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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rush Limbaugh is lying (or mostly lying) about 82% of the time... says's pundit file.  You can read the analysis HERE.

This in and of itself is pretty fascinating, but consider another statistic:  this same website's research indicates that Limbaugh's pronouncements are completely or mostly true about 7% of the time.

Now I know the typical "DittoHead" response will be something along the lines of...

"grumble, grumble, grumble, leftist media elites*, grumble, grumble, grumble"

...but also consider the same site's rating of liberal media pundit Rachael Maddow (you can read it HERE), which isn't spectacularly better.  In fact, the same scale used to judge Limbaugh shows that Ms Maddow is lying (or mostly lying) 49% of the time.

In the end though, it all comes down to one very basic question that the consumers of news commentary have to ask themselves:

  1. Do I want to learn?   OR
  2. Do I simply want affirmation?

Rush Limbaugh doesn't offer item #1; he's strictly a #2 kind of guy.  So is, by the way, Ms Maddow, but to a lesser extent.

Limbaugh tells his people what they want to hear.  He affirms for them a world view that they find comforting, one in which there are boogeyman around every corner, waiting to take bibles and guns away and somehow convert everyone into homosexuality.  He's man who talks family values and military backed American exceptional-ism.  Give him credit for skill though, as preaching family values and the use of military force is a neat trick for someone who has been married four times and who successfully dodged the draft (citations HERE and HERE).

In the end, I think that if you really want to learn, then it requires just a bit more work than the average talk-radio listener** is willing to expend.  It means getting your information from a diverse set of sources.  It means being open to questioning your own assumptions.  Maybe it means listening to both Rush Limbaugh and Rachael Maddow, as the "truth" probably can be found somewhere in between the two of them.

(*) Given the adulation that Limbaugh receives, the millions he is paid, and the fact that he is a darling of Fox News (the most watched cable television news service) why wouldn't he be considered a "media elite" as well?

(**) In case you are curious, the average listener of the Rush Limbaugh show is an older, white male who is on average 67 years old (citation HERE).  Note that the citation is from 2009, so it's entirely possibly that the average age is even older now.

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