Monday, March 26, 2007

Is Rush Limbaugh Irrelevant?

When California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called talk show host Rush Limbaugh “irrelevant” in comments made during a recent appearance on the Today Show, Limbaugh brushed it off.

Schwarzenegger was asked if he was concerned that Limbaugh disapproved of his move to left on such issues as stem-cell research, global warming, and universal health care.

“All irrelevant…Rush Limbaugh is irrelevant.” Schwarzenegger said. “I am not his servant,”

The controversy eased when the Republican Governor and the conservative talk show host agreed to smoke a stogie and let bygones by bygones.

However, the question remains an operative one. Is Rush Limbaugh irrelevant?

Don’t get us wrong. Limbaugh is still the number one talk radio host, reaching over 13 million radio listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, and his daily show is carried on over 600 stations.

Limbaugh is millionaire many times over. He joked that he could have bought Air America Radio with his pocket change. (Bankrupt AAR was recently sold for only $4.75 million.) He had enough money to pay his high priced legal team, which helped him beat charges of illegal drug purchases, and he can still buy all the Viagra he needs for his sex romps in the Dominican Republic.

However, it is clear that his standing in the conservative movement has declined significantly since 1994 when he was named “honorary member of the U.S. House of Representative” after the Republicans took control of the Congress ending forty years of Democratic Party dominance.

Limbaugh was on top of the emerging conservative talk radio machine. He didn’t have to share the limelight with other talkers like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. He was the only game in town and he was on the top of his game.

However, in the dozen years since Limbaugh’s glory days as a key figure in the so-called “Republican Revolution”, we have seen a steady decline in the both the statuses of Republican Party and of Limbaugh’s position as an important media figure.

We all know what has happened to the Republicans. After over a decade in power, the GOP lost control of both houses of Congress in an historic election defeat brought on by scandals, record deficits, and an unpopular President leading an equally unpopular war.

What is less well known is what happened to Limbaugh. After the Republican defeat, he told his listeners that he “was no longer going to carry the water for the Republican Party.” Maybe it should have been the other way around. The Republican Party might have said “we are no longer going to allow Rush Limbaugh to carry our water”.

The opinionated talk host is probably responsible for delivering the Senate to the Democrats. In the final days of the 2006 election campaign, Limbaugh immersed himself in a very tight Missouri Senatorial campaign by accusing popular actor and Parkinson Disease victim, Michael J. Fox, a supporter of Democratic Party candidate Claire McCaskill, of faking his symptoms.

The polls showed McCaskill losing the election in the final days, however, after Limbaugh’s idiotic charge against Fox, McCaskill won the election and the Democrats took over the Senate by one seat.

Limbaugh's loss of standing with Republicans is not his only problem.

Since his triumph in 1994, El Rushbo has seen his audience decline by about 35%. In addition, despite his favorable scheduling on the top talk radio stations in the country (usually 50,000-watt flame-throwers) often preceded by strong local talk shows:

  • Rush will probably soon lose his number one status to Sean Hannity, who according to Talkers Magazine, is just slightly trailing Limbaugh.

  • Sources in the PI business have told Talking Radio that they are paying half of what they paid ten years ago for a national spot on Limbaugh’s Show.

  • Bill Handel, the number one local talk show in the country, told a group a radio execs at the recent R&R Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles that “Rush’s ratings [on KFI in Los Angeles] are one third what they were ten years ago.”

  • The only question is not whether Limbaugh is “irrelevant” but rather why is he hanging around talk radio when he is persona non grata in the Republican Party and losing listeners at the same rate that Air America Radio is losing stations?


    Anonymous said...

    Actually, I think Conan called Wush ewellyvant.

    Anonymous said...

    Rush is the Joseph Goebbels of the 21st century. He often quotes sources from publications that HE has a financial interst in or one of his friends has an invested interest in. He takes facts and embellishes them to support his opinion and ignores facts that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt he is wrong. I hope Rush's slide picks up momentum, and I pray the fairness doctrine returns to the airwaves

    Jimmy Page said...

    I'd like to see him confronted on a TV interview with his ignorant comments such as his statement challenging Barack Obama to denounce his race. Barack had explained his full racial origins noting he had some white ancestry but that he looked black. Limbaugh then made light of him on the air asking him to denounce his race if he wasn't proud of it twisitng and lying hwat somebody says one more time.

    Anonymous said...

    Obama's mother is White. That's a bit more than some White ancestry. He had no contact growing up with his father or his father's family. He was not raised in the Black community. He was raised by his blonde blue-eyed mother and her small town mid-western middle class parents. And some of his maternal ancestors were slave owners.
    But I guess he thinks it is to his political advantage to play the race card and present himself as a Black candidate. He does need to be confronted on his denial of his White "roots."

    Anonymous said...

    It is going to be funny when the conservanazi thug is off the air. Will his ego handle it? I hope not. Let him put more than enough dope in his body to finish his lousy life off.



    Anonymous said...

    Obama looks black. How can he say he is white without presenting his family history?

    We are a visually, prejudicial species.

    jake B said...

    Rush presents himself as naive, pretending to enter the country with a bottle of mislabeled pills. The fact of having an erotic adult vacation in the DR is nothing, many men do it each year. At least is not so bad because the escorts resort has no minors, only adult female escorts ( ) as long as we`re all consenting adults, he can travel as much as he likes!

    Anonymous said...

    The Rushbo is making being fat and ugly irrelevant. I mean being an uneducated fathead and using the forum of radio a place where ugly attitudes and ideas are thrown at the American public as if they were gospel. Gospel in hell.

    Anonymous said...

    You really hate rush Limbaugh!
    Well geuss what! Its 2012 and he's STILL one of the most listened to radio brodcasters in the country!

    Jdman said...

    I'm laughing at you people of 2007 who thought he would be kicked of the air by now (2012), Rush Limbaugh will be the most listened too, Broadcaster until the day he quits or the day he dies