Saturday, October 30, 2010

NPR and Rish Limbaugh

Put simply, NPR is for coastal liberals what Rush Limbaugh is for heartland conservatives: a means of relating to the world from within the confines of a specific subculture. The difference, of course, is that Limbaugh’s admirers do not force others to pay for it.

Nor, I imagine, are Limbaugh’s listeners laboring under the same illusion as NPR’s. Most of them probably understand that Limbaugh is giving opinions based on his political point of view, which is, to say the least, well known to his listeners. NPR’s listeners, on the other hand, are quite convinced that they are receiving nothing less than the pure, unvarnished, objective truth from the network. They believe themselves to be smart and informed, and thus the network they love must also be, perhaps by definition, smart and informative.

As far as I have been able to discern from my own, admittedly subjective, encounters with the network, this is largely a convenient illusion...

Of course, every subculture has its objects of affection. Punks and hip-hop fans have their music, Trekkies have their TV shows and movies, hipsters have mumblecore, etc. The difference, of course, is that unlike NPR, none of these are funded largely by coercive means. And this says something, I think, about the liberal mentality. Put simply, liberals constitute the one subculture in the United States that consistently and often willfully mistakes its specific and particular preferences for universal truths.

Lots more here.


mazenko said...

Exactly which commentary/news source followers have, for two decades, referred to themselves as "dittoheads"?

This may be spot-on with NPR listeners, but it is a ridiculous assessment of Limbaugh "dittoheads."

Darren said...

Oh? They've asked for the feds to support Limbaugh?

mazenko said...

That wasn't the argument. Your are - to use your term - moving the goal posts.

Your blog entry was about how the Limbaugh listeners are so much more discerning about his commentary as "opinion" as opposed to "the truth."

Who wrote a book called "The Way Things Ought to Be." And what people read it and said, "See? This just makes sense. It's not partisan. It's just common sense."

allen (in Michigan) said...

"The difference, of course, is that unlike NPR, none of these are funded largely by coercive means. "

So, no goalpost moving.

The other argument is that NPR listeners believe their opinions represent "universal truths" and the proof of that is in periodic attempts to shut down opposition viewpoints via the "fairness" doctrine while staunchly defending NPR as a fount of fairness and truth.

MikeAT said...


Exactly which commentary/news source followers have, for two decades, referred to themselves as "dittoheads"?

People who listen to Rush Limbaugh and like the show. There are some people who listen to it for other reasons (e.g. Media Matters) to provide quotes for groups like NPR to take out of context, etc.

But the point of the article is a criticism of NPR and the fact the taxpayer money is laundered from member stations and it’s a leftist propaganda machine for liberals in this country. He is not there to examine the allure of Limbaugh and his listeners.

A bit off the line I do have one question. Leftist like Diane Feinstein, etc want the “Fairness Doctrine” reinstated to provide "balance" to talk radio. Question, if it’s put back in (unlikely I grant you with what is coming Tuesday night) will DiFi require NPR to give Mark Levin a show for balance? I would pay money to see a debate between F Lee Levin and Nina Totenberg.

Darren said...

I don't know anyone who raid The Way Things Outta Be and said it wasn't partisan. I do know of people for whom it made plenty of sense, including me.

mazenko said...

I'm not a fan of the fairness doctrine - it's definitely a losers argument. But Limbaugh fans definitely see "universal truths" in his show, just as NPR listeners do.

Anonymous said...

"Exactly which commentary/news source followers have, for two decades, referred to themselves as 'dittoheads'?

This may be spot-on with NPR listeners, but it is a ridiculous assessment of Limbaugh 'dittoheads.'"

For what it is worth, Wikipedia has a pretty good explanation for what is going on (in this case, "pretty good" means that it matches my own understanding based on listening to the show for several years a while back).

The explanation is that callers are encouraged to say "ditto" as a *VERY* shorthanded way of saying, "Rush, I really enjoy your show." This sped up the show as some callers wanted to (and were willing to...) go on and on about how much they liked the show. Rush, being quite clear that this is *BAD* radio, encouraged the listeners to not go on and on ... the phrase "ditto" emerged.

It was not uncommon for callers to use ditto to indicate enjoyment of the show, and then go on to a point where they disagreed with Rush (NOTE: I'm not contending that this was the norm, just that it wasn't uncommon).

From there, it wasn't a big leap for ditto-head to come to mean "person who listens to Rush and enjoys the show", at least amongst the listeners themselves.

The phrase now means something quite different to/for those who dislike Rush and his show, but since the point raised above was about the callers who referred to themselves as ditto-heads, I think the meaning of the phrase to those people should count for something.

-Mark Roulo

allen (in Michigan) said...

Har! Oh Mike, "Limbaugh fans" don't expect people who don't agree with them to help fund the dissemination of their views as fans of NPR do. I have no objection to those who suffer from the "liberal gene" enjoying the words of those who agree with them. My only objection is of being forced to subsidize their entertainment.

Dean Baird said...

Funding issues aside, El Rushbo proves his genius once again by singing the praises of The Lord's Resistance Army.

Conservative listeners who do pay for Rush's airwave bloviations ought to be ashamed of themselves. But they also have to decide who to trust: Rushbo or James Inhofe.

If LRA thuggery (true thuggery) weren't so serious, this Rush vs. Right moment would be truly high-larious.

Darren said...

Wow, Dean, you find this post from about a year ago and comment on it? Are you searching for everything I've ever written about NPR? It's clear that there *is* something sacred to you--interesting.

I note that you start your comment with "funding issues aside". That's a fairly big difference between NPR and EIB, don't you think? I certainly do. It was kinda the entire point of this post. You can disagree with Limbaugh all day long--doesn't matter to me at all. You don't have to pay for him. We all have to pay for NPR.

And linking to Little Green Footballs? Do you know anything about Charles Johnson and LGF from the last several years? He's not someone you should want to associate with, Dean. Seriously. Even if he's right this one time.

Darren said...

Hey Dean, you're now a big fan of Charles Johnson *and* NPR? Then you'll *love* this piece: