Are the right-wing conservatives making a mistake by following Rush Limbaugh?
Rush Limbaugh provides a voice (a very loud voice) for a lot of people who seem disinclined to think for themselves. He even tells them they do not need to think about the meaning of news items because he will tell them what to think. He abuses his listeners by constantly telling them he is smarter and better informed than they are. Millions of people buy the line he is handing them.
Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, not a deep thinker. He is neither very bright nor particularly well-informed. He found a niche market years ago and decided he would try to fill a spot in that market. Before that, he had limited success in radio and never kept a job very long.
What he decided to do was to feed the fears of people who were confused by events in the world around them and fearful of “the others”. This concept of “the others” is what Limbaugh has used to stir up his listeners and, in the process, fulfill his real goal, which is to provide himself with great personal wealth. His broadcasts are filled with distortions, accusations, rude language towards those who disagree with what he says, and an abundance of outright lies. He has on occasion been confronted with a statement he made that was completely false. His justification was always that the statement had first been made by somebody else and he was just “reporting” it. True journalism requires a process called “vetting”. Before you publicly report anything, you must check your facts to ensure accuracy. Mr. Limbaugh does not bother with that, because he is not a journalist; he is an entertainer.
He has a lot of supporters, so he cannot be ignored in terms of influence. But to use this snake-oil salesman as a reputable source for information and opinions lends credence to what is really a shabby façade of reliability. If you listen to his broadcast a few times, you may notice about the way he does business that has driven some listeners away. He spends an inordinate amount of time on self-promotion. He has claimed to be a better meteorologist than those with years of training and experience. He claims expertise in the fields of geology, chemistry, climate science, biology, and economics. He really knows very little about any of those subjects.
Following this guy and taking what he says seriously is like getting advice for your medical condition from Internet pop-ups. He tells the right wing a lot of stuff they want to hear, but that does not mean it is accurate or useful.