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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

What a wonderful week for talk radio and TV spin.

CPAC, the Republican braintrust that thought it would be a grande idea to thrust Rush Limbaugh in front of the choir to keynote their rip into Barack Obama. And El Rushbo did not fail to deliver, firing out from his flaming Johnny Cash getup, among other hyperbole, his from day one wish that the new President fail.

The conservative crowd was thrilled beyond all expectation. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said, "I think Rush is a great leader for conservatives. I think he articulates what a lot of people are concerned about."

This is the same Rush Limbaugh who told his listeners, "if you are a moderate Republican you stand for nothing." The ever-shrinking Republican tent seems to be a perfect fit for Rush. I'm not one to cheapen the debate with a crass fat joke -- but if I was -- perhaps it is one of Rush's old suits that the GOP is using for a tent.

RNC chair Michael Steele had to apologize to Limbaugh for saying on CNN that Rush was "ugly" and "incendiary," less he be banished to the Limbaugh Loser doghouse. In Rep. Phil Gingrey's (R-Georgia) apology to King Rush for dissing the big guy, he said Limbaugh was "conservative giant" and was a "voice of the conservative movement's conscience."

But even in the face of what Rush and Republicans wrought, the Right, lead by Rush's Lords of Loud brethren, is spinning the shoot-the-messenger card in an attempt to make their self anointment of Mount Rushmore a White House creation that they say is meant to distract from the three real issues of the day: The economy, the economy and the economy.

This while President Obama delivers his daily here's the fiscal crisis news of the day report to the American people.

And while the GOP (re)launched Limbaugh as their lord high pit bull to attack Obama, the mainstream media, as they often do tries mightily to get the far right's Folks to do a bit of channel-surfing away from Fox News by latching on to House Minority leader Boehner to Limbaugh to Hannity to O'Reilly theme of the GOP as blameless victim.

Time Magazine's White House correspondent Michael Scherer wrote that "(Democrats are) depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party." On CNN, Situation Room host Lou Dobbs said, "the Obama administration and left-wing groups launching a concerted campaign targeting radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh -- a one-man enemies list." Jonathan Martin at, supposedly the new unbiased political news disseminator, wrote that, "Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party."

Not all the mainstream media took the bait. This past week Newsweek, while not exactly endorsing Rush's leadership qualifications, did confirm Jindal (the next GOP presidential candidate) and Steele's (the next ex-GOP chairman) contention that Limbaugh has become the voice of the party.

"And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as "losers." With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence..."

Was that just your liberal mainstream media piling on? Not unless you consider former speechwriter and creator of "Axis of Evil" for President George W. Bush, neo-con David Frum, be part of the left wing elite. Frum certainly didn't blame the Democrat's use of the Rush as Republican deity, nor found fault with them exploiting the black silk, open-necked gift-wrapped endowment from the GOP. In fact, he predicted it.

"(Limbaugh is) exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party," wrote Frum. "And we're cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush's every rancorous word -- we'll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time."

Note to Dems: You might want to keep that quote in your pocket in case you need a quick reference when your Republican friend tout's Rush's bona fides.

It may be a bit of the chicken or the egg, but spinning is as old to politics as prostitution is to, well, politics. And the GOP and their mouthpieces have decided to stand behind Limbaugh -- I know it's difficult to see them, but believe me, they're back there -- and twist their Frankenstein into the Democrat's monster. As Michael Steele said when Today Show's Matt Lauer asked about having to apologize to Limbaugh, "that's the nature of this job, baby."

Award-winning TV writer and author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful, Steve Young was an original talk show host at L.A.'s KTLK and blogs at

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Albion Monitor   March 4, 2009   (

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