Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why? 'Cause I Swore Off* Football Postings !

Okay, it seems a couple people—or household pets, conceivably; forget at your own peril that widely-reprinted New Yorker cartoon with the keyboarding canine explaining to its peer, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog"—are mystified as to why RadioactiveSeattle has remained so deafeningly silent about the fascinating tableau represented by Rush Limbaugh's recent insinuation of his hefty political and cultural presence into the national political process.

Oh sure, Limbaugh's always been ideological, not to mention hugely influential. But until quite recently, Rush has mocked only from the sidelines. Among so many other things, the Obama Era may be remembered as what prompted the hands-down greatest talent in the history of the newstalk radio genre to get finally into the game.

A request: if RadioactiveSeattle e-mailers would kindly cease confusing prose like that "greatest talent" phrase in the previous sentence—variations of which have appeared in probably a half-dozen Limbaugh-loving essays archived herein—with this next declaration, which of course I would never seriously write because, seriously, it's never been generally true: I agree with Rush Limbaugh.

Heck, Rush isn't even usually correct on the issues, as far as I'm concerned.

I so admire Limbaugh's broadcast work because I love brilliantly-executed radio, not because I happen to vote similarly to him, which I certainly don't.

I mean, could I be the only guy in the country who never immediately thinks "political" whenever I hear the words "newstalk radio"? Am I the only American radio fan who faithfully listens to various quality shows whose respective political philosophies I happen to nonetheless dismiss or even detest?

And therefore, might I be sole individual in this society who understands how employing such simple-minded evaluative criteria inevitably leads to reflexive adoration of those hosts you happen to agree with, while only fostering contempt or worse for those, however talented, on the other side of whichever fence it is which defines your worldview?

Nah. There's at least one other guy who surely understands this: my fellow Show-Me State native, Rush Hudson Limbaugh III. After all, he's often pointed out over the years that his unprecedented success is no function of his conservatism, but rather of how immaculately he upholds sterling broadcast standards.

I realize the vast bulk of his audience surely doesn't buy that for a second, but hey, they're not broadcasters. And besides, they're anyway understandably way more interested in being dazzled by Rush's radio illusions than in dwelling—or rhapsodizing, as RadioactiveSeattle does—on how seamlessly he pulls off those verbal tricks.

For my part, I'd still be just as big a fan of the sole program on the Excellence in Broadcasting Network were my politics to the left of Trotsky, instead of being a secularlist whose various stances tend to fall roughly where Rudy Giuliani's and David Brooks's do.

Even during those portions of my newstalk hosting career when I was fairly described as solidly neoconservative—that would be 1989-1998, in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Detroit—I still then didn't agree with Limbaugh's rock-rib conservative positions more than about 65% of the time. (Since I've been in Seattle, and thus throughout the 2005-2008 run of KIRO's Bryan Styble Program, it's been more like 25 percent, centrist libertarian I've been ever since my Radioactive Albuquerque with Bryan Styble days in New Mexico, 2000-2004.)

But whatever Limbaugh's underlying rationale here may be—and I've been pondering a couple theories—what a kick it is for this disappointed Cardinals fan in the wake of the thrilling Super Bowl XLIII to witness that pro football geek Rush finally donning his helmet and running with the ball. It's a political pigskin earlier in his historic two decades of national radio syndication he's always been content to let other, far less-mighty ideological fullbacks carry.


* A pledge made in the headline of the January 18, 2009 posting

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