The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

20 December 2007

Spears Pregnancy News Annoys Talk Listeners, Hosts


Spears Irritates Listeners, Rush Drawn Into Discussion

*** EXCLUSIVE BELOW: Dr Laura Schlessinger Blasts Spears Parents ***

Usually, seasoned talk hosts call the shots when it comes to topic selection. That goes double for Rush Limbaugh, by far the nation's most important syndicated talker.

Yesterday, however, Limbaugh was dragged kicking and screaming into a subject he wanted nothing to do with: news that Jamie-Lynn Spears is now pregnant. Call it a case of the cart leading the horse.

Only 16, the younger sister of Britney The Basketcase is still a child, but the news media's acting as though she's an adult. From Fox News:

In an exclusive with the weekly, Jamie Lynn reportedly reveals that the father is her long-time lover, 19-year-old Casey Aldridge. The pair were recently sighted house-hunting in Valencia, Calif.

What is a 16- year- old doing with a "longtime lover" who is 19 and how can she be "house- hunting"?

For Limbaugh, this presented a dilemma. One of his staffers screened a call on the subject, annoying El Rushbo, but for some reason the person was put on the air anyway. What followed was a terrific mini- monologue on a subject that (like it or not) was on the minds of many listeners:

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my phone call. Say, sorry to change up subjects on you, but I thought something on a little bit lighter note. What do you think about this whole... the Spears family spreading like wildfire now, the second Spears sister having a child with a man that's old enough to go to jail for it?

RUSH: I don't think there is anything extraordinary about the Spears family spreading like wildlife. The Spears family is not the only family spreading like wildlife. There are countless American families that have 16 years old that go out and get pregnant; you just don't know about them because their sisters aren't on television. Take a look at the Jerry Springer Show. That's a good point. If you want to be concerned about -- what's this Spears name? Jamie-Lynn, is that her name?

CALLER: Yeah, Jamie-Lynn.

RUSH: Jamie-Lynn. Whatever. If you want to be concerned about her, go watch the Jerry Springer Show.


RUSH: Now, that's cause for concern, because they're practically -- these families are -- propagating in front of our eyes on that show.


RUSH: What's happening to these people is no different than what happens to a lot of families in this country, except their lives are on TV.

CALLER: Would you tend to think that a family in this position, though, wouldn't you think that there would be a more watchful eye as a parent to be watching over these kids so this doesn't happen to them?

RUSH: I would certainly hope so, but it's long past time for this to happen. The parents here are the culprits!

CALLER: (chuckles)

RUSH: I mean, the parents, they're infected with this disease, this addiction to fame themselves. Look at Britney's mom, for crying out loud. "Put me on TV, too! Put me on TV!" You know, celebrity parents, they can go both ways, and some of them lose whatever grounding they had as adults when their kids get famous. They want to be part of it. They like the money themselves. It's very rare to have celebrity parents that remain grounded, but who's going to get this family in line?

CALLER: Yeah, that's true.

RUSH: The parents are out there making as big a mess of their own lives as the kids are. Plus, the real sick thing about it is, at the end of the day -- I don't care what the Britney Spears camp says or the Jamie whatever-her-name Spears camp -- they love the attention. It's their job to get it! That's what's perverse about this. You know, I have a minimal amount of fame compared to people on television and movies, and I don't like the stuff I've got, but it is what it is. But these people that have to go out and get taken pictures of by the paparazzi, have to go out to these nightclub openings at two o'clock in the morning, make sure they're photographed there.

Allowing callers to change a show's topical course can be risky, but in this case it worked unexpectedly well. That's because he clearly reflected the sentiment of many other listeners who were disgusted by the story. By taking the call, Rush covered an "issue" that was on the minds of millions out there.

Occasionally, even tabloid stories deserve talk radio airtime, especially when larger social issues are in play. This is one of those instances.

UPDATE: Your Radio Equalizer asked syndicated advice talker Dr Laura Schlessinger for her thoughts on the situation. Blasting the environment in which the Spears children were raised, Dr Laura replied, "I feel sorry for children who are robbed of their childhoods of innocence by parents who are negligent or voyeuristic. I feel sorry for the unborn baby, whose precious life is bound to be a toy in the hands of these young people.

"I feel sorry for the children of America who are bombarded by these images of inappropriate sexuality and out of control freedom - because they will come to believe they're entitled also. I feel sorry for America because we've lost our sense about judgment and the dangers of desires met but not earned," she added.

UPDATE: this hip- hop site uses the Spears pregnancy to attack Bill O'Reilly!

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Top Spears image: Fox News


  • "*** EXCLUSIVE BELOW: Dr Laura Schlessinger Blasts Spears Parents ***..."

    She should talk about anyone else's parenting skills??

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 20 December, 2007 14:45  

  • At least she did not go down the typical abortion route hyped by the left. And the million bucks she for the baby photos will help give the kid a decent life - assuming the 16-year old does not follow her big sisters steps.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 21 December, 2007 09:57  

  • "At least she did not go down the typical abortion route hyped by the left."

    Fortunately, she had freedom of choice.

    "And the million bucks she for the baby photos will help give the kid a decent life - assuming the 16-year old does not follow her big sisters steps."

    Benson, no amount of money will buy any child "a decent life".

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 21 December, 2007 23:28  

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