Let’s say you have some friends and/or relatives who haven’t figured out yet that it’s not all that smart to get their news from people whose entire economic model is based upon keeping those friends and/or relatives pissed off. And let’s say those friends and/or relatives occasionally puke back at you the “arguments” of the professionally angry class. You’ve certainly learned by now that disputing the hot-buttered bloviations of a Rush Limbaugh or a Glenn Beck is no more sensible than Bill Nye debating that creationist — these are articles of (angry!) faith.
And attacks upon the yellers’ character don’t work, either. You won’t get anywhere pointing out the obvious fact that Limbaugh gags like that “Barack the Magic Negro” song are racist according to the rules of The Price Is Right — designed to come as close to hate speech as possible without going over.
Better, perhaps, to forward clips like this one, which exposes the sad truth of that yelling meat-sack’s daily three-hour radio shows: For huge chunks of time, he’s just pretending to be mad about stories he hasn’t even read, watched, or had adequately summarized to him.
Here’s the set-up. Last week, Limbaugh was carping on one of his favorite themes: That liberals fail to recognize fundamental differences between the sexes. (In the Limbaugh cosmology, men are from Mars and women are from TrophyWife-istan, which only in recent years has stopped being called “Woman, Where Are My Sammiches?”)
He opens with complaints about some newspaper article whose headline seems to have been crafted to get pageviews from outraged Limbaugh fans: “Why Dressing your Daughter in Pink Damages the future of Our Economy.” (Play this for your Dittohead acquaintances, and they’ll be nodding along happily so far.)
But, as he often does, Limbaugh then leaps from one news story to another, no matter how unrelated they may be. To his mind, that Independent story arguing against the societal recognition of what he sees as inherent gender differences is pretty much the same as a CBS This Morning preview of tonight’s 60 Minutes report on new research into how prescription drugs affect men and women differently. It’s a story laying bare a truth that feminists have argued for years: That, outside of drugs dealing with the reproductive systems, pharmaceutical testing has long dismissed key differences of biology between the sexes in favor of a “dude-size-fits-all” approach.
Limbaugh, though, doesn’t get that. Instead of responding to the new findings, which suggest that pharmaceutical companies are at last admitting that the biological differences are profound, and that prescribed dosages of drugs should finally take sex into account, Limbaugh shouts at CBS host Gayle King for asking the most basic of questions: “Why didn’t we know this before?”
At about 2:25 in this clip, as he snarls a response, he seems to realize that he’s got the story cocked up — that it’s the medical establishment that hasn’t been on board with his women-ain’t-like-us-fellows belief system, not Gayle King. Still, he does what he’s done ever since burbling up out of whatever egg sac hatched him: Improvises. Kills time. Hauls out meaningless generalities. And yells — as if he can make up for having nothing to say by volume alone.
“Remember what we talked about yesterday. How is it …that the main … stream media … Get. Every.Thing. Wrong. Not just slightly wrong, but majorly profound wrong. How. Is. This. Possible? To be THIS stupid? THIS ignorant? How is it possible to NOT know inSTINCTively that men and women are different? Why is that SUCH SHOCKING news that Gayle King says ‘Why didn’t we know this before?’
Limbaugh’s a persuasive, charismatic performer, especially if you’re attuned to him, so that bluster above might be not sound too un-moored to the pro-Rush contingent. But dig into the last forty seconds of the clip, when, to cover up his lack of an argument, he yelps and moans like Homer Simpson the day the bees took away his sugar pile.
First, he returns to the CBS clip: Norah O’Donnell, whom Limbaugh identifies as an “infobabe,” asks “If we metabolize Ambien differently, do we metabolize statins differently? The list could go on and on because men and women are taking the same amount when it comes to Lipitor and other pills.”
“We don’t know!” Limbaugh bellows, vaulting up into a falsetto that would mince if that was a thing falsettos could do. “You mean we don’t know? You mean we can be dying? Oohhh, no –” Fake blubbering. “– we don’t know!”
He lets out a long, croaking groan that sounds kind of like Conway Twitty. Then he stammers and lets some dead air hang there.
“Folks,” he begins, but since he’s just dedicated the last 20 seconds to doing a comic pig-squeal about women wanting to take drugs in dosages safe for their bodies even he has no idea where to go next.
He tries “This is simply –” but can’t complete the thought.
Four seconds of silence pass, fat and slow as airships.
He begins to stutter. “I – I don’t know how to decribe …. th-th-th-th-this is just –”
He slaps some papers around, schtick he often resorts to, the idea being that he’s so deluged with facts and truths that it’s some effort to pick through them all.
He does this for five full seconds.
Then, with nowhere to go, he accidentally tells the truth, saying exactly what any thinking person who listened to this catastrophic segment would conclude about narcissistic blowhards like Limbaugh, whose job is to find lots of things to pretend to be mad about. “We’re in trouble,” he says. “We’re in big trouble. Because these people are a primary source for news for most people in this country. We’re in big trouble.”
A full transcript of the Limbaugh segment is here, on his ridiculous website, which has many photos of him from the late 90s pointing to his chest with a turdlike cigar that wafts smoke the color of 2000 Flushes.