Monday, December 21, 2009

Right Wing Whack Jobs

So it should come as no surprise that I read Field & Stream magazine. In an article on heroes and villains (in which President Obama made both lists) Rush Limbaugh was declared the biggest villain in America for his support of the Humane Society of the United States, which is an animal rights and anti-hunting group much on the same lines as PETA. The point of the article was that Rush is a conservative icon, and normally supports gun rights, but whether out of ignorance or not, he supports one of the most strident anti-hunting organtizations in America, and Field & Stream sees this as a betrayal. Makes sense to me.

The reaction was typical. Several readers wrote in to declare they were cancelling their subscriptions because of the "biased" story. F&S has faced this sort of thing before. Being located in New York, they are often criticized by their readers. One person posting a comment said that only stupid people spend any amount of time in New York City. Another said that F&S's location dictated their politics. None of this is surprising. Normally the only people who post to the comments section of a website are those that have an ax to grind--which is why no matter what the subject of the story, the comments on any AOL News item will always be 70% opposed.

But it does reveal a few things. One is that Conservatives have their own sacred cows and, just as many on the left have a knee jerk reasciont to any one who criticizes Barack Obama, so too on the right there is a knee jerk reaction toward anyone who criticizes Rush. It also shows that the level of discourse among Limbaugh's fans resides somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. Most of the comments simply extolled Rush's genius and hurled insubstantive insults at Field & Stream. Rush may only employ half his brain (just to make things fair) but most of his supporters seem to be willing to give theirs up entirely (one fellow said as much: complaining that he didn't read Field & Stream for Politics, he said he prefers not to think or argue about that stuff, leaving it to the NRA to argue his position for him).

Mostly, it made Limbaugh's supporters look stupid.


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