Welcome to A Fly On The Wall, a feature that imagines what it would be like to hear conversations that may or may not have ever actually occurred. This time, we’ll use our fly power to head over to Rush Limbaugh’s house and listen in on a conversation he may or may not of had with his producer.
RUSH: I told you not to equate me with those filthy Canadians! [sighs] I’m sorry I yelled; Tom Sawyer was a great American.
PRODUCER: You’re right on both counts. I know you’re under a lot of pressure right now.
RUSH: It’s been tough.
PRODUCER: You’ve done all you can do at this point. Let the story ride the waves onto the beach like the proverbial dying whale.
RUSH: I’m not sure I like that analogy.
PRODUCER: Under the circumstances…
RUSH: Let’s look at the segment one more time – I want to see where I went off the rails.
What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.
I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want!
[Rush stops the recording]
PRODUCER: Uhm… there?
RUSH: Well, certainly there. But perhaps before.
PRODUCER: Well, when you say, ‘off the rails,’ which rails do you mean?
RUSH: Good question – are we talking about my audience or anyone who might hear what I say?
PRODUCER: That’s the real trick, isn’t it?
RUSH: Exactly. As a talk show host, I have to entertain my audience, and my audience is made up of misogynists and racists, so I have to walk that line between whipping them up into a frenzy and not attracting the attention of the world at large.
PRODUCER: You have to wonder how your comments got beyond the show in the first place.
RUSH: Huh… well, maybe some members of my audience are only racists and not misogynists.
PRODUCER: Perhaps. So has the bleeding stopped?
RUSH: Not exactly. After the apology, we lost ProFlowers.
RUSH: I know, right? That’s seven total advertisers that have cancelled over this.
PRODUCER: Maybe you shouldn’t have said you’d just get new advertisers if they left.
RUSH: I had to – I didn’t apologize at first to appease my own audience and then I issued the apology to appease those who were offended. Shouldn’t everyone be happy now? I hung tough for a few days and then I knuckled under like the haters wanted me to. What else can I do?
PRODUCER: Well, it’s hard for people to understand how someone who’s been married four times and been to rehab three times can have these sort of backwards attitudes. Furthermore, they’d expect you to know more about sex… Your statements make it sound like you don’t know the difference between condoms and the pill or the fact that intercourse is possible while a woman’s knees are closed.
RUSH: Of course I know all of that! But my character doesn’t! What I know doesn’t make for compelling radio, what my character says does. If I really believed half of the things I said, I’m sure I would have wound up in an institution by now.
PRODUCER: [under his breath] Or a few of them.
RUSH: What’s that?
PRODUCER: Nothing, nothing. So the apology is made; all we can do is have accounts call around and try to drum up some new advertisers.
RUSH: Exactly. Always remember: Cash Rules Everything Around Me. CREAM, get the money. Dolla, Dolla bill, ya’ll.
PRODUCER: Tom Sawyer is fictional, by the way.
RUSH: And so am I.
New York Times Magazine has a dissertation (the online version is 10 “pages” long) out on Glen Beck. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry – I’ll hook you up. Let’s quote:
“I think what the country is going through right now is, in a way, what I went through with my alcoholism,” he told me. “You can either live or die. You have a choice.”
Am I the only person on earth who didn’t know Glen Beck was a recovering alcoholic? That makes it even more interesting to me when people refer to him as the new Rush Limbaugh, as Mr. Limbaugh is in recovery for abusing… I forget what, pills, maybe? And ‘live or die,’ huh? I guess Glen Beck saw the end of Karate Kid Part 2.
It was a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of September, and Beck had just returned from a week’s vacation in the Grand Tetons followed by a quick hop to Anchorage, where he and Sarah Palin appeared at an event on Sept. 11.