Avatar of admin


I Got Slimed by Rush Limbaugh

December 24, 2014 in Blogs

By Sophia A. McClennen, Salon

Rush went after me when I suggested we were better off getting our civics lessons from Colbert's satire than Limbaugh's hate speech.

There seems little doubt that nuance, subtle thinking and critical insight are well beyond the grasp of Rush Limbaugh. So this piece is not directed at him. But the power of his arguments is real and the force they have in shaping public debate can’t be overlooked. So for that reason alone it seems worthwhile to debunk some of the arguments he made when he attacked the piece I wrote for Salon last week.

The core argument of my piece was that Stephen Colbert’s character from “The Colbert Report” had offered the U.S. public a refreshing alternative to the partisan spin of patriotism so often in play today. As I explained — referring to the research of Geoffrey Nunberg — in past decades, the right has dominated the discourse of what it means to care about this nation. And they have suggested that any questioning of the right is equal to treason. Colbert, I argued, exposed the fallacies of this view and reclaimed patriotism for his fans. A key part of the Colbert persona was his hyper-patriotism, and I pointed out that, as the character was put to rest, it was time to speculate on what this would mean for the future of left-leaning nationalism.

It is perfect irony that Limbaugh does, in fact, accuse me of attacking America. As he puts it, “I can’t escape these professors and these lies and all this crap that’s in the media about everything that’s so-called wrong with America.” This was his response to a piece that indicated that Colbert had encouraged a large fan base to enthusiastically pursue their own version of what it means to be patriotic — one that we might argue has as much, if not more, affinity with the founding principles of our nation than the version offered by the right.

In fact, Colbert’s character often schooled Limbaugh on his understanding of U.S. history.  In a bit from March 5, 2009, Colbert shows Limbaugh attacking Obama for …read more


Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.