To paraphrase a comment made by Richard Nixon (ironically?) after he left office, Rush Limbaugh has given his critics a sword, and they're twisting it with relish.
Even people living in caves know by now the often-controversial (and, I might add, almost often quoted) talk show host is in hot water for remarks he made about a woman who has become (partially because of Limbaugh) the center of the discussion about whether the federal government can require insurance companies to cover various birth control methods.
Interestingly, the flap over Limbaugh has probably let President Obama, who was at odds with the Catholic church over the issue a month ago, off the hook with the media, which is now focusing its attention on Limbaugh's admittedly stupid and uncalled for comments.
In fairness, Limbaugh admits he made a mistake in using the words he did (and I won't compound by repeating), although those critics claim he didn't go far enough to refer to it as an apology.
What I believe those critics really want is for "El Rushbo" to be banished from the airwaves. Several major companies have, in effect, complied by pulling their advertising from his show.
But his critics should be careful what they wish for.
The way this is progressing, it sounds a lot like what happened to Don Imus five years ago. Imus' show, you may remember, was cancelled by its syndicators (which included MSNBC), after he made what were determined to be racially insensitive remarks (which, again, I won't repeat, but weren't all that different from things he had said on the air for years).
Within six months, Imus was back on the air with a new New York station, a new syndicator and a new cable TV contract, and a promise, in essence, never to do that again. I don't listen to Imus, so I don't know if he's kept that promise.
Even if Limbaugh loses his show, the same thing could happen again. In the digital/cyber/social media age, there's always someone else who can put him on, such as satellite or internet radio. And anyone can write a blog.
In an odd way, that may be good news for his detractors. To again paraphrase Nixon, they'll still have Rush to kick around.
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