week from noon until three. There are commercial breaks and phone-ins, but mostly it is him delivering homilies on politics and current affairs, extemporaneously. His fluency is breathtaking.

Some 20 million Americans tune in to hear it on 600 stations across what he calls 'this fruited land'. And he says he's not retiring until everyone agrees with him.

He is on air now – I can hear him over the speakers – 'Welcome back, this is Rush Limbaugh, your shining light, the doctor of democracy, the all-knowing, all-sensing, all-caring Maha Rushie…' I get slightly lost as I'm looking for the control booth and end up in his private washroom. There are several big black polo shirts on hangers and, in his medicine cabinet, cold remedies and bottles of Listerine and Drakkar aftershave, but no painkillers. That ship has sailed, it seems.

For the next two hours I sit behind a glass panel and watch him perform. Though it is radio, his is a physical performance. He raises his arms and shakes them in mock frustration. He takes his glasses off and pinches the bridge of his nose. He drums his fingers, as you can sometimes hear on air. Though he doesn't use notes he does have some papers on his desk which he taps as a form of punctuation, and sometimes he will crumple them up in disgust, another sound effect.

In the corner of his studio he has a standard bearing a silky Stars and Stripes. Behind his desk, there is a neon replica of his signature. At 57, he is looking fitter than he has done for a long time, having shed a hundredweight (he weighed 23 stone at one point).

His hair is slicked back and he is dressed in a black polo shirt and deck shoes without socks. There is a rolling musicality to his voice.

His tone is warm and confidential. He has the rhetorician's habit of repeating himself three times in three different ways.

Today, as usual, he is riffing about Barack Obama – 'the Lord Messiah, the merciful, the acting President…' – whom he dislikes intensely.

When Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a few days ago that he would be breaking with his party to vote for Obama, Limbaugh said it was only because he was black. Groan. He was being insulting, of course, on many levels, to both men, but at least he was being consistent with the Limbaugh world view, the view of the fabled 'angry white man'. Indeed, it would have seemed hypocritical of him to start making compromises on the grounds of sensitivity at this stage in his career.

Besides, he doesn't go easier on the McCain camp. He described the Republican candidate as a phony conservative and, when Sarah Palin first appeared, dismissed her as 'some babe McCain met at a convention'. He has come round to Palin since then, saying that she 'kicked Biden's butt' in that vice-presidential debate. His politics are closer to hers than McCain's. And ultimately he would rather have McCain for all his faults than Obama. 'McCain's right,' he said on air recently. 'We do have them right where we want them because they think it's over.' Note the 'We'. Limbaugh does not pretend to be impartial.

Inside the control booth there is a staff of three: Jim, a sound engineer wearing headphones; Dawn, a stenographer with long blonde hair (who sends Limbaugh real-time transcripts of on-air phone-ins), and his long-time producer Bo Snerdly, a tall, well-cushioned Afro-American with an affable manner, a flat cap on backwards and spectacles dangling from a cord around his neck.

Limbaugh does not have sidekicks with him on air, but he does keep up a running conversation with Snerdly, who is almost as Right wing as he is. They banter via an internal talk-back circuit. Snerdly has his own twice-weekly spot on air in which he introduces himself as an 'African-American-in-good-standing-and-certified-black-enough-to-criticise-Obamaguy.' It is a deliberately insensate but amusing take on the race issue in this election. What Left-wingers, or 'Rush-deniers', as he calls them, don't get about the self-aggrandising Limbaugh is that he is first and foremost a satirist: funny, self-mocking and entertaining. He couldn't have held his audience for 20 years if he was only nasty, bigoted and extremely Right wing.

The broadcast over, I join Limbaugh in the studio and ask if he ever has off days when he's not in the mood. Though he can hear, thanks to the acoustics in here, he stares straight at me, lip-reading. 'I have days where I feel I've left half my brain at home and I'm not functioning 100 per cent, but I don't think the audience would ever know it, and there's never a day I don't want to do it. I prep it, but I don't think about it until it starts. At noon today I had no idea what the first thing was I was going to say until about 20 seconds into the theme music. It's improv. Stream of consciousness. That little pressure improves my performance. I do my best, most expansive thinking when I am speaking. I get on a roll.'

He surely does. Limbaugh is always a factor in American elections.

When the Republicans won the House of Representatives in 1994 for only the second time in 50 years, they made Limbaugh an honorary member of Congress. If by some fluke the Republicans win this time, in contradiction of the polls, will that be partly down to Limbaugh?

'That's so hard to measure,' he says.

He's being falsely modest and possibly disingenuous. One of his biggest successes in this election cycle was Operation Chaos, a radio campaign designed to encourage Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton and prolong internecine fighting among Democrats. Karl Rove, 'the President's brain', reckons it helped tilt Texas for Clinton. She herself said as much the day after the vote: 'Be careful what you wish for, Rush.' Berkeley is doing a course study on it.

'I came up with Operation Chaos because we were facing a Republican primary that was over, with most of my audience dissatisfied with the choice. My audience wasn't up. Excited. Jazzed. I figured we had many more months of the liberal media salivating over the Democratic primaries on the cable networks and that that could be divisive. I don't want Obama to be President, he would be a disaster, but I do want him to be bloodied up politically, be forced to acquit himself to a political audience that isn't sycophantic. Someone had to do it.'

But Obama is the Democratic presidential candidate now and I wonder whether the race issue makes Limbaugh nervous. After all, at a White House correspondents' dinner during the Clinton administration, the President joked that Limbaugh had stood up for Attorney-General Janet Reno, but he 'only did it because she was attacked by a black guy'.

(The 'black guy' being Representative John Conyers.) Limbaugh was in the audience, and he was livid. He demanded, and received, a White House apology. 'There is nothing worse than being branded a racist,' he said afterwards.

On the race issue now, he reckons he has nothing to feel nervous about. 'Obama's people are trying to silence any criticism of him by implying it would be perceived as racist. It's a form of intimidation but I'm not going to be intimidated by them.'

This is only some of the article, the complete article is here

Rush Limbaugh: The man who's always Right - Telegraph
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mercedes Dictator View Post
I don’t know if I have enough Bombay Sapphire left to stomach all of that.

I’m sure it was an interesting read.

Got to keep an open mind Dick, but don't let the intake influence you from your true morals, principles, beliefs and values.....
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