Rush Limbaugh has returned to the airwaves with much fanfare and fan attention. In fact, his first radio show after his long off-air hiatus was his most listened-to program ever, as millions of people tuned in to hear him discuss his problem and how he’s dealing with it in the long, detailed self-help manner usually associated with Oprah Winfrey. Now, I’m not a Limbaugh fan, but I don’t have anything against him, either. The only reason this held my attention was because of the strange sense of irony slowly being woven around his case.
He initially resigned after making a comment on the preferential treatment of black quarterbacks in the NFL. While I don’t know too much about football, it was interesting that he claimed the comment was not meant to be racist, but rather a social commentary about preferential treatment. While I may not agree with what he said, I held on to the idea that, in his own way, he was attempting to advocate equality.
That has to count for something.
Then he was busted for the illegal purchase of prescription painkillers sans prescription. When I first read the amount of money he had been spending on them, I immediately concluded that he had to be dealing, which hasn’t been proven. The irony is that it’s only been a short time, and he’s already back on the air talking about how he has a drug problem, has repented and is working to fight it. That’s great. I would be moved, except this whole affair leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
If he wasn’t Rush Limbaugh, radio personality, but rather Rush Limbaugh, lower-class working Joe, I sincerely doubt he would be on the radio getting paid to chat with his fans. He is not the only one I condemn on this. People were eager to crucify him when it was even implied that he uttered a racist comment, angered over any perceived undermining of equality. Yet many of the same people were eagerly listening to him the moment he came back on the air, welcoming him back into the fold. I don’t doubt that there were more than a few inmates that day who shut off their radios in disgust, and many a gavel passing on sentence at the same time.
Endre Enyedy can be contacted at email@example.com.