Monday, October 13, 2003

Channeling Rush 

There ought to be hazard pay for any columnist who's willing to try, but Bill McCllelan of the SL Post Dispatch succeeds with such perfect pitch in creating an on-air Rush reaction if Bill Clinton had made, in the exact same words, the admission that Rush did last week that even though you've probably read it over at Eschaton, where I also got the link, read it again, it's that good.

"It's interesting to see the way the liberal media are playing this. I'm looking at a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Saturday, October 11th, edition - the day after the big announcement. Well, the story is on Page 2, and right next to his photograph, in large boldface print, is the following quote: 'I take full responsibility for this problem.'

"That's interesting, folks, because if you look at his actual statement - not what the liberal media say he said, but what he really said - you get a different take on it. First, he says he's got back problems. So he's blaming it on that. Then he says he had surgery, but the surgery wasn't successful. So he's blaming it on the doctors. Then he says the pain medication was addictive. So he's blaming it on the pharmaceutical companies. Folks, he blames it on everybody but himself! But as long as he puts in that obligatory line about taking responsibility, that's what the liberal media are going to grab: Clinton takes full responsibility!

It gets even better. You can email Mr. McClellan to thank him for his superb act of imaginative compassion: bmcclellan@post-dispatch.com; you can also do what I'm doing, bookmark his column for future regular reading.

You can do one other good deed.

Here's how Howard Kurtz started out his "Reliable Sources" this Sunday:

KURTZ: In checking into a rehab clinic for 30 days, Limbaugh leaves America's most popular radio show in a swirl of controversy. He has to deal with a Florida drug investigation into the matter, and has to kick the habit, which may be far harder than struggling to cope with deafness, as he discussed with me in an interview last fall.

LIMBAUGH: It's just something to deal with. I mean, it's a medical miracle to be able to hear.

KURTZ: But the real problem is this: Rush Limbaugh is a two- fisted conservative who smacks people around. Bill Clinton, feminazis, environmental whackos, the liberal media, and, on occasion, drug addicts. So Limbaugh's detractors -- and there are many -- are already saying, "What a hypocrite. He doesn't deserve our compassion because he shows so little for his political opponents."


KURTZ: But I suspect that most people will be careful about condemning him for struggling with his personal demons. Liberals who believe addiction is a disease, who defend coked-up movie stars in rehab, will look hard at themselves if they use a different standard for their nemesis.

LIMBAUGH: Now I want to ask for your prayers.

KURTZ: Limbaugh, in my view, should be hammered the way he hammers others. But for his political views not his drug problem.

If only we liberals, besotted with our admiration for "coked-up movie stars," can pull ourselves together and behave rhetorically with the same wit, discretion, restraint, and civility as Rush Limbaugh.

Has this guy ever actually listened to so much as an hour of Rush Limbaugh?

And just what coked-up movie stars in rehab has anyone on the left defended?

One could go on, but one won't.

Instead, let me suggest that as many of you who happen by here send the link to the McClellan column to Mr. Kurtz at reliablesources@cnn.org, or just send the whole column.

Keep it polite, but ask Mr. Kurtz if he considers this column appropriately fair-minded, and ask him if he can fault by so much as a comma this rendering of a Lambaugh reaction to a turn of the tables situation with Bill Clinton, and finally, ask if Mr. Kurtz would have been as censorious of Rush as he is of some mythical coked-up-movie-star-defending liberals.

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