The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

11 May 2007

Rush Limbaugh, BBC News, Obama Parody

IT'S 'DJ' RUSH

BBC News Keeps Obama Parody 'Flap' Alive







Though it doesn't seem to have a clear understanding of who he is, the BBC is the latest news agency to keep Rush Limbaugh's Obama parody "controversy" going.

Is Rush a DJ? Other than the short bumpers that play in- between segments and occasional musical parodies of political figures, the answer is clearly no. In the 1970s, however, it was a different story.

Even from an English perspective, one could at least expect Rush to be called a "presenter". With that blunder in the headline, how much credibility can the rest of the story possibly have?

Further, who do you suppose made the Beeb aware of this "flap" in the first place? Reading the story, it quickly becomes obvious:


US DJ criticised over Obama song


US talk show host Rush Limbaugh has come under fire for airing a racially charged song about the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Limbaugh has been playing a song called Barack the Magic Negro, to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon.

The right-wing talk show host defended himself by saying he is an entertainer and the song is a parody.

Mr Obama, who hopes to become the first black American president, has played down the row.

Rush Limbaugh, whose radio show is one of the most popular in the US, justified running the song by saying that an article by a black commentator in the liberal Los Angeles Times was the first to link the term "magic negro" to Mr Obama.

Limbaugh said liberals upset about the term should be aware that "magic negro" is a historical cultural term, a reference to benevolent African-Americans portrayed in old films.

'Inflaming audience'

The song, he said, was intended to make fun of the problems Mr Obama's candidacy poses to "race-obsessed Democrats", as well as questions from media pundits as to whether Mr Obama was "black enough".

Mr Obama said he had not heard the song but that he did not take himself so seriously as to be offended by every comment made about him.

His campaign team described the song as dumb.

Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Media Matters, a US monitoring group, said the song was consistent with previous comments by Limbaugh, such as referring to Mr Obama as "Halfrican American".

Mr Frisch accused Limbaugh of inflaming his audience.


Sure enough, now we see where the BBC gets its story ideas: from Media Matters!


It's the last sentence that contains its real punchline, however:

Mr Obama was last week given secret service protection after threats appeared on white supremacist websites.


And this has what to do with this story? Talk about false associations.


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13 Comments:

  • Many newspapers refer to talk hosts as "DJs" even though they don't play music (other than bumpers). They have limited space for a headline, etc.

    And it should be noted of course
    that Rush used elements of top 40 DJs
    (jingles, comedy bits, and his uptempo way of talking rather than more subdued or
    relaxed, as talk show hosts in the past did). This caught on with other hosts, too.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 11 May, 2007 15:04  

  • yep, rush ripped off "my city was gone" by the pretenders, but chrissie hynde foolishly let him off the hook when he claimed to be SUCH an animal lover and promised to make a donation to charity

    since chrissie hynde's favorite charity is peta, i seriously doubt that was one request that rush actually honored

    the brits most likely understand the arbitrons are administered by the moneychangers, and realize rush's real audience is so negligible as to not qualify him as any real sort of media figure, much less "talk titan"

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 11 May, 2007 16:34  

  • Hash,

    Your version differs from what Rush has said on his show.

    According to Rush, he pays a hefty fee for the right to use the loop from the Pretenders' song. He admitted it is odd to have theme music whose lyrics are at odds with his show content, but said he continues because it has such a good hook. Obviously, with the fee payments, the recipients can donate to PETA, MMFA, the Democrat Party (intended!) or whomever else they want, regardless of Rush's viewpoints.

    As to Rush's "negligible audience"...you remind me of the old Monty Python sketch where they claimed something like: "90% of British housewives cannot tell the difference between Whizzo butter and a dead crab", with them in drag with crackers buttered and crackers with a dead crab on them.

    Monty Python: "Nope. Can't tell the difference!"

    Hash: "I consider 14,500,000 listeners to be negligible. But Air America has gazillions of listeners at their computers"

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 11 May, 2007 18:13  

  • "...According to Rush, he pays a hefty fee for the right to use the loop from the Pretenders' song..."

    either rush is lying (gasp!), or a very new arrangement has been made that i'm unaware of

    "...the recipients can donate to PETA, MMFA, the Democrat Party ;(intended!) or whomever else they want, regardless of Rush's viewpoints..."

    chrissie hynde is into the whole animal rights thing but is totally uninterested in american politics
    and there is no such political party in america as the "democrat party" anyway

    "But Air America has gazillions of listeners at their computers..."

    no need to put words into my mouth, big king momo....i did not mention "air aipac" once during my initial comment...it is undeniable that a listener in the rush demographic has a full array of programming to choose from (and, yes, streaming is always another option)...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 11 May, 2007 23:05  

  • “the brits most likely understand the arbitrons are administered by the moneychangers”

    What a moron.

    Come back to reality.

    You are getting in to MOP teritory “There is no midia bias. Look what I read on media matters”

    By Blogger pf1, at 12 May, 2007 00:51  

  • pf1,

    it's not MY fault your allegiances lie with the interests of other nations, rather than the interests of americans

    if it's generally accepted that the arbitrons are an archaic joke in THIS country, what makes you think other, more clued-in nations wouldn't have caught on by now??

    this is not something one has to consult one's partisan news organ
    or trade paper to discern, look at the disparity between what americans want on the radio, and what they are given

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 12 May, 2007 00:59  

  • “it's not MY fault your allegiances lie with the interests of other nations, rather than the interests of americans”

    Come back to reality.

    Don’t queston my love of this country you little pencil neck geek.

    “if it's generally accepted that the arbitrons are an archaic joke in THIS country”

    What you are saying is. “If they don’t agree with me they most not be right”

    “disparity between what americans want on the radio, and what they are given”

    Lets see americans disapprove of the presedent. Americans disaprove of congress. Americians disapprove of the courts. What do you think they want. I think they want a third party.

    By Blogger pf1, at 12 May, 2007 07:31  

  • "...you little pencil neck geek..."

    i could snap you in two so watch that your mouth doesn't override your ass

    if you are willing to sacrifice life, you are willing to sacrifice america, and are therefore an enemy of america

    "...What you are saying is. “If they don’t agree with me they most not be right”

    no, i am saying the system is corrupt, and as crooked as the corporatists that designed it

    "Lets see americans disapprove of the presedent."

    yes, they do

    "Americans disaprove of congress."

    oh, BOY, do they disapprove

    "Americians disapprove of the courts."

    that's a very fair statement

    "I think they want a third party."

    you KNOW IT, and they want it YESTERDAY...and not just a third, but a fourth, a fifth, a sixth...

    americans want strong government that works

    the only way to accomplish this is to abolish the two-party system (which has become a one-party system that, in fact, serves no one) and abolish the electoral college

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 12 May, 2007 14:27  

  • Hash this is the internet there is no snapping.

    If you don’t like the name do not question my love of this country.

    “if you are willing to sacrifice life, you are willing to sacrifice america, and are therefore an enemy of america”

    Should be said like this.

    If you are not willing to sacrifice life, then you are willing to sacrifice this country, and are therefore an enemy of America

    If someone tries to kill my wife I would sacrifice my life trying to kill them instead. In your logic that would mean I do not love my family and should stand by and let them die. I don’t know but my wife would not agree with you. She would call that being a coward.

    The only way to abolish the two party system would be through a revolution. This would only be possible through the loss of life because nether party would allow it to happen.

    By Blogger pf1, at 14 May, 2007 06:48  

  • Hash:

    The party of Democrats is the Democrat Party. Similarly, the old German Democratic Republic was typically called East Germany, not their official letterhead name. That's why I added the word "intended".

    Regarding Rush's claims about his hefty payments: Cannot confirm, but I do remember the fuss about how much Microsoft had to pay the Rolling Stones for their Start Me Up sample when they introduced a new version of Windows.

    As you wrote, you did not mention Air America THIS TIME (PS: I have no idea what "air aipac" refers to, by the way.) However, they are the outfit that Al Franken & fans said would clobber Rush etc. in the ratings; when Air America fizzled, the claim was that Arbitron missed the huge number of computer users tuned into Air America. But if there were a huge number of listeners, they must not have bought much of what the sponsors were selling, otherwise that would have been touted, too.

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 14 May, 2007 13:30  

  • "If you don’t like the name do not question my love of this country."

    i'm not QUESTIONING it, i'm out and out saying it doesn't exist

    your loyalty is to party, to a failed political ideology, and to any other nation that may in your estimation espouse or support those illusions

    "If you are not willing to sacrifice life, then you are willing to sacrifice this country, and are therefore an enemy of America..."

    spoken like a true chickenhawk, that sends other peoples' children into battle, under the direction of private contractors who are loyal to corporation, not country, and maintain they are winning a war when they are getting their asses blown up left and right, and is willing to spend $564 billion to lose in such spectacular fashion

    "I don’t know but my wife would not agree with you..."

    indeed, i believe your wife would sacrifice her own life, just to be free of being married to you

    really bad analogy

    "She would call that being a coward..."

    well, most americans would consider someone who lost the battle, lost the war, and refused to believe it, and was willing to let their own countrymen be murdered for their twisted version of reality to be preserved in their own minds, a coward

    now, if you throw in allowing your own troops to be murdered for another nation's interests, one could amend the moniker to "traitorous coward", but we can wait until impeachment proceedings begin to bandy THAT one about

    "The only way to abolish the two party system would be through a revolution..."

    well, a revolution of sorts

    it could be successfully argued that such a revolution may have already begun

    "This would only be possible through the loss of life..."

    this is PRECISELY what i've been trying to explain to liberals, who i do not believe have reconciled themselves to this reality yet

    "...because nether party would allow it to happen..."

    oh, they will have little, if anything, to say about the matter

    very few of either party are particularly proud of their own party's failures anyway, at this point

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 14 May, 2007 15:03  

  • "The party of Democrats is the Democrat Party."

    wrong

    there is no such political party in america as the "democrat party"

    it is called the "democratic party"

    "Similarly, the old German Democratic Republic was typically called East Germany, not their official letterhead name."

    incorrect

    there is no similarity, and comparing the name of one nation's political party to another nation's name is like comparing quaker state motor oil to tropicana orange juice, in that one has no relevance to the other

    furthermore, the correct name of the entity formerly known by americans as "east germany" was actually the "Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)", and germans use the abbreviation "DDR" in daily conversation (the term "ost-deutschland" referred to description of a general geographic region, as opposed to any political german state

    "but I do remember the fuss about how much Microsoft had to pay the Rolling Stones for their Start Me Up sample when they introduced a new version of Windows..."

    that's interesting, but it has nothing to do with any agreement rush may or may not have reached with chrissie hynde

    "As you wrote, you did not mention Air America THIS TIME..."

    which reaffirms my point, which was, why did you feel the need to inject air america's name into a completely unrelated discussion?

    (PS: I have no idea what "air aipac" refers to, by the way...)

    if you know what "aipac" represents, i believe you actually do, and i'm sure you're quite capable of figuring out for yourself what "air aipac" would mean, in the original context

    "However, they are the outfit that Al Franken & fans said would clobber Rush etc. in the ratings..."

    and al franken is not and has not been associated with air america for some time, air america itself is under new management, and if one takes the arbitrons at face value, rush may still very well be a cash cow

    again, this has nothing to do with rush, with chrissie hynde, with peta, the british view of the us media circus and who controls it, or brian's repeated fawning references to rush as a "talk titan", when it is clear that rush's best days in talk radio are well behind him

    "...when Air America fizzled, the claim was that Arbitron missed the huge number of computer users tuned into Air America..."

    well, do you deny even the POSSIBILITY that this scenario exists, when one takes into account the greater likelihood of aar listeners to be younger and most likely more computer-literate, vs. neocon radio listeners?

    "But if there were a huge number of listeners, they must not have bought much of what the sponsors were selling, otherwise that would have been touted, too."

    unfortunately, a boycott of liberal radio programming on air america that was pushed by the neocon cabal and the conservative media, in conjunction with elements within corporate america, ensured that we will never really know what aar's true ad potential could have been (or if aar management had any intention of selling their programming or their network in the first place)....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 14 May, 2007 15:33  

  • Hash,

    Thanks for such a detailed response.

    I speak some German and know about the DDR, but usually do not bring up specific German words unless necessary.

    "democratic" (with small d) is solely the adjective form of "democracy". "Democratic" Party is the official name for that group. While all of the other major parties have the same name for their members, the party, and other things (Republican Party, Republicans, Republican policies; Conservative Party, Conservative policies...) they push DemocratIC Party, Democrats, DemocratIC wars). While in written form, we distinguish captital letters, we do not in spoken English. So a war led by Democrats: spoken, to me, it is much clearer as a "Democrat War", war of the Democrats, versus "Democratic War", which sounds like a war for democracy.

    AIPAC: I truly never had heard of it. According to Google, it is essentially a pro-Israel lobby. I would not have guessed that Air America would be criticized for that. You learn something new...

    Re Air America's computer users audience: In the early days of kid shows on radio, they asked kids to send in cereal box tops for prizes and deduced their audience size that way, which ended up being much higher than expected, since kids in homes without radios were going over to their friend's houses with a radio to listen. I would think that Air America could have deduced and would have published their computer listenership if significant, the way the number of Franken podcast downloads was.

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 15 May, 2007 09:51  

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