RUSH TO JUDGMENT
Radio conservative Rush Limbaugh has entered the celebrity media meat grinder that is powered by a Northstar V-16 engine. On October 11, 2003, he ended his radio show with the bombshell that he is addicted to pain killers and that he is leaving the airwaves for a month to get treatment. The acknowledgment of his personal problem affirmed the National Inquirer story that alleged his former housekeeper provided him with thousands of pills of illegal prescription medications. A man who has made his fortune taking apart the political messages of public figures in turn is about to be taken apart by the national media he has considered his liberal foe.
CNN's Paula Zahn was interviewing an addictionologist after the news broke. Her questions were trying to lead the doctor to make a conclusion that liberal politicians have tried and failed in the past. Zahn asked that if for years Limbaugh had been taking these reported prescription painkillers, strength of synthetic opium, would that cloud his judgment? The doctor answered yes, over time, an addict's entire thought processes are compromised by the focus of getting another dose of the addictive substance. Zahn was laying the foundation for the liberal press opinionates to opine that Limbaugh's conservative mantra was truly clouded, by illicit drugs. They will connect the dots to discredit Limbaugh's message by saying the messenger was cold stoned when he made his illogical pronouncements. With giddy smiles on their lips, they will put the conservative, law abiding, tough on criminals talkshow host on the hypocrisy chopping block.
The Real News is contemplating issuing to the lost seniors their own commentary's special OxyContin and Vicodin pill dispenser:
Painting over America's politically conservative poster child with the wide dirty brush of the inner city label of heroine abuser is wrong. It is apparent that he possibly is drawn into the upper middle class heroine disposal income buyer. More than 9 million Americans are addicted to prescription medications. Drug companies are now major television advertisers pushing their product through the new patient marketing channel. Patients hear about a new drug, and go to their physician and whine about get a prescription of it. The doctor scribbles the prescription and the patient and the drug company are happy. And more and more people are chemically dependent. This is the lasting Boomer legacy: a segment of our society believes that the answer to any problem is contained in the magic of science contained in a little colored pill. If it feels good do it. We are coming into the midst of the Pill Popping Generation.
It is ironic that the opponent of the Soviet ironfist on the Russian people, who used vodka as the depressant to meld the populous into obedient lab rats, is now categorized by the American socialist movement's depressant of choice to control the electorate: unlimited free prescription medicine. In the intellect's battle of mind over matter, it is easy to succumb to the matter (alcohol or drugs) because it is easy, available, and socially acceptable form of self-abuse. When critics make generalizations so headline writers don't have to think too hard, the liberals are for caring drug treatment centers for decriminalized addicts while conservatives are for zero tolerance, hard core jail time for criminal addicts. It is a matter of control. Political control of the source of health care. Self control, or the lack of it, as the demand for powerful stimulants.
Neil Boortz, a Libertarian talkshow host, was also on the cable news after the story broke. He is for decriminalizing all drugs and use the war-on-drugs warchest into treatment programs. He tried to distinguish the Rush situation from the common dumpster criminality of dealing illegal drugs. He said that Rush got hooked on the pain killers from his treating physicians after back surgery. They introduced Rush to the drugs. However, that does not condone Rush's actions. Thousands of people each week go through surgery with drugs, and do not turn into pushing their housekeepers into the streets to find more pills when their doctors stop writing prescriptions. We are not a nation of zombies. Yet.
The Rush confession capped off a bad month for the Limbaugh reputation. The ESPN blow-up. (See, Rush and ESPoN.) After the national media started to rip him and label him as a racist, Rush had second thoughts about resigning. But he never had a chance, because the network would not have a pregame show with any ex-football players. On the Sunday after the resignation, the Countdown crew were collectively angry at Rush for playing politics in their sport. However, no one took him to task for any of the previous four weeks of commentaries or opinions. In television, if you are in front of the camera, you are a television personality--- a phony get along with everybody attitude that the producers want to see. Chemistry. If the ESPN staff did not want Limbaugh on their program before he started, then they should have sought work elsewhere. But they did not want to give up their positions or their paychecks. So the anger on the post-Limbaugh set seemed out-of-place considering the fact that the commentary they reacted to was not the media bias argument, but on whether McNabb was overrated. That discussion occurs every weekend in Philadelphia bars and family rooms. But if anyone puts an adjective of race into any discussion, the special interests take it the wrong way and run with it. And in this case, they ran with it until ESPN had to send Limbaugh packing back to his radio show. If they now feel sorry for the guy, the probably put up a little token at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol.
©2003 The Real News