Yesterday, RedState’s Kimberly Ross expressed the disappointment a lot of people have felt over how Rush Limbaugh joined the chorus of Republican hacks making light of a Congressional candidate (now Congressman-elect) assaulted a young reporter. Back in 2010 when Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge from North Carolina roughed up a young reporter asking questions, Rush had a totally different attitude about it.
Here’s a taste of what Kimberly commented on. Read the rest of her article for full effect.
Limbaugh’s reaction to Gianforte’s treament of journalist Ben Jacobs is another disappointment. Instead of harshly and seriously condemning the candidate from Montana, he amused himself by pointing out how studly he was when taking on the reporter’s Millennial form.
From Rush’s show on Thursday:
In Montana — ladies and gentlemen, I must do something. I must join the chorus of people condemning what happened out there. This manly, obviously studly Republican candidate in Montana took the occasion to beat up a pajama-clad journalist, a Pajama Boy journalist out there.
The story is he grabbed his neck and threw the guy to the ground because the journalist was being insolent and disrespectful and whiny and moany and accusatory. And the manly, studly Republican simply didn’t realize that on the big stage you can’t do this kind of stuff and kicked the guy’s ass to the ground. This cannot be accepted. This must be condemned. I wonder how many people in Montana are now gonna vote for the guy, though? (laughing)
And there’s a brave newspaper out there, a brave newspaper withdrew its endorsement for this studly, manly, brutish Republican. His name is Gianforte, Greg Gianforte, and he didn’t like this reporter who’s indistinguishable from your average Millennial man today, virtually indistinguishable. He’s from the U.K. Guardian.
The Republican talking point of the day was to mock the masculinity of reporter Ben Jacobs and celebrate Greg Gianforte for beating him up. I suggested yesterday that this sort of coverage would undoubtedly be quite different if it were a politician of a different party had been the one doing the beating. Then I remembered that back in 2010 video surfaced of Democrat Bob Etheridge getting physical with a young reporter with a video camera.
Limbaugh’s take then was quite the opposite of what he expressed yesterday. From Rush’s radio show of June 17, 2010:
Bob Etheridge. As I said at the top of the program, if a United States soldier had done to a murderous terrorist what Bob Etheridge did to this student he would be facing a court-martial. In fact, if one of us were to grab a young woman, get caught on video in the act, could we just say we’re sorry and that we were being stalked by some evil right-wing website and get off scot-free? The chances that Etheridge will be charged with a crime like the rest of us is zero, or practically zero. Look at how the Democrats circle the wagons around every one of their reprobates. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who the reprobates are. They’re all out there circling the wagons around this guy.
(Those last few sentences really ring hollow given the “reprobate” Rush Limbaugh and his fellow radio talkers helped win the White House.)
Rush participated in the wagon-circling around Greg Gianforte just like every partisan Democrat did for Etheridge, Clinton, Obama, and every other left winger who ever got into hot water.
If you have a low tolerance for abject hypocrisy, don’t read this next excerpt.
‘Democrats Defend Etheridge, Attack Breitbart — Bob Etheridge’s abject apology for roughing up an anonymous conservative videographer is being accompanied by a defense of the congressman from national Democrats. … DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse: ‘This was a Republican party tracking operation.” Here’s the dirty little secret about Etheridge. And don’t forget, there have been many other guys like Etheridge. Jim Moran, a number of these people. And here’s the dirty little secret. This little incident is very illustrative of how Democrats look at the world. They are above us. They are above all of us. They have more rights than we do. They can force us to observe their rights while abdicating ours. What on God’s green earth — and they’re saying he might have been drinking. So what! They’re denying it, but even if he was, that’s no excuse. What made him think he could lay a hand on anybody and steal his property much less somebody just asking a question? Why would that question make him go bat crazy like this? (emphasis added)
Why indeed. That’s an excellent question. Too bad Rush doesn’t see that it applies to his “manly” pal Gianforte as well. I used to believe Rush was sincere when he talked about the character of our leaders mattering, but Rush isn’t interested in defending principles anymore (if he ever was).
The man who blazed the trail for conservative media now appears to be just another tribalist hack.
Now, to be fair, let’s be fair, we try to be fair on the EIB Network, there are limits to free speech even from aspiring journalism students. We have to admit here, folks, these are tense times, and this journalist should have known the danger he was putting himself in. When a journalist (especially a student journalist) asks a congressman if he supports the Obama agenda, that’s like yelling fire in a crowded theater. I mean, you ask a congressman whether he supports the Obama agenda you are asking a question that is guaranteed to create all kinds of — they don’t want to answer this. ‘Who do you think you are? I don’t have to answer your question.’
The Republicans’ American Health Care Act is part of the Trump agenda, so it’s almost poetic that Gianforte attacked Jacobs for asking him a question about that in particular.
There was “no excuse” for Bob Etheridge assaulting a reporter but doing the same thing makes Greg Gianforte “manly” or “studly.” It’s just like how Bill Clinton’s adulterous behavior was a desecration of the office of President but Donald Trump’s is treated with a wink and a nod and some golf course back slapping. If Rush is only hanging on to say whatever helps Republican reprobates hold the reigns of big government, maybe he should pack it in—and take the likes of Hannity and Ingraham with him.
I’m sure some will read this and complain that there are bigger issues to deal with and rebuke me for not “fighting the real enemy” yada yada. That’s fine. I just think a rudderless conservative movement that can’t even rely on those who were once its firebrands is a big issue and worth talking about.