Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To Speak Ill of the Grieving

For maybe half a minute Rush Limbaugh came off like a classy guy. On Monday, June 16, Limbaugh mentioned the untimely death of Tim Russert three days earlier.
``A very, very, very sad thing.'' Limbaugh said. ``I knew Tim Russert, and he was just a prince of a guy.''
But in the next breath, he describes the media follow-up as an ``orgy'' that's ``been about the media and who they think they are and how important they are.
``All these people, second and third, fourth, fifth tier people coming out, `Yeah, Tim was a big friend of mine,' and telling all these stories. The media doing everything they could to make this about them and their role in American culture today. It got to be a little unseemly after a while...''
I watched ``Meet The Press'' hosted by Tom Brokaw last Sunday. Brokaw and his guests told stories about Russert, his life, and his work habit of careful preparation; I don't particularly remember themselves and their role in American culture as a topic of conversation.
But of course, that's not the point.
The point is that he's no one to complain about media figures boasting about their significance.
The day before Russert died, Limbaugh was on the air denying that he was the source of the rumor that somewhere out there was a videotape of Michelle Obama in the pulpit of  Rev. Jeremiah Wrigbht's Trinity Lutheran Church, using the word ``whitey.''

No, Rush said, the rumor had been out there for quite some time, and so, as of May 30, he could not put off mentioning it anymore because it had hit ``critical mass.''
``So it had finally risen to a heat level, if you were, that it warranted mentioning on this, the most listened-to talk radio show in America.''
No, it wasn't really a story, Rush Limbaugh said, until it got on Rush Limbaugh. When the liberal media
``are looking at Republicans or conservatives to really nail us to the wall, until I mention it, it doesn't matter. 'Til I bring it up, it doesn't exist.''
Talk about bragging.

Then he went on to say that perhaps Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, should advise the church to close down for five months, or move it into Rev. Jeremiah Wright's home, in a gated community, ``so noboby can know what you're doing in there.''
A little unseemly, Rush.

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