Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rush Limbaugh, Minister of Propaganda

From Free Association: Rush to Fallacy

I was going to blog on what I happened to overhear on the Rush Limbaugh show on Friday, but Sheldon Richman, as usual, did a much better job than I can:

Rush "Jail All Drug Users But Me" Limbaugh did it again yesterday. His Blowhardedness, ever striving to be George II's No. 1 brownnoser, condemned the Democratic critics of the NSA's mass collection of our telephone records and showed he is either a demagogue or is actually unable to tell a sound argument from a fallacy. (I guess he could be both.) Here's his standard pitch: The Democrats oppose something George II's men are doing even though they have done or approved of the same thing in the past. Therefore their criticism is baseless.

Wrong. Hypocrisy doesn't invalidate a criticism; it just undermines the standing of the person making it. If Democrats condemn something the Bush administration does that they praised when Clinton did it, that's hypocrisy. But it doesn't mean the Bush administration is right to do it. It may mean Clinton was wrong to do it. What about princpled critics who condemn both administrations for their misconduct? Doesn't Limbaugh have to concede that criticism from a principled person is valid? That sounds like relativism to me: For Limbaugh, an argument is valid or invalid depending on who makes it.

As popular as they claim Rush Limbaugh is…he supposedly talks to 20 million people daily…I don’t know a single person that cites him when discussing politics. Most Conservatives I know, qualify their admiration for him. Every time I listen to him, I cannot help but shake my head at the sheer intellectual emptiness that comes out of my radio speakers. Is there anyone out there that looks to Rush Limbaugh as a source of intellectual enlightenment?

Or do most people recognize Limbaugh for what he is…an unprincipled, opportunistic, cheerleading propagandist?


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